clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will MLB add DH in the NL? Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo hates the DH!

Comments made by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday once again stoked the pro and anti-DH sentiments in the baseball world. Is it inevitable that the National League will one day adopt the designated hitter? Rizzo. Does. Not. Like. It.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Echoing sentiments expressed by St. Louis Cardinals' GM John Mozeliak earlier this week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters on Thursday, as quoted by USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale, that momentum was building in support of the National League eventually adopting the designated hitter, though Manfred, according to Nightengale, "... made it clear Thursday he'd like to keep the rules the same between the two leagues - but he’s willing to listen to change."

Mozeliak, as St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold reported last weekend, told fans in a recent forum that there is, "'more momentum' for the DH in the NL," than there was previously:

"I do feel like there were times I could look all of you in the face and say it’s a non-starter, it’s not being discussed at the owner level or GM," Mozeliak said Saturday during an expansive discussion with the media at the team’s 20th annual fanfest. "But over the past year it has. I’m not suggesting you’re going to see a change but I definitely think the momentum (has changed).

Mozeliak's comments, Goold notes, echo, "... similar ones made this past spring by Major League Baseball Players’ Association chief Tony Clark, who said he has heard more discussion about the DH spreading to the NL than in years past."

Nightengale wrote, and Manfred said, the same:

Manfred: "Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you’d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment. But we have a newer group. There’s been turnover. I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport."

Manfred too, however, said he was determined to respect the history and tradition of the sport, and, "... adopting the DH throughout baseball would perhaps ruin the identity of the American League and National Leagues.":

"And the biggest remnant of league identity,’’ Manfred said, "is the difference between DH and no DH. I think that’s a significant issue, I really do. I think it’s an important issue for us. I’m not saying it’s not possible. But it is a significant issue on the other side of the scale."

It's expected to be a topic of discussion when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated, which is why it's coming up now, and will likely be discussed later this year since the current CBA expires in December 2016.

As for some of the proud National League loyalists who'd prefer that the DH stay an AL-only affectation?

Philadelphia Phillies' chairman David Montgomery told reporters, as quoted on FOX, "We would like to remain real baseball."

Then there's Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo, who was asked last April, in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, what he thought of the possibility of the NL adopting the DH:

Rizzo on DH