Back in April of 2015, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo shared his thoughts on the possibility of baseball bringing the designated hitter to the National League in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Grant Paulsen, telling the radio host he was … not a big fan of the idea.
“I hate the DH,” Rizzo said succinctly.
“I always have hated the DH. I’d hate to see the DH in the National League.”
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez started off not liking the idea of the universal DH in baseball, but over the course of 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign he started to get used to the idea of having another non-pitcher bat in the lineup.
“The strategy will be a little for me — because you don’t have to make those double switches and make those kind of moves of that nature. But it’s still going to be baseball,” the manager said going into the 2020 season.
“I think you’re going to see a little more hitting throughout baseball because you do get an extra hitter and get the DH. But we’ll see what happens. I’m a big fan of the National League, and I like the whole strategic part of the game.”
Coming out of the disappointing follow-up to 2019’s World Series win, Martinez acknowledged that he’d had a change of opinion.
“Admittedly, at first I didn’t really like the DH in the National league,” he explained.
“As we played last year, I kind of got accustomed to it. I liked it. It gives us another bat in our lineup, which is kind of nice.”
According to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday, though there is still a lot of work to be done on a new collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA, two things they have “agreed” upon are the adoption of the universal DH and a draft lottery.
Of course, as noted by MLBTraderumors.com, “… the use of ‘agreed’ is a bit misleading.”:
“The two parties have not reached a formal agreement on either issue. Rather, Manfred’s use of ‘agreed’ merely indicates that both the universal DH and elimination of draft-pick compensation were included as components of a broader proposal put forth by MLB some time ago.”
Positives: Ryan Zimmerman’s return is more likely if there is a DH in the NL. So if you’re not ready for Zim-less Nats, there’s that. It creates more opportunities to get Juan Soto rest while keeping his bat in the lineup. Yadiel Hernàndez seems really well-suited to the role (though the Nats were happy with his improvement on the defensive end last season). But seriously, we hate the DH. It’s an abomination.
Negatives: No more real baseball. Rizzo hates it. And you know how the old baseball saying goes, “You cheer for the GM in the front office, not the name on the back of the jersey.” Word.