I've mentioned this in recent posts but it's important enough to highlight.
Now that the two separate leagues, American and National, no longer exist as independent entities, having different rules in what amount to conferences in one league (MLB) is really stupid. The other sports leagues don't do that. Why does MLB? Since increasing the number of divisions from four to six in 1994 and combining AL and NL umpires into MLB umpires, there has been only one league.
This is the 40th year in which AL and NL have a different rule, the designated hitter (DH). This was dumb from the beginning. It should have been what I am now suggesting as a compromise: a designated fielder (DF) with only 8 batters.
To accommodate the players union, the owners should offer to expand the rosters from 25 to 26 players. This would ensure approval by the players. It would also probably save the owners money. That 26th player would make the minimum, about half a million dollars, as opposed to several million paid to a DH.
The additional advantage would be that the better and more popular batters would bat more frequently. The natural inclination of baseball people (fans, media, MLB) is to oppose something that is an obvious benefit. They all need to calm the heck down and think this through.
There is nothing inherent in nine batters. The number of batters do not need to equal the number of innings. In the minors the second game of a doubleheader is 7 innings. In a 7 inning game they do not switch to 7 batters. In softball it's 7 innings and 10 batters. See how this works? Nine innings does not necessitate nine batters. Eight batters is much better. Fewer batters is always better. Plus, it resolves the 39 year impasse over the stupid DH rule.
Come on already, just do it!