The original Radical Baseball document written June 9, 2006 contains six items, including:
Designated Fielders and the Six-Player Batting Order.
There should be designated fielders, not a designated hitter. Everybody fields but a team has the option to have up to three players only play the field and not bat. Six batters in a lineup. That’s the minimum there could be without a batter coming up with himself on base. They’d get 1,000 plate appearances a season, comparable to the number of batters faced by a starting pitcher. This would improve both offense and defense. It addresses those sappy complaints of National League fans without having to watch the dreaded bottom of the order. Who wants to watch the bottom of the order? No one, except people who are actually interested in sacrifice bunting and all the brain power involved in making that decision. Oh, and the double switch. Take me out to the ball game so I can see a double switch in person. Complaining about batters not knowing how to bunt is like complaining about American soldiers not knowing how to load a musket. Who cares? Bombs away. Batter up, not bunter up.
That's my preference but let's consider something that makes so much sense and is not very different from the silly designated hitter (DH) rule we've been dragging around for more than 40 years. There is more momentum to have the National Conference conform to the rest of the civilized world and have the option of a DH.
Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
... MLB did not even attempt to reconcile the different rule, the 1972 designated hitter (DH), which applied to the AL but not to the NL. That schism persists to this day, the first of the MLB finals, and MLB is not even embarrassed by that as it should be. FORTY years and MLB has not resolved a simple rule aberration.
The DH establishes precedent that not all fielders must bat. Nine fielders does not dictate nine batters any more than nine innings. Since the Major Baseball League (MBL) is the highest entertainment form of baseball, it should be trying to increase its entertainment value. Eight batters is obviously more entertaining than nine. Removing the weakest batter hurts nothing and helps entertainment us better.
Allow teams to designate one fielder per game who does not bat. It will probably be the pitcher but does not have to be. This allows for Babe Ruth.
Instead of having a dedicated one dimensional player like David Ortiz, a dying breed, or a lineup spot into which ailing and/or tired players are dumped for partial rest, just simply eliminate the ninth spot in the batting order. That way all batters must also play the field but not all fielders must bat. It's very basic, simple and effective.
If the players union balks at the upcoming collective bargaining talks, give them an extra roster spot. Heck, give them five, which the MBL should anyway but that's been addressed previously, too, in this blog. Have 30 on the active roster, dress 25 for a particular game. Then no one will object to the batting order of eight.
8 men bat: resolving the DH impasse. Friday, June 24, 2011