You know what’s gotta go? The designated hitter. I was a big fan of it when the American League determined that no pitcher shall bat after April 6, 1973. This, of course, was before the start of Interleague play. It was at a time when offense and attendance were down and the game needed a spark. Plus, a few aging superstars got to hang around a little while longer on their way to the Hall of Fame, including Harmon Killebrew of the Twins and Royals and the Red Sox first DH, Orlando Cepeda.
In 2017, it took a record average of 3 hours and 5 minutes to play a nine inning Major League Baseball game. One certain way to speed it up is to dump the DH. National League games with pitchers batting always take less time. It all adds up. Shorter games, increased strategy, the two leagues playing by the same rules for the first time since 1973. Most of all, the incredible moments like the one that took place in Interleague play Monday night in our nation’s Capital. A bases-clearing three-run double by Red Sox starter Rick Porcello off Washington ace and Porcello’s good friend Max Scherzer. The big blow put the Sox ahead to stay, and Porcello became the first Boston pitcher to drive in three runs in a game in 47 seasons.
While we’re making suggestions, let’s think about modifying replay, too.
Have a Happy Fourth!