Monday, June 16, 2008

Hank Steinbrenner is a douche

I don't usually laugh at professional athletes' suffering, unless it's Derek Jeter, Michael Beasley, or someone who has rubbed me the wrong way for some childish reason that I can't get over (Tom Brady won me over with his charisma and boyish good looks--maybe if Jeter and Beasley were personable, I'd like them). Don't get me wrong, I like Chien-Ming Wang, even beyond fantasy purposes, but his injury serves Hank Steinbrenner right.

I haven't been watching the Astros/Yankees series, so when I saw the news that Wang was getting an MRI on his foot, I didn't think anything of it. Then I saw the headline that he was out for six weeks. Okay, I'll bench him in my fantasy league that I own him in. THEN just a few moments ago, I saw that he's out until at least September!

That prompted me to actually read the story. I needed to know what happened. Turns out he was injured running the bases. But the story is no longer about Wang being hurt, now it turned into Hank Steinbrenner crying like a two-year old who was injured in a tricycle accident. Apparently the National League "needs to join the 21st century," and implement the designated hitter.

To hell with that. The absence of a DH is the main reason I love the National League so much more than the AL. Yeah, I like watching a nice slugfest every now and again, but if pitchers weren't forced to hit in either league, there would no longer be a need for strategy. There would no longer be sacrifice bunts. Payrolls would skyrocket because every team would have a Frank Thomas or a David Ortiz. Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera would be lifers in the DH spot, as would up and coming players such as Joey Votto, James Loney, and Conor Jackson.

The art of the game would be destroyed.

This is a TERRIBLE idea for Hank to suggest, but of course he loves the idea. It's not about the pitchers, it's about him. Payrolls would go up as I already said, then ticket prices would increase even further, and it would just be more money in his dirty little pockets.

Even more ironic--guess who suffers the most? Pitchers and DHs. The National League would no longer be the "National League." It wouldn't be a safe haven for Roy Oswalt, Jake Peavy, or Johan Santana. No pitcher would even have a shot at a sub-3.00 earned run average. And as the required skill of position players diminishes, the skill of the pitchers will diminish, too. DHs like David Ortiz won't ever need to take fielding practice, because interleague games will no longer have any beauty, they'll just be regular games. Pitchers won't have to run laps to keep their hammys loose. They won't have to swing a bat...EVER. That will hurt teams in extra inning situations where bat-savvy pitchers like Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux have made second careers pinch hitting--and not to mention Micah Owings, who has a great hitting and pitching career ahead of him.

There would no longer be a reason for role players like Marlon Anderson, Endy Chavez, or Pedro Feliz to exist. Punished for being exceptional utility men and pinch hitters? Go to hell, Hank.

I don't think I've been this pissed off in a long time.

1 comment:

ERnie said...

Settle down Travi, he's still just a Steinbrenner. You're gonna have to get used to this type of crying.

But you're 100% correct. Implementing a DH would just be horrible to the NL and all of MLB. One of the beauties, in my eyes, of baseball is the two separate leagues and their difference in their rules.

You look at the other major sports in our country. The NFL has two conferences, which mean pretty much nothing now... They were two different companies at one time but now one of the original AFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) are in the NFC. The rules are the same in both conferences, its just a somewhat random, somewhat organized categorization of teams. Same with the NBA. I don't know how they divided their teams up but the rules are the same in the East and the West.

As you pointed out, strategy is another reason to not have the DH rule in the NL (if I had it my way, the AL too). No hit and runs, no bunting, reduced steals, no double switches, etc.

The only good thing I can 'kind of' see about a DH is extending one's career. Being a huge Piazza fan, I liked seeing him still play even when he couldn't play catcher, but at the same time, it was kind of hard. Seeing someone who was as good as he was be reduced to DH was pretty discouraging to me. He wasn't as bad as some others who didn't know when to let it go.