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May 22, 2013

The Lineup Card

7 Baseball Firsts We Expect to See in Our Lifetimes

by Baseball Prospectus

​1. A 250-Strikeout Hitter
While covering the Pirates on a regular basis from 1988-2009, I tried to find as many things as I could to stay interested in one losing season after another. One of those came in 2003, when the Pirates seemingly ran up the white flag on ever winning by trading blossoming star Aramis Ramirez and leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton to the Cubs for the funny and profane Bobby Hill, journeyman Jose Hernandez, and minor-league pitcher Matt Bruback, who never made the major leagues but is making a positive impact on people’s lives.

At the time of the July 21 trade, Hernandez had 121 strikeouts in just 92 games and had a legitimate shot at becoming the first major-league player ever to fan 200 times in one season. Voila! I thought I had something to pique my interest for the final 10 weeks of another desolate season. However, it didn’t happen. Hernandez miraculously started making consistent contract once he put on the Pirates uniform and finished with 177 strikeouts, even less than his previous two seasons when he punched out 185 and 188 times for the Brewers.

It seemed to me at that point that the 200-K barrier was unreachable. Alas, Mark Reynolds finally broke through with 204 punchies in 2008 for the Diamondbacks, then easily surpassed that mark with 223 the following season, which still stands as the record. Reynolds also whiffed 211 times in 2010. Since then, Drew Stubbs (205, 2011 Reds) and Adam Dunn (222, 2012 WhiteSox) have also joined the club.

Now that 200 strikeouts have been surpassed, the next frontier is 250. I’m 49, so they better hurry, but I’m sure it is going to happen in my lifetime. —John Perrotto

2. Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame
Eventually, the right gatekeepers will come along and realize that a small but weighty portion of tragic infamy strengthens—not besmirches—the Hall of Fame. A little poison is fortifying. Honoring men in whom greatness was at war with arrogance or ignorance—all greatness carries its own disease—will deepen our appreciation of baseball’s historical and moral burden. We have already reached the point with Shoeless Joe Jackson at which he should be in the Hall of Fame not despite his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal but because of it: 1919 is an essential part of the game’s legacy (and of our culture’s; see Field of Dreams etc.), and Jackson’s complicated presence in the narrative makes him an emblem whom the Hall should hang gravely, in acknowledgment, appreciation, and caution.

As for Rose, what we’re really trying to avoid is not giving him his plaque but allowing him to live to celebrate (and profit from, and gloat about) it. After he dies, perhaps long after, it will be safe to put the Hit King in the Hall, because we’ll be able to keep his ego out of it. We’ll recall the hits and the hustle, while memory of the hatefulness long recedes. He can be hung next to Ty Cobb, his spiritual baseball brother both on the field and off it. —Adam Sobsey

3. A Baseball Movie Will Win "Best Picture"
I'd prefer some sort of odds on this or some insurance against there being no such thing as movies or the Oscars (or me) at any point soon. But while it may not be a 50 percent chance, I foresee a reasonable chance that an Oscar night ceremony ends with a celebratory dog pile on stage some day. To date, there have been four baseball movies nominated for Best Picture—1942's The Pride of the Yankees about Lou Gehrig, 1989's Field of Dreams, which was the only nominee from the golden age of baseball movies, 2011's Moneyball about the Oakland A's, and a 2010 longshot called 127 Hours about a Josh Beckett start.

But it's not like sports movies have been entirely dismissed, especially recently. Since the nominations expanded from five to somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-10, there has been a sports movie on the list of nominees three of the four years, and three sports movies have won best picture: Rocky, Chariots of Fire, and Million Dollar Baby.

I don't think 42 is baseball's shot, though I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it nominated. The best chance I envision would be if The Art of Fielding finds its way to the screen. That's a book that seems to have everything that Oscar reviewers would be looking for and didn't go wide enough in the mainstream that it would be judged only in the shadow of the novel like, say, The Great Gatsby.

We hear every day in over-the-top commentary that some baseball story is so straight-outta-Hollywood that it should be a movie. Maybe some day one of them will be good. —Zachary Levine

4. The DH in the National League
It's gonna happen. I know that this irritates some of you to no end, but it will happen.

Let's get this out of the way. Tradition. Sanctity. Bunting. Double Switches. Strategy. A general hatred of 11-9 games. That awkward moment when it's the sixth inning and your starter is throwing well, but it's a key situation with two outs and you have to decide whether to pinch-hit and go to the pen, or leave him in and basically chuck the at-bat. All of the arguments for keeping the DH center around good feelings about some traditional notion of what the game of baseball should be, rather than what really makes the game move.

And yes, the NL DH will happen in service of the almighty dollar. The DH was introduced in the AL in the '70s to increase offense and drive interest in the game. It did both, and plenty of people made out like bandits. The designated hitter is now the most-highly-paid position on the diamond... erm, off the diamond. The players like that. Influential "veterans" who can't field anymore can still cash in one more time, and keep alive their drives for meaningless (but soooooo profitable at the gate) milestones like 3000 hits. And with the dawn of the $25-million-per-year contract for the top-line starter (and the $15 million one for the decent starter), teams are probably ever-more skittish about letting him bat when there's a perfectly good rule change that could negate the need for that. Teams can also nurture those crowd-pleasing all-bat, no-field players in their farm system without worrying about the whole "he's a butcher in left field" thing. Everyone wins. You might consider the DH to be low-brow culture, but there's a reason that Justin Bieber exists. And it's the same reason that the DH is coming to an NL park near you, like it or not.

About the only thing standing in the way of the DH in the National League is the traditionalist argument, the same way that it was trotted out against the cash cow that was interleague play. Sixteen years later, the Twins will play the Braves tonight, and baseball will somehow survive. In fact, no one will really notice. Just like how a couple years after the inevitable happens, we'll look around and vaguely remember that it was ever any different. —Russell A. Carleton

5. A Commissioner Not Named Bud Selig
As you might know, Bud Selig has decided to retire. By my count* this will mark the 70th time he’s decided to retire. When it’s announced, balloons will fall from drop ceilings everywhere, and a middle manager will show up with a comically oversized check for $1,000.00 to Selig’s favorite charity.

Bud Selig retires like some of us leave parties. We say we’re going over and over, but it never quite seems to happen. In fact, when Bud Selig says the word “retire,” he instinctively makes those little air quotes with his fingers. MLB rule 43-B.14 requires you to make air quotes with your fingers when you read the name “Bud Selig” and the word “retire” in the same sentence. If you read them out of order, you have to go back and repeat the sentence with the air quotes.

*In other words, a number I just made up.

Yet, Bud Selig is not young. He is 78 years old. The oldest man still alive is 116 years old, assuming he hasn’t died while I type this sentence. That means, at most, Selig has 38 more years to be the commissioner of baseball. That assumes there haven’t been huge medical advances in those 38 years that would increase Selig’s lifespan. Considering the many advances science has made in the field of human health, it seems safe to assume Selig will be able to undergo Cyborg-ization surgery. This will not only increase his lifespan, but also his ability to relate to people by 50 percent. At that point, 116-year-old CyborgSelig will announce he is retiring from commissioner effective in five years.

This will be the year 2051. Nuclear-waste-powered cars will fly through the air emitting only flowers from their exhaust pipes. Environmental problems and traffic will be things of the past. I’ll be 75 years old. Assuming a normal lifespan (I don’t have the money for cyborg-ization surgery), I’ll die at 76 years old. That means CyborgSelig will have to avoid a battery pack mishap, falling down a well, getting shot by laser cats or whatever other calamities can befall a cyborg for only one year before he’ll outlive… rats.

Never mind. —Matthew Kory

6. An Openly Gay Manager
American sports is undergoing a major change in attitudes toward openly gay athletes. An active NBA player came out for the first time only a few weeks ago. According to former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, who has been a public advocate of gay rights, there are several NFL players who are considering coming out in unison. Baseball won’t be that far behind.

What may take some more time is for an openly gay man to become a coach or manager. It took 15 years after Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers before Negro Leagues star Buck O’Neil was hired as a coach by the Chicago Cubs (and even then, he wasn’t quite treated on par with white coaches). Robinson didn’t even get to live to see Frank Robinson become the first black manager in 1975.

Coaches, and especially managers, face burdens beyond players when it comes to the public eye. Whereas Jackie Robinson had veterans like Pee Wee Reese to rely on for clubhouse support as a signal to other players he wasn’t alone, managers are expected to command respect without any outside help. That’s something that’ll probably only happen once there are a number of gay players who stick around the game for a while.

Still, being an openly gay public figure is much safer than it was even 10 years ago. In another 10 or 20 years, being the skipper of a baseball team will probably be only a minor blip on the radar. —Dan Rozenson

7. Robot Umpires
Everyone makes mistakes. But what happens when we have the technology to significantly reduce the number of errors made, if not entirely eradicate them? If you're Major League Baseball, you decide to limit the use of the technology. And so far, that decision has proven costly again and again and again and again and... oh, you get the picture.

All of those blown calls have occurred in less than two weeks. Many more will be made this season, and every season to follow, until MLB accepts expanded instant replay. However, I can envision a future in which our robot overlords invade the baseball realm, serving to provide definitive—and correct—calls on every play. Commissioner CyborgSelig will likely insist on using human umpires to preserve the "human element" of the game, but they will have to relay the RoboUmp calls, not their own. 

And who is to say that it stops at RoboUmps? When CyborgSelig gets shot by laser cats, falls down a well, and suffers a battery pack mishap following the 2051 season, remember to greet the new RoboCommissioner nicely. —Stephani Bee

44 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

sbnirish77

I think someone is expecting to live past 116.

May 22, 2013 03:47 AM
rating: 2
 
Dave from Pittsburgh

Back in my day, pitchers used to hit.

May 22, 2013 04:32 AM
rating: 0
 
Menthol

I'm holding out for a gay robot manager.

May 22, 2013 08:02 AM
rating: 11
 
saucyjack88

How about a gay, former DH, robot commissioner??

May 22, 2013 12:01 PM
rating: 1
 
newsense

"All of the arguments for keeping the DH center around good feelings about some traditional notion ..."

Don't you mean "All of the arguments AGAINST the DH..."

May 22, 2013 08:57 AM
rating: 1
 
PaddyE

"All of the arguments for keeping the DH center around good feelings about some traditional notion of what the game of baseball should be, rather than what really makes the game move."

Sorry, but what makes the game "move" for me has not much to do with tradition and everything to do with variety of strategies and play. The DH turns the game into a bland slugfest. I live in a two-league metro area, so I've had more opportunity than most to assess which game is more interesting and has greater lasting appeal.

Yes, dragging a washed-up slugger out for a few more years generates more cash because it draws in more casual fans. And God forbid we should force GMs to worry about having to consider whether a money-maker can actually catch the damn ball, or managers to worry about anything much at all. If that's the best argument that can be pulled out for the DH, then I'll just counter with tradition for now, and hold onto my better game argument until there's actually any argument to be had.

Sadly, the "it makes money, so it's inevitable, screw the game, get over it" argument seems to be enough these days. Like so much in American discourse, logic and actual value be damned.

May 22, 2013 09:17 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Matt Kory
BP staff

You make some good points, but I think you overstate things when you say "The DH turns the game into a bland slugfest." The average hitter in baseball has hit .252/.318/.403 this season. DHs have collectively hit .249/.336/.423, which is better but not by that much. What's more the AL scores 0.41 runs more than the NL as a whole (part of which is DH-dependent, and part of which is a talent difference). While that isn't nothing, I don't think it qualifies as the difference between a slugfest and not a slugfest.

May 22, 2013 09:46 AM
 
PaddyE

Fair enough, not a slugfest--let's just call it a boring continuous mambo-line of hitters, waiting for a home run without concern about the risk of the pitcher's spot coming up and leaving ducks on the pond (nor the surprises that can happen when they do, but geoff's off getting a beer...).

May 22, 2013 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
Ogremace

Dude... just cause you have a DH doesn't mean your whole strategy is "wait for a homerun". Your argument is rather general and mostly inaccurate. Does the pitcher's batting spot promise (at least) one pinch hitter per game? Yeah. But how many NL teams actually have interesting hitters to put into that spot>

Maybe it's just me, but the "strategy" of more bunts and bench players getting at bats doesn't count as "exciting" nearly as much as someone good enough at their role to play everyday.

May 22, 2013 15:39 PM
rating: 2
 
PaddyE

Dude, I've watched the local AL & NL teams first-hand for the entire DH era, and sorry, the AL team and its opponents have for the vast majority of that time played a far less interesting brand of ball. And why not? With the DH there is no true end of the lineup that both teams must start dealing with several spots prior.

With the DH, managers (and us second-guessers in the stands) don't have to grapple with as many questions about how to manage the starter, bullpen, and bench, nor is the risk of aggressive base-running near the bottom of the lineup as worthwhile. It's not at all so simple as do you pinch hit or a bunt.

But as you say, maybe it's just me. I've never felt that what baseball needed was more hitting, so the addition of another more competent hitter who has no role in the game but to come to the plate every few innings doesn't do anything at all for me. We've already got eight "good enough" hitters...who btw don't just sit on the bench fondling their bat the rest of the game.

The DH doesn't add different dimensions to the game whatsoever, it just takes away, and so the DH game is a blander game. But hey, if the AL wants to keep it, fine, just don't go foisting it on the NL.

May 24, 2013 00:51 AM
rating: 0
 
rsjanabasis

This. Baseball is a narrative sport. It is not about pure displays of athleticism like basketball. Pull someone off the street who has no interest in the outcome of a basketball game, doesn't even know the rules, and show them a highlight of a slam dunk. They can appreciate that. But what is a home run? A little ball sailing through the air. It isn't interesting for its own sake, just as watching a golf ball sail through the air. The home run, or the hit, is interesting because of how it advances the story. And more hits does not make for a better story, just as more explosions does not make for a better movie. Baseball is about the story, about the suspense between hits, as you are waiting to see what will happen next as the story unfolds. There are moments of build up and release as a batter starts at 0-0, and all of a sudden its a full count, maybe a runner in scoring position. It is the narrative suspense of what is happening on the field that matters.

Now Pitchers do get hits. They get home runs. They walk and bundt. Just with lower odds. But the increased scarcity of pitcher hits does not make the totak product less interesting. When Zito got an RBI hit off of Verlander in the World Series, that was a damn great moment in an amazing story. The AL does not have those moments. The AL product has, for me, less interesting stories, because their stories are missing various subplots.

Admittedly this purely idiosyncratic. But if you argue, in a caveman like manner, "more hits, good! more strikeouts, bad!", then you have no idea why baseball is popular. At least make an argument that without the DH, baseball was missing hits somehow, or that increasing uniformity in lineup performance would increase the narrative power of the game. I personally don't believe that, but go ahead and try to argue it. Just stop pretending that baseball is basketball. It is not about raw athleticism or hits, it is about the narrative on the field of play.

May 24, 2013 01:25 AM
rating: 2
 
Vicmill1

Vogelsong might go for the DH, but I love the built-in weakness in the order. Makes a fan think how the MGR will react before he puts his reputation on the line (whether gay or straight).

May 22, 2013 09:21 AM
rating: 3
 
geoff

Can't wait for the DH. Why pay to watch someone whose value is premised on an entirely different skill make a futile effort to not embarrass himself and put himself at risk for an injury? More time to go grab a drink from the fridge? That's the only advantage for me, personally.

The question of whether to pinch hit in the sixth inning isn't even all that interesting. Pretty sure I could get the decisional factors right, seven times out of ten.

May 22, 2013 10:09 AM
rating: 0
 
LoyalRoyal

A reverse economic argument for things staying as they are is the DH allows mega spenders like Boston and N Y Yankees one more spot at which to throw ridiculous salaries. When Milwaukee moved to the NL, I was a huge advocate of my Royals jumping at that chance. Reason being, I think it's easier to compete in the NL as a small market club than the AL. I also think variety is a good thing and the current sytem serves the players, owners and fans pretty well. Unfortunately, I think you may be right on the outcome as well as all of the economic reasons behind it.

May 22, 2013 10:25 AM
rating: 1
 
flyingdutchman

Seems like a near certainty that The Art of Fielding will be optioned (if it hasn't been already) and made into a film. It would be impossible for this film to be worse than the book, but I'm guessing they give it their best effort.

May 22, 2013 10:46 AM
rating: 1
 
delatopia

That book did not sound good at all. Like some literary dweeb's idea of what ballplayers and baseball are like, but really he's imagining his dweeby friends as ballplayers and using the sport as metaphor instead of depicting what athletes and hardball are really like. I love sports fiction, but I had zero desire to tackle that book.

May 23, 2013 00:07 AM
rating: 0
 
mikebuetow

One could argue that, given all the attention to the Black Sox, Shoeless Joe Jackson is already in the Hall of Fame.

May 22, 2013 11:03 AM
rating: 0
 
asstarr1

I would like to think that Bud will be transformed into a robeast by an old witch and the four robot umpires will come together and form Voltron to dispatch him.

Oh yeah, I'm not a fan of the DH.

May 22, 2013 11:12 AM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

No women ballplayers or GMs or Managers or Scouting Directors in our lifetimes?

Sad ...

May 22, 2013 11:24 AM
rating: 5
 
Steph Bee

I'm not sure about ballplayers--though I really do hope there is one--but I absolutely think a female GM or scouting director will happen. Kim Ng probably represents the best chance for a female GM in the immediate future, but, say, 20 years from now, there will likely be a whole slew of new candidates. The progression for females in front offices has been ludicrously slow, but the glass ceiling will be broken someday.

May 22, 2013 11:30 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Matt Kory
BP staff

I'm pretty sure that's not what anyone here is saying.

May 22, 2013 11:31 AM
 
dianagram

Understood .... but given seven opportunities to write about women in baseball as a future expectation, its a bit disappointing to go 0-7.

May 22, 2013 11:34 AM
rating: 0
 
Steph Bee

I debated females in baseball vs. roboumps, but I chose the latter because of the current prominence of the issue. I certainly (and rather obviously) champion women in baseball, though.

May 22, 2013 11:37 AM
rating: 1
 
jdeich

Compromise: Predict female umpires.

While there are counter-arguments about size/strength (*) in terms of playing professionally (**), there is no excuse for why 70 of 70 MLB umpires are male. It's not the physical prerequisites-- those have been handled by age 60+ jowly men who appear to regularly dine at PaunchBurger. At least a couple women have already umpired at the minor-league level.

(*): Also, young girls get pushed to play softball instead of baseball, and don't get as much practice hitting overhand pitching with the smaller/lighter ball.

(**): While the English-language rulebook is written with male pronouns, Rule 2.00 notes that "Any reference in these Official Baseball Rules to “he,” “him” or “his” shall be deemed to be a reference to “she,” “her” or “hers,” as the case may be, when the person is a female." Am I correct that a woman could legally be on a MLB roster tomorrow if offered a contract?

May 22, 2013 12:16 PM
rating: 2
 
Steph Bee

Yes. However, I do not believe there are currently any females umpiring in the minor leagues. Ria Corteso made waves a few years back for umpiring a spring training game, becoming the first woman to do so since Pam Postema in the late 1980s, but she left the game shortly afterward after being denied a promotion to Triple-A for many years.

May 22, 2013 13:04 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Matt Kory
BP staff

You're making it sound like we seven who wrote for this week's Lineup Card deliberately (for lack of a better word) dissed women. I don't think we are obligated to cover any specific topic and I don't think not picking a topic is any kind of reflection on us or on that topic. Everyone picks a topic independently. There was nothing implied by my choice of topics other than that I thought it might be funny/interesting, and I feel comfortable saying the same is true of my seven co-authors. Because I picked the topic I did does not mean I think women can't play professional baseball, can be major league umpires, or participate in any other way.

May 22, 2013 14:53 PM
 
dianagram

Matt ... no offense intended on my part. I wasn't trying to castigate the writers ... I just found it surprising that it didn't make the cut.

No harm, no foul.

May 23, 2013 12:20 PM
rating: -1
 
AJ

"and a 2010 longshot called 127 Hours about a Josh Beckett start."

This ^

May 22, 2013 11:28 AM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

If the DH makes the game so much more exciting, why not just expand rosters and allow teams to DH for everyone?

Put the 9 best fielders and the 9 best hitters you can find. None of them have to be the same person.

I'm going to guess that nobody is in favor of that. But if you are in favor of the DH for pitchers (because it makes the game more 'exciting'), then why not carry it to it's logical conclusion?

May 22, 2013 11:38 AM
rating: 4
 
geoff

Using a dh for the pitcher removes a tedious and generally useless part of the sport. Separating fielders from hitters would completely remake the sport. I see the attempted equivalency, but the two ideas are not analogous.

May 22, 2013 13:00 PM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

How exciting would it be to see Olympic level athletes roaming the outfields?

May 22, 2013 13:50 PM
rating: -1
 
Ogremace

Honestly, this would be very exciting. We're clearly long past the days when most baseball players were very good at everything they do. Why would it be so bad to isolate those who can field and those who can hit?

Seems to me this won't happen because it's hard enough to find people as it is, much less twice as many.

May 22, 2013 15:44 PM
rating: 0
 
Drungo

Once another position on the diamond starts failing to hit at the level of pitchers, let's discuss it.

Luckily we can use our heads and make dividing lines between obviousl things like "shortstops and catchers are a little below average as hitters" and "pitchers hitting is like my grandma hitting". A solution to one specific, obvious problem doesn't have to lead to a domino effect where you take everything to its most absurd logical conclusion.

May 23, 2013 06:29 AM
rating: 0
 
NJTomatoes

Positives behind letting pitchers hit: the least tedious out when a game is dragging on relentlessly; on a related note, they speed up the game; when my team is being shutdown big time, I can cling to the feeble hope that the opposing P's time on the base paths will tire him out and my team will get back in the game; the best time to beat everyone to the restrooms when the P is in position to be the third out; outside of walk offs and moon shots of biblical proportions, no HR is as much fun as a P's HR; cool seeing the team jacket on the field when he's running the bases.

May 22, 2013 12:41 PM
rating: 0
 
Tynan

You have saddened my afternoon, Russell A. Carleton.

May 22, 2013 12:46 PM
rating: 2
 
pobothecat

And if we're really lucky, the week the first gay manager is announced, Bill Hader will be guest-hosting SNL.

May 22, 2013 13:59 PM
rating: 1
 
rsjanabasis

The DH was introduced in the AL in the '70s to increase offense and drive interest in the game. It did both, and plenty of people made out like bandits.

Woah, Nelly. The DH was introduced to drive up revenue, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that it succeeded in doing that. Revenue for both leagues went up, just as it did for every business muddling its way out of the low profit 1970s.

The NL continues to be the wealthier, more popular league.

In fact, you are making a great argument that the AL will ditch DH -- it increases player expenses. NL teams consistently have higher operating margins than AL teams. NL teams also have higher attendance, earn more profits, and generate more revenue. This despite the Yankees juggernaut.

Now, whether that is because NL teams provide a superior product or because they don't have to pay for a DH, my money is on the owners to look after their own interest and get back to playing baseball. You are betting on the players forcing the owners to adopt a DH in the NL. No way that owners will make this mistake twice.

May 22, 2013 20:07 PM
rating: 0
 
lmarighi

I'm very curious about your assertion about the NL being wealthier and more popular than the NL. I have not heard of this before, and find it fascinating. Can you point me to any good information sources on this?

May 22, 2013 21:24 PM
rating: 0
 
rsjanabasis

Sure! You can get fan attendance ratings from baseball reference: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2000-misc.shtml

Be aware that prior to 2000 (or 1999?), NL teams measured attendance by fans in stands whereas AL measured tickets sold. Since then, both report tickets sold. For data since 2000, here is the ratio of (average annual attendance for NL teams) divided by (average annual attendance for AL teams). Obviously with the 'donation' of the Astros to AL, that will only drive the ratio towards the NL's favor.

NL/AL average attendance ratio
2000 1.0961908639
2001 1.05806724
2002 1.0478449849
2003 1.0396746317
2004 1.0731356909
2005 1.0952146376
2006 1.0555917518
2007 1.0902665443
2008 1.1144127853
2009 1.115899545
2010 1.1195424478
2011 1.0913549519
2012 1.0870867749

I may post something on finances later, but you can find data from Forbes 'business of baseball' series. http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/

You will see (if you go through the data), than NL teams earn more in revenues, on average, spend a smaller proportion of their revenues on player expenses, and have higher net income/revenue, on average.

AL teams are spending more money to attract fewer fans, obtain less revenue, and earn slimmer margins.

A large part of this is that they have an extra position to fill.

No way that NL owners are going to vote to give up those profits when they are fielding a more successful product with the current rules -- and any change in rules has to be unanimous. If anything, AL owners are looking to get rid of DH, because it has been a costly failure for them.

May 22, 2013 22:57 PM
rating: 7
 
lmarighi

Huh, I had no idea. Thanks so much for the information!

May 24, 2013 12:13 PM
rating: 0
 
jnossal

I'm sorry Adam, but Ty Cobb isn't even in the same universe as Pete Rose when it comes to disgracing the game of baseball.

May 24, 2013 11:21 AM
rating: 1
 
rsjanabasis

That's true. Pete Rose didn't knife a black man for being "uppity", or assault another black man who came up to him to shake his hand, and then choked his wife when she tried to intervene to protect her husband.

May 24, 2013 17:26 PM
rating: -1
 
jnossal

Cobb, "avowed racist", supported the right for blacks to play major league baseball. That was in 1952, before most MLB teams had been integrated.

Much of the lore surrounding the violent temper of Ty Cobb was embellishments and outright fabrications made by Al Stump, after Cobb's death.

Whatever his personal qualities, Cobb never assaulted the integrity of baseball like Rose did. And Rose has yet to apologize, nor has he even admitted fully to his actions.

You want go after HOFs, try Roberto Alomar or Kirby Puckett. How about Wade Boggs? Dennis Eckersley? Where's the outrage? I'll say one thing about those guys, they never broke the most important rule in baseball, then lied about it for 25 years in the face of overwhelming evidence. Rose (and Jackson) did.

May 27, 2013 20:43 PM
rating: 0
 
bigredsun

You don't have to have a DH to not have pitchers hitting. Just bat 8 batters.

May 28, 2013 21:04 PM
rating: 0
 
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