The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 18, 2013

DHdebate not slowing down at 40

NORMAN — The designated hitter turned 40 this year.

Fittingly, it’s having sort of a mid-life crisis.

Never before has the imbalance between the American and National Leagues regarding Rule 6.10 been more of a potential problem.

The designated hitter rule has been controversial from day one. It’s been criticized and even confusing since it was born. So it’s only natural that Major League Baseball’s once-bold experiment will continue to exist unevenly and indefinitely.

The DH debate won’t die.

“A little controversy between the leagues is really not all bad,” Commissioner Bud Selig said before the All-Star game in New York on Tuesday.

Selig cast one of the votes for using the designated hitter in AL games starting in 1973, when he owned the Milwaukee Brewers, then an AL franchise. He acknowledged this week that further geographic changes to divisions could force MLB to either scrap the DH altogether or install it for the NL, but that’s a future possibility and not an imminent plan.

When Houston switched to the AL West this year to even out the leagues at 15 teams each, daily interleague games became a necessity of the schedule.

“At the moment,” Selig said, “we are not going to change it.”

Perhaps the most polarizing of this sport’s many quirks and imperfections, the designated hitter came to be when AL teams sought to boost their then-lagging product.

The gimmick not only worked to increase scoring and attendance but created a way for some of the game’s greatest hitters to extend their careers — and make a lot more money.

Orlando Cepeda even credited the rule for boosting his Hall of Fame credentials, after Boston signed him for the 1973 season following a long career with San Francisco.

“That was one of the best years, because I was playing on one leg and I hit .289,” Cepeda said earlier this season. “And I hit four doubles in one game. Both my knees were hurting, and I was designated hitter of the year.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V UNT Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers edge Timberwolves in opener

    Give round one to Norman High. The Tigers were the better team in the first Crosstown Clash of the season, holding on to defeat Norman North 3-2 behind a complete game from starter PJ Grunsted....

    April 25, 2014

  • Sooners are hoping road trip can give them a boost

    Ordinarily, the last thing a struggling team needs is a road trip. However, Oklahoma isn’t in an ordinary position....

    April 25, 2014

  • Pitchers deliver another classic Clash

    It was the top of the seventh inning and Norman North’s Austin Cranford, who came on in the top of the fifth, threw his second pitch to Sean Dixson. The Tiger center fielder simply let it go by like it was no different than any other ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Grizzlies take 2-1 series lead with OT win

    MEMPHIS — Oklahoma City prides itself on being a clutch team. The type of unit that knows how to come through in the most pressured of situations....

    April 25, 2014

  • NCAA board endorses more autonomy for big schools

    INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Dice-K 1st save since 2000 as Mets hold down Cards

    NEW YORK — Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. He couldn’t remember all the details of the first save of his professional career....

    April 25, 2014

  • Pineda banned 10 games

    BOSTON — Michael Pineda says he was just trying to get a better grip on the ball. Now, he won’t need one for a while....

    April 25, 2014

  • Royals pick up another crucial district victory

    EDMOND — The Community Christian boys kept their playoff hopes high Thursday night by taking down Oklahoma Christian School 1-0 on a goal from Chris Abernethy with 4:07 remaining.  An evenly played game, the Royals outshot the Saints 14 to ...

    April 25, 2014

Facebook