ATLANTA – You could almost hear Tom Glavin’s famous grimace on the phone.
After several generations of quarrels and quarrels and testing of purity, this Sunday, as he knew, may be the end of the regular punches (or attempts) of Major League Baseball players.
“Take, so to speak, the brutality of what the hitter’s throw has become, and I still feel like it allows for a lot more strategy in the national league,” said Glavine, a left-hander in the Hall of Fame who scored 0.203 or more in nine of his 22 season, he regretted. “I hope this part of the argument is sure to be strong, but there seems to be more momentum now than ever to get rid of it.”
Whether the performances of pitchers on plates are a fair tradition or a time-honored embarrassment that wastes time, they could largely disappear by the opening day of 2022. The next baseball collective agreement is still being negotiated, one of the important changes that is considered, however, is the acceptance of a universal player. If that happens, it would be the fifth game of this year’s World Series to be hosted by Atlanta at its National League stadium on Sunday night, the last time the rule would have been forced to strike.
“I really enjoy hitting, but it’s good for the game,” said Max Fried, an Atlanta passer and finalist at one of this year’s Silver Slugger Awards, about a possible change in the rules.
“At the end of the day, going out and hitting every five days, or being a pitcher who hits, isn’t as good as having a guy whose job is to hit,” said Fried, who has scored 0.273 this season. “I understand, but I’ll miss you – immensely.”
Another Atlanta rotation star, Charlie Morton, said he would not miss a hit: “I’m actively trying not to think about it even now.”
In the age of the universal DH Bridge, players would still be allowed to strike, but not if they left a piece of baseball’s past on the negotiating table and the American and National Leagues for the first time in nearly a year permanently agreed on the issue. half a century. (Baseball has temporarily adopted a universal DH for the 2020 season, which has been disrupted by the pandemic.)
The rule of certain blows was designed as a way to increase the attack after years of horrible blows and consequently generate more money and interest in the sport. The American League adopted DH in 1973, in what was conceived as a three-year experiment. The contempt for the National League was evident from the start. “We like the game the way it is,” Charles S. Feeney, president of the NL, said at the time. She never accepted the rule.
But AL has since overtaken NL in average strokes, including 15 points in 1989 and 1996. The difference has been much smaller in some recent seasons, for example by a 3-point difference this year, when MLB at 0.244 averaged its fifth the lowest grade since 1871.
In the decades since the dawn of DH, pitching has also emerged as an even more discipline and attracted more attention to the risks faced by pitchers whenever they step into a dough box or turn on basic paths. And so even some NL supporters began to move away from their historically partisan opposition.
“For every Adam Wainwright, there are 10 guys who can’t hit,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said, referring to the St. Petersburg-based thrower. Louisa, who has played a relatively impressive 75 games in his 16 seasons in the major leagues. “They don’t hit anymore in their youth, they specialize in playing or anything else in their youth, so after I experienced that last year, I’m completely for DH.”
Of course, there are exceptions.
Shohei Ohtani scored an All-Star Game this year as a player and DH The breaking star for the Los Angeles Angels, they scored 46 home runs and eight top-three top-league runs, while as a pitcher they set a 9-2 record with 156 deletions and an ERA of 3.18.
While they don’t come close with Ohtani’s mastery on the plate, others have shown some pop, at least occasionally. Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner has scored 109 goals in his 13 seasons, including 19 home runs, and Cubs’ Jake Arrieta has scored six times in his career, including Bumgarner once in the playoffs.
Mostly, however, National League players come to the board, look at a few pitches, and sometimes swing badly at them. This bothers people like Glavine, who prided themselves on forcing opponents to count on them as more than easy exits.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I was a great player, but as an actor I was definitely a good player and I felt that my ability to do that was an advantage every time I went up the hill. , ”Said Glavine. “I didn’t have to get an RBI base hit or anything like that, but I knew two things: no. 1, if I should hit, I’ll get a riot down, and no. 2, I was not going to automatically exit. “
Or, as Clayton Kershaw, an ace from Los Angeles, put it, who once ruled out the entire game and hit an afternoon winning home run: “Baseball is a two-way game, attack and defense. I think you should play both, even if you’re not good at one. ”
Kershaw is excited about the so-called double hook rule, which would force a team to lose their DH when its starting passer leaves the game, offering an incentive to emphasize starting and not relieving. It is not clear whether these are the major leagues that have been followed with interest, while the independent Atlantic League tested the approach this year, such a provision would be included in the rewritten rules.
Morton, a post-season stock that left the 1st game with a broken leg, argues that most modern pitchers simply have no place in the order of punches.
“I’m always late for the lap on board, just because I have to disconnect from the mains for a minute, and I like to worry about the work I have to do on the hill,” Morton said before the National League Championship series match. “I’m paid for it, I’m willing to do it for it, I spend the vast majority of my time doing it. They pay a lot of money to the boys and the boys try to be good punches, and I’m up there and the bats. “
In addition, he said he doesn’t like serving in a pitcher.
“For me, it’s a defeat situation because we shouldn’t have scored,” said Morton, whose 2016 season ended when he tore his thigh tendon as he ran to first base after the kick.
Morton is on his way to making his wish come true.
And while senior statesmen in the game might oppose the change, and players like Bumgarner can lobby to keep hitting for themselves, at least one reliever claims he has something to gain if he loses the expectation that they might have to hit him.
Will Smith has been in the NL since 2014, and his only official came in 2019 when he was with the Giants. With runners in second and third place is Smith, who is now closer to Atlanta, with a quick 3-1 ball to the right field for two runs.
It doesn’t matter that Bryce Harper almost threw him out at first.
“I ended up with an average of 1,000 strokes in my career, so I’m fine with that,” he said.
James Wagner contributed reporting.