The DH has tainted hitting records? Really?

31 Comments

Terrence Moore of MLB.com would like you — and every single development in baseball since, I dunno, 1965, to get off his lawn:

No question, baseball’s home run records are tarnished by those who spent part of their careers with artificially enhanced bodies, or have been suspected of it. That said, why don’t folks talk much — if at all — about that other great evil in this regard called the designated hitter?

I’m all for bashing the designated hitter. It’s fun!  But to suggest — as Moore does here, at length and with his tongue decidedly not in his cheek — that an honest-to-goodness on-the-books-for-nearly-40-years baseball rule “tarnishes” hitting records is preposterous.

The story of baseball is all about changes in context. Baseball in 1865 was different than baseball in 1895 which was different than 1915, which was different than 1925, which was different than 1935, 1945, 1965, 1977, 1988, 2000 and on to today.  The ball has changed, So too have the parks, the bats, the rules, the mounds, the players and a host of other things. The only consistent thing about the conditions in which baseball is played and in which records were set is their inconsistency.

Yet, despite this, Moore brings up the idea of “asterisks” in the event Alex Rodriguez breaks the home run record as a DH with a straight face. Insanity.

Observation: if we let go of the notion that there was a time when baseball was in some Garden-of-Eden state, only to later become tarnished and corrupted, most of the crap that riles people up about it would simply melt away.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

Bart Young/Getty Images
5 Comments

Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.