The lack of the DH in the NL imperiled Chien-Ming Wang’s marriage

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I’m a longstanding opponent of the Designated Hitter. I think it’s evil and wrong and Godless and I shudder to think that my children may hear about it from a stranger before I get a chance to have “the talk” with them about it.*

But something has happened that has thrown all of that into question. It’s a moral issue, really. You see: the lack of a DH in the National League has led to betrayal and disgrace:

Chien-ming Wang, Taiwan’s favorite major league baseball pitcher, confessed in an April 24 press conference held in Florida Viela, his team’s spring training site, that he had had an extra-marital affair two years ago while in Florida … At the press conference given to Taiwanese media, Wang said he made a “big mistake” and would not seek to make any excuses. He added that he does not expect forgiveness from his family or fans, but expressed “innermost apology.” He cited growing pressure from pitching in the major league, especially after his surgery in 2009. “I was so depressed at the time. Besides the long road to rehabilitation, the only thing I could do is wait,” said Wang.

The case here is clear: If the DH were ubiquitous, Wang doesn’t bat in an interleague game. If he doesn’t bat, he doesn’t run the bases. If he doesn’t run the bases, he doesn’t injure himself. If he doesn’t injure himself he’s not on that depressing, lonely “long road to rehabilitation,” and if he’s not on that road he does not have that affair.

Let’s put the DH in he NL now, people.  Not because it’s good — it’s far from it — but because the lack of the DH destroys families.

*“Son, when a man loves a woman very much, it can be a beautiful thing. Now, think of the polar opposite of that kind of beauty. Of horrors and awfulness as powerful as the greatest love in the world is wonderful. That, my son, is the DH.”

(link Via SBNation)

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.