The tyranny of the DH continues unabated

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No, I don’t want to rehash arguments for and against the DH. People are more likely to come to an agreement over religion than that. Let us just all agree that I’m right, the DH is an awful tool of communism/evil and that it should be abolished with righteous fury.

But that’s another conversation we can have at another time in which those who disagree with me will be wrong. For now, even if we cannot agree on the DH/no-DH question, can we at least respect the views of those who differ from us on this?  Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer can’t:

As the home team, the Rockies didn’t allow the Indians to use a DH Sunday. That makes no sense. But it’s the home team’s call … Why wouldn’t a NL manager let a visiting AL team use a DH in a meaningless spring training game? Good question.

Maybe because the NL manager has to play an entire schedule with pitchers batting and he’d like to, you know, prepare his team for that in the preseason?  Both in terms of having his pitchers bat and in terms of preparing hsi defense for the sacrifice bunts, such as the one an Indians pitcher did in the very game which Shaw is describing?

Crazy, I know …

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.