Reminder: the reason the DH isn’t universal is because the Phillies screwed up the vote


I feel like we’ve linked this at some point in the past, but since everyone (not just me!) is talking about the DH today, here’s a nice reminder of why we don’t have the DH in the National League today.

It’s a story from David Mouton from a few years back, recounting a story he heard of the 1980 vote in which the NL was deciding whether or not to adopt the DH. It needed a majority vote to pass. There were 12 teams in the NL at the time. Six were clearly on board for the DH. Four were opposed. Two — the Phillies and Pirates — were on the fence.

The Phillies’ representative at the time had orders to vote for the DH. But then (a) a fishing trip; and (b) game theory entered into it. Go read Mouton’s account for the details.

But know that, as usual, the Phillies messed up a good thing. And for that reason, they’ve been playing Ryan Howard at first base for several years.

(thanks to Tyler for the reminder)

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.