Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak created quite a bit of a chatter last weekend when he said that there has been “more momentum” in discussions with other general managers and owners for the designated hitter to come to the National League. That “momentum” might have been overstated.
In an interview with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that a change isn’t likely to come anytime soon.
“The most likely result on the designated hitter for the foreseeable future is the status quo,” Manfred said in an interview with ESPN.com in conjunction with his one-year anniversary as commissioner. “I think the vast majority of clubs in the National League want to stay where they are.”
Most can agree that pitchers batting is generally a bad thing — Yeah, yeah, Bartolo Colon — but Manfred has the same feeling as a sizable group of National League fans, namely that the designated hitter is “the single most important feature that defines the differences between the two leagues.” It’s easy to understand that sentiment, but one wonders if part of the resistance on the part of owners is that they don’t want to pay the hitters who could benefit from a potential change.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires after this season, so the thought was that the universal designated hitter could become a thing as soon as 2017. Barring something unexpected, those clinging to tradition can rest easy for now.