TV host Mike Rowe makes a funny argument against the DH

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Earlier this week, I wrote about why Bartolo Colon — and Noah Syndergaard since — are great examples of why the DH is anti-fun. Craig disagrees, but Craig is often wrong. And now I’ve got backup!

TV host Mike Rowe, who you may know from shows such as Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, responded to a fan named Bart’s question on Facebook about the DH. The fan asked, “Mike, a group of us that appreciate your entertainment and the way you think have a pressing question. Do you favor getting rid of the designated hitter in major league baseball?”

Rowe starts off by writing, “A great baseball player should be able to hit, run, throw, and play his position competently. His “greatness” is therefor a reflection of a collection of skills – not the singular talent of a one-trick-pony.” He goes on, asking proponents of the DH, “The better question – to those who insist on keeping this travesty in place – is why not expand it?”

This is where Rowe’s argument gets funny, yet poignant. Rowe wonders if we have hitters designated to bat for other, less competent hitters, why not expand it completely? And have designated players in other facets of the game? He continues:

Nine excellent fielders, completely unburdened by the pressure of swinging a bat. And nine excellent batters, who never have to wear a glove or stand around waiting for someone to hit a ball in their general direction. All playing for the same team! But why stop there?

Why not allow designated sprinters to stand right next to designated hitters, and run the bases in their place? That would be so much more exciting than a pinch runner. And how about designated throwers? Seems fair, given the problem of excellent fielders with great hand-eye coordination but weak arms. For that matter, should we really expect pitchers to throw fastballs as well as sliders? Screwballs as well as change-ups? I mean, is it really reasonable to expect a Cy Young winner to have a knuckleball as well as a breaking ball?

Why not put four designated pitchers on the mound at the same time, and allow each one of them to focus only on their favorite pitch? Think how much better each team would be, if the field were filled with 30 specialists instead of nine generalists!!

Of course – if that happens, we’ll need to get some designated fans as well. This way, when former fans leave in disgust after the first inning, thousands of surrogates could take their place – kind of like those human seat fillers they use at the Oscars. That way, the designated players won’t feel sad when they look up and see an empty stadium. And the designated mascot will have some people to inspire.

To answer your question, Bart – no, I’m not a fan.

The DH war rages on…

Schumaker gets first win, Marlins top Mets 2-1 behind Chisholm

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI – After Skip Schumaker got his first win as a major league manager, Miami Marlins players put him in a cart, rolled him into the shower area of their clubhouse and doused him with whatever liquids they had on hand to celebrate.

“They thought of some kind of beer shower,” Schumaker said after changing out of his drenched clothes, “protein shake in my ear and whatever else they put in my head.”

Behind five shutout innings from Jesús Luzardo and home runs by Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jorge Soler, the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 2-1 on Friday night.

Schumaker, an 11-year-big league veteran, got his first managing job last October when he was hired to replace Don Mattingly. The 43-year-old spent last season as the St. Louis bench coach.

“I know it goes on my record, but they won that game,” Schumaker said. “Players win games, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Luzardo (1-0) struck out five and allowed two hits while walking four in his first start this season. The 25-year-old left-hander had a 3.32 ERA with a 30% strikeout rate in 100 1/3 innings last season.

“The next step is being consistent,” Luzardo said. “I feel towards the end of last year I was able to do that. Just come out and no matter who we’re facing, no matter the situation, I feel it has to be 100% on the attack.”

Soler, in his first game in right field for the Marlins, made a leaping grab against the wall on Pete Alonso’s sharp fly ball to right center in the second. He followed with a leadoff shot in the bottom half off David Peterson (0-1).

“It was a great play out in the outfield and I took that feeling back to the plate,” said Soler, the designated hitter in the opener. “The pitcher was throwing fastballs, and I had to be aggressive. If he threw one down the middle, I was going to go for it.”

Soler also ran in for a diving catch that robbed Starling Marte for the final out in the eighth. That stranded Daniel Vogelbach, who had pinch hit and doubled off Dylan Floro.

Chisholm doubled the lead with an eighth-inning homer off John Curtiss, who made his Mets debut. That proved to be key when Alonso homered in the ninth off A.J. Puk for his first hit this season.

Puk then struck out Mark Canha and got Jeff McNeil to ground out for the save, ending a game that took 2 hours, 9 minutes.

New York, which had won Thursday’s opener, loaded the bases in the sixth after Brandon Nimmo walked and took third on a single by Marte, who then stole second, Francisco Lindor walked, and reliever JT Chargois retired Alonso on a lineout to Chisholm in center.

Marte had two of New York’s four hits. Peterson gave up eight hits, struck out five and walked one in five innings.

“I like the fact that he only had one walk,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s probably why he was able to survive.”

Garrett Cooper singled twice and had a triple in the first. Miami went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Miami’s Nick Fortes was called for a pitch clock violation when he wasn’t ready in time to face Tommy Hunter with two outs in the sixth. Fortes swung and missed at the next pitch, falling into an 0-2 count, then grounded out.


Chisholm, known for his flashy celebrations, Euro-stepped to home plate for the first time this season after his homer. He had 14 home runs last season.


The Marlins debuted the teal uniforms that they will wear on Fridays this season to commemorate the club’s 30th anniversary.


McNeil made an alert play in the fifth when Cooper’s sharp two-out grounder deflected off Alonso’s glove. McNeil grabbed the ball with a dive on the right field grass, popped up and made a one-hop throw to the plate, where Tomás Nido tagged a sliding Jon Berti, who had tried to score from second.

“That was a sick play,” Alonso said. “I mean, the ball tips off my glove. If that ball squirts away in the outfield, then that’s another run, so for him to have the baseball instincts and pick the ball up and make that play, that’s excellent.”


Miami RHP Edward Cabrera will start Saturday against New York RHP Tylor Megill, who fills the slot that opened when Justin Verlander was placed on the injured list because of a strained upper back muscle.