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Tigers place Victor Martinez on 10-day disabled list with irregular heartbeat

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The Tigers placed designated hitter Victor Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with an irregular heartbeat, the team announced Sunday. Per a report from manager Brad Ausmus, Martinez was hospitalized on Saturday with a rapid heartbeat and is expected to be released shortly.

The 38-year-old was first diagnosed with the condition back in June, when he experienced dizziness, sweating and chills following a game against the Rays. He was briefly hospitalized and was able to return to game action after just 12 days. There’s no word yet on how long he’ll be sidelined this time around, though MLB.com’s Jason Beck notes that the team won’t rush the veteran designated hitter back to the field until they’ve pinpointed the cause of the episodes.

Martinez is in his sixth campaign with the Tigers, and entered Sunday batting .255/.324/.372 with 10 home runs and a .697 OPS in 435 PA. He went 0-for-4 with a walk against the White Sox on Saturday.

In a corresponding move, rookie outfielder JaCoby Jones was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Jones appeared in 27 games for the Tigers earlier this season and slashed a meager .167/.265/.267 with three extra-base hits in 68 PA.

Tony Clark: among players, the universal DH “is gaining momentum”

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.