To DH or not to DH

Houston is moving. No, not the city, the baseball team.

In 2013, the Astros will be competing in the American League, making an odd number of teams (15) in each league. That means there will be Interleague play during the entire season.

And along with Interleague play comes the dreaded Designated Hitter rule, used in all AL games since 1973. But National League teams have only had a taste of the DH in World Series (since 1976) and Interleague games (since 1997).

With tomorrow's All-Star Game set for an AL Park (Kansas City), we thought it would be a good time to see how our readers feel about the DH and its future. In our poll (to the right), we give you four options from which to choose: DH for all ... no DH for anybody ... DH just in AL Parks ... and DH just in NL Parks for interleague play (the home team already has an advantage by being the home team, this throws the visiting team a bone.)

Poll

How would you like to see the Designated Hitter used in Major League Baseball?

While the BoopStats staff (of one) has always hated the DH, we've grown to hate even more the fact that there are two different sets of rules in one sport. Imagine if the NHL put the red line back in for just the Eastern Conference or holding penalties were five yards in the NFC and 10 yards in the AFC. Ridiculous.

So, since it seems the longer shot that the AL will drop the DH, we are now advocating that the NL adopt the DH as soon as possible. That might not help the Phillies, who until Jim Thome's last blaze of glory with the club last month, has gotten inconsistent (and often awful) productions out of their DHs (see below).

We'd like to see what you think, but before you vote, remember this tidbit:

If the DH were in effect 100 years ago, Babe Ruth would have gone down in history as one of the greatest pitchers of all time, rather than its greatest hitter and the man who saved baseball following the Black Sox scandal. Something to think about  ... 

PHILLIES DH PERFORMANCE
Year         Avg.     OBA      Slg.    HR    RBI
1997 .184 .205 .289 1 2
1998 .303 .361 .364 0 3
1999 .359 .419 .487 1 6
2000 .125 .263 .125 0 1
2001 .219 .324 .281 0 0
2002 .258 .425 .548 2 4
2003 .214 .267 .429 2 3
2004 .324 .390 .919 7 12
2005 .281 .425 .313 0 1
2006 .270 .341 .541 3 6
2007 .217 .280 .478 1 5
2008 .083 .120 .083 0 0
2009 .270 .325 .432 1 6
2010 .235 .308 .382 1 5
2011 .136 .240 .136 0 1
2012 .324 .405 .703 4 14

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