The Beauty of the NL Captured on Carboard

I’ve heard some talk this year about the DH rule coming over the National League in the near future.  Of course, I’ve also heard some talk that the American League may abolish the DH rule in the near future.

Whether or not the AL decides to let pitchers bat makes no nevermind to me, really.   Part of me hopes they keep it like it is, because I like the disparity of it all.  If the two leagues hardly play each other during the season, then it makes sense that they play under slightly different rules.  If both leagues did everything the same, then you might as well just mix all 30 teams up into one big pot and take the best 8 for the playoffs.  Why would you segregate them if they play the same game the same way?  Seems kind of dumb.  The DH rule makes that less dumb.

So, while I’m cool with the DH in the AL (I still doubt I’ll watch regardless unless they start playing the Cubs more), I sincerely hope that it never comes to the Senior Circuit.  I know many of you share the opinion that the pitcher should be batting for himself.  If he can take the field, then he can swing a bat.  If you start divvying up offense from defense, then you might as well expand the roster and make it like the NFL.  Put all your good gloves on the field and keep the defensive liabilities who can slug like the dickens in the batting order.  I know people like offense, hence the DH “experiment,” but how exciting is it to see your starting pitcher hit an RBI double?  The rarity of it makes it that much better.  Hell, even if the guy puts down a sac bunt, he’s still most likely being more productive than the strikeout machine you have as your DH, because he can at least advance the runners most of the time.

If the DH rule comes to the NL, I don’t know if I could honestly watch the game anymore.  I might just go back to basketball and maybe take up hockey (aka soccer on ice, but fun).  It’s that important.

Not too long ago, one of our readers, “Steve D” I’ll call him, offered up a trade for some pitchers batting cards.  In exchange for some of our 2007 Masterpieces, he’d give me some cards that I’m now competing with Colbey for.  I figured I should snap up that trade quickly before any new rules go into place that would take the bats out of the pitchers’ hands, thus causing a run on the pitchers batting card market as everyone tries to scoop up cards of this quaint, antiquated piece of baseball lore to use as proof that the cave-players of yesteryear really did make everyone swing.

Let’s see how the good ol’ boys do it!

.130 AVG, at your service

Look at how perfectly awkward they are!  Ricky is trying his best to pretend to have a normal batting stance during BP.  Darren is ready for a failed bunt attempt (here’s a hint:  bat barrel towards the ball, not the knob).  And…oh.  Ismael looks like he’s actually about to make good contact.  It turns out his career AVG is… 130 (although when he played for the Cubs, he hit a whopping .286!)

I noticed a trend with these cards.  It appears that certain pitchers are regularly photographed with lumber.

he wasn't in RBI baseball for nothin'

Bret’s side-arm action is the perfect motion for bat swingin’, right?

Spring Training adventures

One of these is ’97 and one is ’98.  How much you want to bet they were actually taken on the same day?

Guard that record collection, Petey!

Look at how happy he is with that bat!  You don’t want to take that away from him, do you?

Evidently Marks like to hit/pitch

Someone tell me what Thompson is doing.  I think he’s trying to steal first base.

One more quick one, then I’ll show you the big prize of the package. don't eat the bat! Silly Benes.

Only the second card back to go into the collection.

Can you tell what makes these so special?

Yeah, that’s right.  Four American League pitchers batting!  If I wanted to take the time, I imagine it would be very easy to find what games these were from.  But, I’m lazy.

See, those guys don’t look like they’re any more/less awkward than their NL counterparts.  It’s not such a bad thing after all.

If any of you out there get an email from this guy looking to swap, I can highly recommend him.  Thank you very much Steve D.  I’m sure we’ll trade again soon (since we already have something in the preliminary stages).

2 comments to The Beauty of the NL Captured on Carboard

  • I think if I absolutely had to do something, I’d make it optional in both leagues, with the default set for DH in the American League and no DH in the National League. It would add a layer of strategy. Do you want a Sabathia or Micah Owings or Big Z hitting and have a distinct advantage over the opposing pitcher hitting? Do you want keep Thome or Vlad or Luke Scott or Hideki Matsui or Big Papi on the bench or force them to play the field because your DH isn’t as good, or just to keep them out of one game? Well, under my option idea, once a series, the home team can choose to have a DH in the NL, or not have it in the AL.

    But if it was ever fully taken away from the AL, I’d stop watching the AL. And if it was ever fully implemented in the NL, I’d probably stop watching everyone but the Cubbies in the NL. So to all the wannabe commissioners on the card blogs to those with an actual legitimate shot at succeeding Bud Selig, I say this: BOTH DH AND NO DH ARE EXCITING IN THEIR OWN WAY AND BOTH HAVE THEIR PLACE IN THE GAME. So either leave it as it is or make it fully optional across the board, because I like ’em both. Anyone fully taking either away doesn’t want me watching something I’ve spent no less than 22 of my 25 years as a huge fan of very bad. I’m just as invested in this game as anyone else, so if someone wants to make sweeping changes that will push me away from the game I love, we gonna have a problem.

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