Blog Entry

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:12 pm
 
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Let the debate begin anew over whether it's time for the National League to adopt the designated hitter.

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett is out two to three months with a broken orbital bone suffered while bunting in the batting cage. And while he waits for the healing to begin, plenty of folks are chiming in, using him as Exhibit A for those who think it's time pitchers stopped batting altogether.

That's all well and good. But don't tell that to Reds pitcher Homer Bailey. The Cincinnati right-hander batted .282 with a .300 on-base percentage in 45 plate appearances last summer. He knocked home two runners.

"I think pitchers should hit in both leagues," Bailey says.

As for Burnett's injury ... hogwash, says Bailey.

"You have position players that foul balls off their feet and get hurt," Bailey says. "It's just a freak deal. You could have a position player do the same thing.

"Typically, pitchers are better bunters."

He's right. As ever, there remains no reason why pitchers should be such non-athletes that they're hopeless cases at the plate. Pitchers who can handle a bat, even to get a bunt down, help themselves. That's an advantage. Why take that advantage away?

"If it's that much of a problem," Bailey said of Burnett and the idea of pitchers injuring themselves batting, "then how come position players get hurt fouling balls off of their legs? They suffer torn hamstrings running to first, or torn knees.

"Look at what happened to Ryan Howard last year."

Howard this spring continues rehabbing the Achilles he tore during the last play of the Phillies' NLCS against St. Louis.

Sunblock Day? Nah. Jackets needed Friday morning as the temperature continues to struggle to get past 60 and a stiff wind blows.

Likes: Copies of USA Today's daily crossword puzzle and Sudoku puzzle stacked on a table in the middle of the Cincinnati clubhouse and several Reds stopping by to pick one up to work it. Those Reds, they're thinkers. ... Eric Davis in Reds camp, as usual, as an alumni coach. He loves everything about it, but don't tell him that the players keep him young. "I look younger than most of these guys in here," Davis says, and he's right. ... The jerk salmon at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant in Glendale. Surprisingly tasty. ... Heard a tune by The Hollies in a restaurant the other day, which reminded me of how unappreciated The Hollies are today. So much good stuff -- Bus Stop, Carrie Anne, Just One Look, (Long Cool Woman) In a Black Dress, On a Carousel, Under My Umbrella, The Air That I Breathe. They're celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, too, just like the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. ... The burgers at Five Guys. ... Learning that the Monkees actually have a direct link to David Bowie. Turns out, the latter's real name was Davy Jones. Yep, same as the Monkees' legend who passed away this week. So as an aspiring musician in the 1960s, knowing he couldn't be known as Davy Jones, he became David Bowie.

Dislikes: The photo cameras at red lights and, especially, the ones designed to catch speeders. They had a bunch of those on the freeways in Arizona a couple of years ago, but they're gone now. Someone told me one of the problems was the gun-toters here periodically would shoot the cameras on the freeways to put them out of operation. No idea whether that's true. But I sure like to think it is.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"If you don't eat your meat
"You can't have any pudding
"How can you have any pudding
"If you don't eat your meat?"

-- Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Comments

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:34 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

Small ball sucks in the first thru say 6th inning. There is no reason to give away outs to move a guy over a base early on in a game.
No reason?  Maybe to score a run?  Regardless of the score, what's the difference between a run in the first inning and a run in the 9th inning?  Answer: absolutely nothing.  


You're saying, if it's the first 6 innings, why go for just one run?  BC you may not have that chance in innings 7-9. 



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:21 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

This whole "more strategy" argument that some of these anti-DH posters are bringing forth is totally baffling.  How much strategy is really involved in replacing a pitcher in the latter half of the game for one at bat from a bench player.  More often than not it is an anti-climatic non-factor.  I would much rather have a powerful DH batting 4-5 times a game in the middle of the order than a bench player coming to bat in the 9th position sometime late in the game.
It's not baffling.  There's strategy in when to pull the pitcher.  In the AL, you just pull him and put a different one in, and you just have to worry about having enough pitchers to complete the game.  Done and done.


The NL, on the other hand, has to weigh decisions on whether they should pull the pitcher, in favor of a position player, but eventually you'll run out of hitters, and teams can counteract your left handed pinch hitter with a left handed reliever, which is more startegy, b/c maybe the next couple hitters are righties.  If you don't watch the NL, then you probably don't have a grasp on what you're talking about here.  If you find it baffling, then you don't understand how much more strategy is actually involved. 


This supposedly "strategic" move simply places the incoming pitcher in a more favorable spot in the batting order than was occupied by the outgoing pitcher under the correct assumption that pitchers suck at hitting, and as result effectively accomplishes what the DH rule does in the AL by placing the pitcher in the batting order of a position player who has recently been substituted so as to avoid the pitcher from coming to bat.
 By saying this essentiallly is the DH clearly proves that you don't understand strategy in baseball.  Which doesn't surprise me since you're probably an AL fan.  Managing your bench is actually a thing in baseball... at least in the NL.  In the AL you only have reserves for injuries and an occassional off day.  In the NL your bench is essential.


On the other hand, these anit-DHer's have no problem with pitchers coming to bat anywhere from 3-4 times a game and becoming nothing more than automatic outs, with the end result being nothing other than simply boosting the opposing pitcher's strikeout total. 
It's not an automatic out.  That's where small ball comes in.  If there's a guy on 1st with one out, you try to move the runner.  That's what baseball is.  That's the game... advancing runners.  If you're against that, or don't get that, or think it's only who hits the most HR's and doubles, then you aren't a fan of baseball.  You're a fan of roids and adding more teams so that rotations are even further diluted.  Since that's what it seems like you're saying, you're not "anti-pitchers hitting", you're anti-baseball and just want it to become a different animal, which is fine, but it's not a reasonable argument.

Not to mention, baseball is slow enough without having to put up with the snooze-fest that is the 7-8-9 batting sequence in an NL team's batting order.  
This just tells us that you're really not a baseball fan.
 



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 7:15 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

I grew up before the DH  the games were just as good as in the DH Era.There were quite a few pitchers who could hit 200+and the aspect of pitcers hitting made the game  intesting in it's own way.Many hit homers-Jim Rooker comes to mind)
When the AL brought us the DH I thought it was great.As a recovering Sox fan with a great hitting team & poor SP's, why wouldn't we want a hitter at the plate? Because it's wrong & here's a few reasons why:

If the  MLB & AL associates  insists on having the DH it should also have it in the National League.Major League Baseball is ,or should be 1 sport.To have different rules in the same sport is-ridiculous and in the long run hurts MLB like it did yesterday when A.J.Burnett fouled a ball off his grill, breaking an orbital bone.Now the Ace of the Pirates could miss a couple months & who knows how it will effect ahis vision.All for a badly failed bunt in a meaningless game.



Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 3:13 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

The DH has a lot of plusses. If you are entrenched in oldtime baseball, you like the pitcher, double switches, should I take him out for a pinch-hitter, etc.  One thing for sure, going to 15 team leagues is going to increase interleague play. American league teams with pure DH's should have a big advantage at home. But on the road, the question will arise ho much should I pay a DH if that is all he is. The NL teams know that if they go to a DH format also, it will increase their payrolls about 6-10 Million $$$ a year. The players in one way should be clammoring for that change. But then again, if you are a utility player on an NL team, you could be out of a job.



Since: Jun 9, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:06 pm
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

"DH is so stupid it will pretty much eliminate the small ball game and strategy involved with a pitcher at the plate" We could only hope that this will come true. Small ball sucks in the first thru say 6th inning. There is no reason to give away outs to move a guy over a base early on in a game. If a player is in the lineup he should be able to hit a baseball on a regular basis. Pitchers cannot and will not be able to do this on a regular basis because of lack of reps and skill. I love the DH and i love the 3 run bomb. Screw small ball. Strategy....I spit on you. 



Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:19 pm
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

This whole "more strategy" argument that some of these anti-DH posters are bringing forth is totally baffling.  How much strategy is really involved in replacing a pitcher in the latter half of the game for one at bat from a bench player.  More often than not it is an anti-climatic non-factor.  I would much rather have a powerful DH batting 4-5 times a game in the middle of the order than a bench player coming to bat in the 9th position sometime late in the game.

Another baffling and supposedly "strategic" move quoted by these anit-DH posters is the double switch.  This supposedly "strategic" move simply places the incoming pitcher in a more favorable spot in the batting order than was occupied by the outgoing pitcher under the correct assumption that pitchers suck at hitting, and as result effectively accomplishes what the DH rule does in the AL by placing the pitcher in the batting order of a position player who has recently been substituted so as to avoid the pitcher from coming to bat.  The DH simply accomplishes this "strategic" move without having the monkey in the dugout make the obvious call late in the game.  This all wouldn't be so bad if it weren't because all of the players involved in this useless exercise are usually non-factor type utility players that no one cares about anyway.

On the other hand, these anit-DHer's have no problem with pitchers coming to bat anywhere from 3-4 times a game and becoming nothing more than automatic outs, with the end result being nothing other than simply boosting the opposing pitcher's strikeout total.  Not to mention, baseball is slow enough without having to put up with the snooze-fest that is the 7-8-9 batting sequence in an NL team's batting order. 

Look, i could go on and on.  Letting the pitcher hit in the bigs is an antiquated concept that needs to be put to rest if baseball is serious about increasing its fan base and viewership going into he future.  Knobbler is wrong about one thing in this article.  And that is his perception that purists and traditionalist are good for the game of baseball.  All that these so called "purists and traditionalists" do nothing for the evolution of baseball going into the future and no doubt hurt baseball more than help it.



Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:02 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

This question is not as simple as it seems.  Pithers (SPs) only play once every five days.  How much time do you alot for them in the cages?  Against live pitching?  A power hitting first baseman can't run down fly balls in center field, or lay down a bunt consistently.  Does that make him a less of a complete player?  What about the "slick-fielding" shortstop (or great defensive catcher) that hits 0.240.  I think making the statement that pitchers are not complete players is oversimplifying the problem.  I think each player adds his skills to the team as a whole.  So what if pitchers (in general) can't hit.  Position players can't place a 95 MPH fastball on a dime either.




Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:48 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

<<<<<<<<...

....." If a player is a defensive liability but can knock the cover off the ball.....etc.>>>>>&a
mp;g
t;>>>>


MikeD5405,


You answered your own question. He shouldn't make a living at it because he's not a complete player.  
You do realize the MLB is FILLED with players who are nothing more than specialists.  If you want to ban the DH, why not ban relief pitcher's?  Why not ban pitchers who only pitch to left handed hitters?  Why not ban pinch runners?  Why not ban late game defensive replacements?  Why not ban teams from platooning players at different positions when one player hits a right handed pitcher well and the other hits left handed pitching well?   None of these examples are "complete players", and as you just stated, you shouldn't be allowed to make a living if you aren't a complete player.

In reality -- very few teams in the AL have a full time DH.  The DH spot is used more to give a player a rest without taking his bat out of the lineup.  I can tell you this -- If I paid 100 bux to go watch a Tigers game and Detroit decided to sit Cabrera and instead I had to watch a pitcher go up to the plate and strikeout or bunt -- I wouldn't be too happy.

Pitchers are not drafted to HIT A BASEBALL.  Pitchers aren't paid millions to HIT A BASEBALL.  Pitchers aren't paid millions to RUN THE BASES.  If i wanted to pay to watch someone make a fool of themselves at the plate -- I'd go watch a local little league game. 

 



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:21 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

i would agree, the dh is an over paid player taking up a roster spot. i like watching when my twins play in the national league.  our pitchers are some of the best hitters in the american league. i like watching small ball, and think homeruns are over rated. they are for glamour. real baseball is played between the lines.  manufacturing runs is more fun to watch than a team hitting homeruns and having a losing record. 



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:31 am
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

Mr Miller...have the DH in the NL b/c AJ the idiot got injured practicing bunting??? Really?!!!  If you haven`t noticed the lame DH is on it`s way out.  Aging players who can`t play a defensive position are being phased out-Vlad, Matsui, Damon.  Legend of all DH`s Big Papi Ortiz was on his way until he "rediscovered" his stroke last year. With interleague play, expanded playoffs the DH is due to be removed.  The players union will fight for it, but the 25 man roster doesn`t let you carry a Jim Thome at age 40.  Besides don`t worry about AJ, he`s got time to relax, mull over new tatoos & count his $.   


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