Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The whole world uses the DH except…

I was never in favor of replacing the pitcher for
a designated hitter. I want to say this ‘right off
the bat’ excuse me Marty. But the fact is that
the whole world that plays baseball uses the
designated hitter today. Except…

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezIf you visit Cuba or Japan, the DH is in effect. Those were the two teams that made it to the finals of the first World Baseball Classic. If you visit Venezuela,Puerto Rico,Dominican Republic,
Panamá,Nicaragua,Mexico,Colombia and most other countries where organized baseball is played, they all have the DH rule in effect

So why is the National League so different ? The National League was the first to integrate when they let Jackie Robinson play with the Brooklyn
Dodgers in 1947. The National League took the lead
with black and hispanic players and even the
first Japanese player, Masanori Murakami played
for a National League team, he pitched for the
San Francisco Giants in 1964 and 1965. But today it seems the National League is behind in time, living in the 50s.

What is so great about watching somebody who
cannot hit at all come to the plate just to pretend
he can put the ball in play ? How many people like to see a 17 inning game that is decided by a home run in the bottom of the 17th ? How many people have that type of patience? Americans detest Soccer because there is very little scoring,we can’t wait more than 10 seconds to download anything in our computer. If bunting is not very common these days, why do we want to see a pitcher hitting .025 trying to put down a bunt ? When guys hitting .325 cannot bunt anyway ! Teams like the Oakland Athletics have a philosophy of not bunting, not even stealing bases…and this comes from the top of the organization. Want to talk about change ?

I was completely converted to the DH rule, after years of the DH my brain has been washed, I like it.
As a matter of fact I love it. Many players have a
job because of it. The two players here in the
Bay Area with the most lifetime home runs love that DH rule. A’S Frank Thomas and Giants Barry Bonds. Many fans love to see those two guys hit the ball 500 feet. They are part of the show, they are the two best players “poster players”for the DH rule. A’S fans should love Thomas, he cannot play on the field because he is a “injury waiting to happen” and Giants fans should love Barry Bonds during the interleague games since he obviously
cannot get to many balls in leftfield. But both have
the most exciting play in baseball, the home run.

I have listened to the argument of those “purist”
who say that baseball was better when the pitchers had to hit and when the managers have to manage,when we all know that the best of managers can maybe win an extra 5 or 6 games a
season with pure strategy and what wins games is execution and talent on the field. There are some
exceptions. In my book the best managers I have seen are guys like Sparky Anderson,Bobby Cox and
Jim Leyland but most managers are orverrated in what they can do. In today’s baseball a manager is more a man with a mission of keeping 25 different eoos and personalities in line that a man that can execute the hit and run and take the pitcher out of a ballgame at the best time for his team.

Baseball has changed with time just like we all change with time, things change. As a kid in Miami going to school I worked partime at a Sunoco Service Station in Soutwest Miami, the gallon of gas in 1962 was .19 cents. I remember because I used to change the sign everyday at the station.
With the price of a gallon of gasoline today, you could have a great lunch in 1962 and still have change left for a tip.

The DH rule is just a change inside a sport that has survived many changes and will survive some more. A beautiful and unique sport that still played today very much the same as it was played in 1945,some teams even play in the same stadiums they played over 50 years ago; Cubs,Red Sox,
Yankees. Baseball still the most traditional of american sports. The equiptment used, salaries,schedules,tickets prices, television,internet that has changed but baseball still remains a game of execution a game where if you failed 2 of three times at bat, but that one time you succed (you get a hit) you have a .333 average. With that you could win a few batting titles.

So maybe one guy can hit .400 in 2006, Ichiro Susuki, but if you go back in history not many did
.400 anyway. A total of 65 years since the last player to do that, Ted Williams with Boston in
1941. Today it would be much more difficult to hit
.400 or over since most hitters have to constantly
adjust to a plethora of pitchers in any given game.

The DH rule is fine, I like it better than the interleague games which sometimes matches teams with absolutely no rivalry, unless you love those Florida Marlins hosting the Kansas City
Royals. If you like that, then you are also “different”
and you, with time, will change also.


1 Anonymous { 06.22.06 at 4:18 pm }

pro hockey,pro basketball and pro football have all made changes designed to make the game faster and fan friendly.
I like the DH but I’m an American League guy.Some of my San Francisco friends will journey to the East Bay to see the A’s play but one friend says”hell will freeze over first” before
he will come to this side of the bay. I guess he likes double
switches and pinch hitters and small ball. No matter which version of baseball that you like, you must understand that each side get 3 outs an inning and 27 outs per 9 inning game. So what if ther’s a DH. It’s baseball,plain and simple.

Jerry Feitelberg

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