Universal designated hitter? Possibility of new MLB rules spark conversation


Universal designated hitter? Possibility of new MLB rules spark conversation

As humans, a lot of us hate change. As baseball fans, well -- some want to embrace change and others (like me) feel like you shouldn't mess with the game of baseball ... much. 

And with all of the possible changes being brought to Major League Baseball, I put my two cents in for rules that should be implemented:

If you're a new follower of mine, I'm a very anti-mid-game marriage proposal type of person.


Yes, I was a bit facetious with my suggestions, but it did spark up a conversation among my followers. And the universal designated hitter scenario isn't something I just dreamt about one day. It's actually something being discussed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

With that said, my tweet brought out a wide variety of responses -- and that’s fine, but I always love hearing how baseball-obsessed nerds like me feel about the game. A lot of fans of National League teams hate the DH rule -- I completely understand that.

But some of the suggestions for "changes" to MLB, well ...

"Ban Sweet Caroline." -- @danscan13

Dan, I have Red Sox fans that follow me on social media that would disagree with you -- they will die on that hill. Although, recently a former Yankees pitcher told me he hated hearing that song when he was playing at Fenway  Park Pahk. So, you at least have some support in this.

"Ban getting up during the inning." -- @CoxRyan89

I mentioned on the Twitter dot com that I am not God and I cannot control when fans sit or stand up -- which is upsetting because no matter how much I hate the wave, fans are allowed to do it.

"But the DH isn't baseball." -- @NorCalStoolie

It's literally a thing that happens in baseball, so it's baseball. 

"Agree with these. Would also add you need to know the fair/foul rule if you're sitting near the baselines. Don't need dumb fans interfering with the ball in play." -- @BlueJays_Giants

First of all, a Blue Jays slash Giants fan? Super cool. Secondly, yes fam -- I see you. 

You know when you get on a plane and the flight attendant is telling you how to put your seatbelt on and you're ignoring him/her, but still paying attention? There should be a quick demonstration on how to be a fan and how not to reach over the concrete, trying to do your best impression of a web-gem play. Don't try to live out your junior varsity playing days, Jim.

"And outlaw talking into your mitt. It becomes a balk. It's as if every conversation is filmed and immediately translated by lip readers." -- @kemoslobe

Have you seen those bad lip reading videos? They are legendary.

And I find it hard to believe you would be able to tell a pitcher he or she was not allowed to speak into their mitt. That's part of the communication process. If Noah Syndergaard can't read what his catcher's beautifully painted yellow fingernails are trying to say, he should be able to have a quick meeting. And maybe the pitcher is just being polite because there wasn't enough time for the teeth brushing that morning.

This just opened the can of worms known as pitcher/catcher mound-meetings which is a completely different issue.

"Reduce beer prices." -- @fvignuli

I have your back on this one. 

"I'm all for salary floor, banning shift, pitch clock and punishing franchises who tank." -- @chappy23us

There's a lot to unpack here ...

I don't think MLB ever has to worry about the salary floor.

Banning the shift is silly -- let the players adjust to wherever they need to go. That's part of the strategy. Imagine having a lefty walk up to the plate and not being able to move. That's a habit that would be almost impossible to break. Plus, how would you measure what is considered moving on the shift? Too much drama, no thank you.

Pitch clock. Meh, I'm impartial, but I get why you would want to execute it. I would have to talk to more pitchers and see how they felt about it -- I worry rushing through a delivery could lead to more injuries.

Punishing franchises who tank. I mean, everyone wants to hate another team, so have at it.

"Can we also ban 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch?" -- @MKania04

Yeah, let's go around telling kids Santa Clause isn't real, too. 


Some of you brought up something that I can get behind. And that's the fact that if the National League adopts the DH, we have a less-likely chance of seeing Bartolo Colon do this:

And you know what, that's something I will have to live with. 

Well, I feel better now -- how about you? 

New-look outfield does it all as Giants win for 11th time in 13 games


New-look outfield does it all as Giants win for 11th time in 13 games

DENVER -- After he finished his daily session with the media on Tuesday afternoon, Giants manager Bruce Bochy sat against the wall in the dugout and spent a silent moment looking out at the grass at Coors Field. 

"It's amazing how big the outfield here is," Bochy finally said.

The manager admitted that sometimes he stands on the top step, looks out at the alleys that go 375 feet and 390, and the center field wall 415 feet away, and marvels at how much space there is to cover. 

In down times, the Giants haven't been able to do it. Those alleys paved the way for one Rockies win after another the previous two seasons as the Giants' aging outfield looked overwhelmed. But this is a different time for Giants outfielders, defensively and at the plate.

Kevin Pillar had his second consecutive brilliant defensive effort in center and the two fellow newcomers flanking him, Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski, paced a lineup that made up for Will Smith's blown save and ran away from the Rockies in the 10th for an 8-4 win, the 11th in 13 games. 

Dickerson had a career-high four hits to raise his average to .342. Yastrzemski had three hits and a big homer in the ninth. But it was Pillar who made the biggest contributions. He has a half-dozen diving catches in this series, repeatedly halting Rockies rallies. Pillar made three tremendous plays in center on Tuesday night alone. 

"It's like nothing I've ever seen," Dickerson said. "Every ball, if there's even a question, he's diving and he's got it. It's like nothing I've ever seen."

Pillar backed Drew Pomeranz's strong effort, and once again the lineup came through. Dickerson and Yastrzemski were in the middle of a two-run rally in the second and Dickerson's single gave the Giants an insurance run in the eighth. Yastrzemski added another with a homer in the ninth, but Smith couldn't hold on. 

The All-Star closer allowed just eight runs in the first half but gave up three in the ninth inning, with Trevor Story and Ian Desmond going deep. But the Giants stormed right back for four in the 10th.

"A lot of character was shown there with what happened in the ninth," Bochy said. "Smitty has been so good but it can happen fast in this ballpark. The boys just kept battling. That's what you've got to do."

[RELATED: The team that should acquire Bumgarner]

Dickerson made it all sound so easy as he went over the rally, which started with walks from Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval and took off with three straight singles from Dickerson, Brandon Crawford and Yastrzemski. 

"We weren't going to shy away from it," Dickerson said. "We still had that game under control. I think you saw it, that's as focused an inning as you can have."

Yankees should acquire Madison Bumgarner from Giants, analyst writes


Yankees should acquire Madison Bumgarner from Giants, analyst writes

Every single playoff contender could use Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in their rotation.

But only one will get their hands on him. Which team needs him the most?

The New York Yankees, according to ESPN's Dave Schoenfield.

The Yankees have four reliable starters right now: Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German and CC Sabathia. But as Schoenfield writes, Paxton and German have no playoff experience and Sabathia isn't the workhorse he used to be.

Here's why Schoenfield believes the Yankees need the 2014 World Series MVP.

"No, it's not 2014 and trading for Bumgarner and expecting a similar level of October dominance isn't realistic. But do you want this guy on the mound in a big game? Of course you do. The Yankees haven't even been to a World Series since winning in 2009. This is the guy most likely to help push them over the top."

[RELATED: Cueto set to take big step]

The Yankees have the best record in the American League and are trying to reach their first World Series since 2009. After watching their arch rival Boston Red Sox win another championship last season, it's time for the Yankees to respond, even if it means trading a few top prospects for a rental player.

Schoenfield also writes that the Giants should trade closer Will Smith to the Atlanta Braves and first baseman Brandon Belt to the Texas Rangers, reuniting him with All-Star designated hitter Hunter Pence.

The Giants will have plenty of options ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. It's a matter of finding the most desperate teams willing to give up good prospects for the players they have.