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Rob Manfred says DH in the National League “is a continuing source of conversation”

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Seattle Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners hits a home run off of Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fourth inning during the game at Safeco Field on June 11, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

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Missed this yesterday, but Rob Manfred, fresh off the quarterly owners meetings, said that the DH in the National League, while not imminent or agreed upon or anything, is moving closer to reality. From WFAN:

Following the quarterly owners’ meeting Thursday, Manfred indicated that progress has been made on an issue that has been hotly debated for decades.

“I think that is a continuing source of conversation among the ownership group, and I think that the dialogue actually probably moved a little bit,” Manfred said.

I probably don’t need to rehash my feelings on the matter for the eleventy-billioninth time. Short version: (a) as an NL-leaning partisan I like pitchers batting subjectively, for reasons that are hard to explain but which are wrapped up in emotion and custom and habit and all of that; but (b) it makes no logical sense for pitchers to bat because they can’t do it well, Major League clubs have no desire for them to even pretend to do it well and because having two sets of rules for the leagues is unfair and works to the disadvantage of AL teams when playing in NL parks.

The opinions aside -- and I know you have yours and will fill the comments with them -- the discussion of an NL DH could serve as a point in labor negotiations going forward, given that position players and DHs tend to make more money than the last arm on a pitching staff, and thus the players may very well want 15 more DH jobs. Not saying that cuts too deeply, especially given that there are very few full-time DHs anymore -- only four guys have qualified for the batting title at DH in the AL this year -- but it’s not nothing. I can imagine Major League Baseball offering a universal DH to the players in the next CBA in exchange for something else.

Either way, I feel like we’ll have it within the next ten years or so.

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