OK, after scouring YouTube, this was the only clip I could find of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man character, and it’s cleverly superimposed over CNN’s Jack Cafferty, but I wanted to use it to make a point (so just ignore Jack and focus on Dana).
Anyway, the point is that this character is what I’m reminded of whenever I hear National League fans trashing the designated hitter and trying to make a case for why their league has the “purer game” because the pitcher bats, and they make this claim even as the N.L. continues to go down in flames every October because not having the DH puts them at such a huge disadvantage in the World Series (refer back to my David Ortiz vs. Ryan Spilborghs point from a couple of posts ago). If the Red Sox win tonight, it will be the third time in four years that the A.L. champ has swept the N.L. champ. If the N.L. ever does wise up and adopt the DH, I can envision some old baseball purist like Carvey’s character, 20 years down the road, lamenting about how much better the N.L. was back when the pitcher would bat. “We used to get humiliated in every World Series, and that’s the way it was, and weeee LIKED it.” Hey, I’m a lifelong N.L. fan and a lifelong baseball purist. But there is nothing pure about one league routinely getting steamrolled every year. The DH is an idea whose time has come. For one league, it was an idea whose time came 35 years ago.