Big 30 baseball coaches weigh in on the DH debate | Olean


It reignited one of baseball’s oldest debates.

Earlier this week, after a frustrating multi-month back-and-forth, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association were finally (reluctantly) able to come to an agreement on an abridged 2020 season.

In this campaign – the shortest since 1878 – teams will play a 60-game schedule and a runner will be placed second to start extra innings in an effort to avoid long-end games. MLB will also be instituting a Universal Designated Hitter, meaning the National League will have a full-time DH for the first time, a rule that will continue into 2021 and likely become permanent after the 2022 collective agreement.

With the return of DH to the forefront of the discussion, the question remains: are you for or against the all-time hitter?

At this point, the overwhelming majority of the general public seems to be in favor of making universal DH a game at Major League level. Long in place in the American League, the argument is that another real hitter leads to more runs and a more exciting baseball mark, especially in an era when fewer and fewer NL pitchers are able to. do something other than bunting.

There are also, of course, the baseball purists, who believe that every position should be batting and that the extra strategy needed in the NL makes the game better. For them, this is the way baseball was meant to be played. .

But where are the coaches of high schools in the region?

The TH reached out to as many of last season’s 24 Big 30 coaches as possible on Friday to ask them about this. We contacted 17 people, all of whom provided an interesting and thoughtful perspective on the DH debate.

Reflecting the general opinion, nine – a notable majority – of these coaches were in favor of universal DH, some categorically. Three were divided, but finally understood why the sport would move towards this decision. Only five were firmly against an NL designated hitter, mostly citing that “old school” mentality.

Here is a sample of what they had to say:

Dustin Allen, Bolivar-Richburg, versus

“I like to see the pitcher in there, give him a chance. When you see the pitcher hitting a home run, having a big shot, I think that adds to the game, so I like not having a DH, I like the way the National League does it.

“Part of me wishes it was for anyone in the lineup; why does it always have to be for the pitcher? Maybe someone who had a hard time but want to keep his glove – DH to him. I know pitchers aren’t strong hitters most of the time, but I think it should almost be like a high school thing where you can DH for anyone in your roster.

Steve Yatzkanic, Cuba-Rushford, in favor

“First of all, I don’t like that the two leagues are different. To me they should be the same, it never made sense. It would be as if half of the NBA had a 3 point line in one place and the other half of the NBA did not. Either way, my first thing is everything should be the same, so when you get into the playoffs, the playing field is level.

“If you’re old school and I’m old school… but then again I love DH because let’s face it, pitchers can’t hit, and I know that’s another strategy. of the game but we all know high school coaches if we could get the worst hitter out there and the DH we will.

“I’m all for DH and I’m happy they are doing it because it level the playing field and everyone is on the same page when they come into the playoffs.

Jame Thomas, Otto-Eldred, versus

“I think pitchers should have to beat their position. I think the DH post shouldn’t be a post.

Reed Mitrowski, Franklinville, in favor

“I hope they go with it and stick with it for the long haul… (you’ll see) more attacking, ideally more races. Not that low scoring games can’t be exciting, but most of the games I’ve been to are fun, there are big hits, extra-basic hits, and homers, so that’s my thing.

“You’re going to a few MLB games this summer, I’d rather see more attacks than a pitcher who might not be able to hit and that’s kind of an automatic takedown. It would be a bit lost. Not that none of them can hit, but for the most part it’s a sacrificial sacrifice or automatic withdrawal.

Les DeGolier, Olean, split

“I’m an NL guy, I’m a Braves fan, so I’m a big throwing fan. I grew up watching Greg Maddux, he’s my all time favorite, so I appreciate those pitchers who can do the little things to help their team – bunt, play the little ball game.

“I get the big offense, getting more attention and having the biggest scores and things like that. I don’t lean one way or the other, I appreciate both sides. Personally, I like the NL style where the pitcher is forced to be part of the offense, but you have to appreciate the DH and how he plays in the strategy and calls for more marked play. I guess I’m caught in the middle.

Andy Carlson, Bradford, versus

“I like the original intent of the game, it makes it harder for pitchers, and I’m a pitcher, so I’m against using DH. When you think about it, one of the main things they talked about is the length of the game; adding a DH to each league is going to make the game harder because – luckily or unfortunately – pitching to a pitcher is a lot easier than pitching to a guy who is going to hit 30 home runs. So it’s going to lengthen the game rather than shorten it.

Nate Zitnik, Port Allegany, in favor

“You have to think about this era of specialization now, nobody wants to see pitchers come up and beat the bat. As a baseball purist you might look at this comment and say, ‘this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about’, but it involves another kid at the high school level, and at the MLB level, I like it because that you I have to get creative as a manager, but I think you can be just as creative, if not more creative with your DH.

“I always felt like it was something (where) they were late. Baseball is one of those purist sports where they don’t necessarily want to change things, but sometimes change is good too.

Kevin Scott, Genesee Valley, in favor

“I’m a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds, and for a really long time, I’ve always said, I think the National League should join the American League and be at all levels. Personally, I think DH should stay in baseball even after all of this summer. I think this is a great idea; I don’t know what took them so long …

“(People) want to see the big bats, and they want to see the hitters. I think of a lot of (those people against) you just have the old ones who are stuck with what it was and are afraid of change and so on. With all other professional sports you play by the same rules.

Mike Matz, Portville, in favor

“As a pitcher who couldn’t hit, there’s no reason to have a pitched pitcher in MLB. My dad will probably be irritated when he sees this because he’s a traditionalist, but not at all. Look, there’s the competitive side of it, you look at it and you think a pitcher isn’t going to contribute anything to the game when he hits. Then I say, okay, we want the fans to come to the games, and the kids in particular.

“Kids, they don’t want to see a pitcher hit; they want to see a home run; they want to see a double, big offensive numbers. They don’t want to see Bartolo Colon go up there and (try to swing.)

“I would love to see a statistic on how many times a pitcher comes up there with the sole intention of drizzling. It’s their job, it’s to run over a guy. I love baseball strategy, but fans don’t come to watch a pitcher drop a bunt on the third baseline.


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