As someone who watches both AL and NL teams with regularity, I’m no stranger to seeing games with the DH. But with that said, one of the things that has always set the National League apart is the beautiful and unique phenomenon that is pitchers hitting.
Whether it’s a Max Scherzer double, a Clayton Kershaw home run, or young Daniel Norris hitting his first career home run at Wrigley (for the Tigers, oops), there’s something so exciting about a pitcher hitting when it goes right.
But in the new shortened season, and likely the 2021 season (and probably forever after, if we’re being real), the designated hitter looks like it will be universal to both leagues.
Some of our featured stories this week take a look at the fun history of pitchers hitting.
- Jayson Stark has his ode to the best and worst moments of pitchers hitting. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The incomparable Grant Brisbee looks at the history of pitchers hitting walkoff home runs. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- With pitchers hitting making an exit, could sacrifice bunts be next? Mike Petriello looks at why they may disappear.
- In a fairly meta piece, Andy McCullough looks back at the backlash towards a previous piece that included “Centerfield” by John Fogerty. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Ben Clemens takes a hypothetical look at how the new extra innings base runner rule might look.
- For Baseball Prospectus, Ginny Searle looks at how ethical it is to play baseball in 2020. (Baseball Prospectus subscription required.)
- Similarly for a non-baseball site, Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley also looks at the safety and ethics of sports this season.
- For a little lighter look, Nick Groke ranks the best and worst mascots in MLB. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- At SI.com Nick Selbe has the 60-man rosters for all MLB teams.
- Ben Carsley hunts for the best sponsor for each team. (Baseball Prospectus subscription required.)
- Ever since the thrilling conclusion to the 2019 World Series, it has all been downhill for baseball, writes Jesse Dougherty.
- Entropy could be the real winner of the 2020 season, according to Jay Jaffe.
- Robert Arthur looks into a documentary that focuses on the nightmarish build of the new Rangers stadium. (Baseball Prospectus subscription required.)
- Baseball has seen its share of wild uniforms (the fauxback Rays unis on this list are high on my personal fave list), and Michael Clair looks at the wildest MLB uniforms through history.
- Is a labor strike after the 2021 season inevitable? Craig Edwards doesn’t think so.
- No one has ever looked this cool on a baseball card.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.