I always knew that I preferred the DH. But, I always assumed it was simply wanting to see the best talent I could at all times. I have no desire to watch someone strike out three times a game.
Then, during the Sox game today, it hit me.
I don’t like the fluke nature of it.
It’s the same complaint I have with the NHL and soccer. I don’t like games being able to be decided by luck. I hate that in hockey a designed play is “fire the puck towards the net and it might bounce off somebody and go in. So, make sure lots of people are in front of the net when you shoot.” That a team can win a playoff game 1-0 because one of their pucks bounces off a defenders leg drives me nuts. Same with soccer. You can tell me that a corner kick is a finely tuned play set up and practiced. You’ll never convince me that they’re not just lofting it towards a group of people, hoping it bounces off their guy’s head instead of the other team. Come to think of it, it’s the same reason I don’t like Eli Manning or Joe Flacco. If your main play is toss a pass into double coverage and hope my guy comes down with it, or draws a flag, I can’t stomach watching it.
Which brings me to pitchers hitting. In today’s came, the Reds pitcher came up with two out and two on in the second inning. By all probability, the Sox were out of the inning. Pitchers can’t hit. In fact, there’s a chance that the rest of the inning was planned around getting the pitcher out. It should have been. They can’t hit. Except that sometimes they do. In fact, later in the game, the Reds pitcher swung hard in case he hit it, and hit it out. Just by a fluke. If he had done that in the second inning instead of later, that would have been three runs. Because he closed his eyes and swung. Is that any way to win a ballgame? Is that any way to lose one?
Now, I know that having a DH doesn’t mean that you have competent hitters at all nine sport. Heck, I think Joe Kelly has more hits than Jackie Bradley Jr since his trade. I even know that some manner of luck goes into every hit. Line drives can be caught, and pop ups can be Jetered into doubles. But, even Bradly isn’t planned around as if he’s an automatic out. Sure, you might walk a guy in front of him because you’d rather face Bradley. But, you’re not assuming an out. It’s not a fluke if he gets a hit. If you walk a guy to get to the pitcher, and he gets a hit? That’s luck.
And I find that really annoying.