Sooner or later, there will probably be a universal DH in Major League Baseball. But luckily for National League enthusiasts, it won’t happen for a few more years.
If you’re a fan of a National League team, or just a baseball purist who is sick and tired of the designated hitter, you don’t have to worry. Major League Baseball won’t be adopting a universal DH rule.
At least, not any time soon.
Until the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season, the current DH rules for MLB — American League teams use it, National League teams don’t — will remain in place. This was confirmed at the recent owners’ meeting in Orlando, Florida, according to USA Today.
So National League supporters and baseball purists have until at least 2022 to enjoy watching pitchers step into the batter’s box and take some hacks. After that, however, those fans might have to adapt to some changes.
It has long been speculated that Major League Baseball will eventually bring the designated hitter to both leagues, which many fans would like to see happen. After all, it makes sense that both the American League and National League should be on even playing fields. It would certainly make things less complicated during the World Series, or during interleague play in the regular season.
But there also the old school baseball fans who would prefer the rules either stay the way they are, or the DH get abolished in both leagues. When the DH rule is not in play and pitchers are required to bat, it makes for a much more strategic style of play that includes sacrifice bunting and a more selective use of the bullpen.
Basically, the no-DH style is the way baseball has been played for a long time, and the baseball purists are adamantly against this kind of change.
For at least three more seasons, they can continue to watch the same old school baseball they’ve been watching their entire lives. But when the current CBA ends after 2021, all signs are pointing to the probability that there will be a designated hitter in both leagues.
If you’re a National League enthusiast, you should probably start mentally preparing for a drastic change in your baseball fandom.