Originally Posted by jojo
Lets stop acting like we've hit our heads on something hard and lets back away from insane hyperbole for a second....
This is the baseball equivalent of a clown car: .129/.162/.165, wOBA=.149 (pitcher offense last season). And it's not lact like there are tomes of great wisdom that have been created to allow managers to compensate for having such a black hole in their lineups. What's more, given the impact the DH has had on the AL style and the resulting increase in attendance, it's pretty hard to argue that the DH has been a blight on baseball-when it's been implemented, fans have reacted positively. And frankly, it's begging the question to A) argue NL fans are smarter or more prone to be students of the game than AL fans, and B) that the majority of fans at the park are even actually watching the game at any given point in the game....
And lets state another obvious point...for as beautiful as watching Mike Leake bat like a shortstop is, you still then have to watch him pitch like a batting practice pitcher (dinger, dinger, dinger)....
That first line seems rude and doesn't read like much of a conversation-starter. I'm not sure why that was included in your reply, given that the entire discussion here is being brought about in hypotheticals and that both sides are using hyperbole in this discussion, yourself included.
Is there a compelling argument to be made that the DH is a necessary evil in baseball at all? I understand that pitchers are poor at the plate, but there are 15 teams that have to suffer through the aforementioned .149 wOBA, so it doesn't seem like something that necessarily needs to be addressed unless the fear is that it will cause the NL to fall behind the AL and, in the future, lead to a division of MLB into two leagues. As it currently stands, a disadvantage to the entire league is an advantage to none, and it allows for a different analysis of positional capability to be utilized.
Baseball is a really unique sport in the fact that a team in 2013 contains such a wide number of specialists. The closest sport to baseball, cricket, has rules in place that require a number of fielders (5 in a game with 20 overs, with each bowling four overs) to bowl and bowlers to bat, which mitigates the number of true specialists that exist on a team (e.g. there are seldom elite pitchers who are feeble at the stumps, and there are seldom elite hitters who are feeble in the field). The understanding that a player brings a different value because they must be responsible not only for holding the other team's run scoring to a minimum but also try and score runs for their own team means that pitcher value is really the only positional value that goes two directions. Is a pitcher who has an xFIP of 4.10 and a wOBA of .175 better or worse than a pitcher who has an xFIP of 4.50 and a wOBA of .215? Teams can consider this and design a roster accordingly given the individual players that they have.
I remember a lot of valuable discussion about Micah Owings and the value that he would have as a fifth starter back in 2009 because of the value he had as a batter that mitigated his shortcomings as a pitcher.
Furthermore, acting like every pitcher is a poor hitter is a little bit misleading. Yovani Gallardo, Carlos Zambrano, CC Sabathia, Mike Leake, Travis Wood, (the ghost of) Micah Owings, (the ghost of) Mike Hampton, and even Bronson Arroyo or Johnny Cueto (to an extent) are reasonably good batters. It provides for another line of thought in terms of roster creation and, even if pitchers never become better than their .149 wOBA, the hit provided by a pitcher that extends a rally is always a fun rarity to see, at least to me.