Phooey. Rhymes with Bowie.

Former commissioner of baseball Bowie Kuhn passed away yesterday, at the age of 80. I\’ll be honest, I don\’t really remember the man. After all, his tenure ended in 1984, when I was the ripe old age of nine, and who besides Wade A pays attention to such things at a young age? I do remember his successors: Peter Ueberroth, Bart Giamatti (yes, father of a noted wine lover), and Fay Vincent, but that is neither here nor there.

Buster Olney wrote up a nice little obit at the bottom of his blog today, and included this quote:

\”I\’m the guy who\’s responsible for the DH. I thought I\’d get the National League to vote for it on an experimental basis. Well, I got the National League to vote for it in the American League. Some people think it\’s perfectly terrible, that they have one rule in the American and one in the National, but that doesn\’t bother me. It gives you wonderful contrast. You can argue and debate it.\”

It\’s this little gem that I\’d like to discuss today.

I\’ve come around a bit. I used to not like the DH. I didn\’t even really know why, but it\’ll be convenient to blame TBS. I watched a lot of Braves baseball, and as such got used to the NL style. Plus those little pitchers looked so cute when they got on base and the bench coach would run out with a nice wind breaker for them to wear. I\’ve noticed they don\’t do that so much anymore – I\’m guessing word got out that they looked like nancy boys. Not that there\’s anything wrong with that.

These days, I see the DH much the way Bowie laid it out in that quote. You\’ve got both, and it makes for a sport with two different styles in the two different leagues. And as much as I\’m going to dislike saying something positive about current commish Bud, I think interleague play is what really sets off the contrast well. When you didn\’t ever see the leagues play except for the World Series, it was more of a curiosity than anything. Now you\’ve got managers and GMs planning at least a little bit for those games each summer when they have to play by the other league\’s rules. I like seeing what AL teams do to get their Ortizs and Hafners on to the field. I like watching the NL managers to see which light hitting utility infielder they\’ll put at \”DH\”.

It is, in fact a wonder contrast. Thanks Bowie.







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