Do you prefer a bases loaded double that clears the bases and involves an exciting play at home plate? Or a boring three-run homerun where the base runners trot around the bases, while the defense stands around with dazed looks on their faces? Do you prefer stolen bases, squeeze plays, and trying to move the base runners to make something happen; as opposed to a team waiting for someone to hit a homerun? If you answered "yes" then consider yourself a fan of "small ball." The characteristic of a Designated Hitter is the major difference between Major League Baseball's two leagues: The American League and the National League.
The American League has many advantages because it uses a designated hitter. A Designated Hitter is a position player who hits for the pitcher but does not play in the field. This was an experiment started by Major League Baseball in 1973 (Wikipedia). In an effort to stop declining attendance and to boost offensive production and thus make the game more interesting for fans. This changed the game in many ways. The overall production of the American League offensive statistics has increased. Homeruns, runs batted in, and slugging percentages are all on the rise. The American League has the advantage of getting to replace the pitcher, and add a power hitter into the lineup. This increases the excitement of the game for fans. Average baseball fans can tell you that the weakest hitter on any team is the pitcher. This is because pitchers spend their practices pitching, and not hitting. They are not relied upon to hit home runs, drive in runners in scoring position, or help the team win a game with their offense. Older players whose careers and skills are on the decline have a chance to play for an extra year or two. George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski, Paul Moliter, Dave Winfield, Joe Carter, and...
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