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Abolish the Designated Hitter 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 baserunners trot around the bases while the defense stands around with dazed looks about them Would you prefer stolen bases squeeze plays and trying to move the baserunners to make something happen as opposed to a team waiting for someone to hit a homerun If you prefer the aforementioned as opposed to the later then consider yourself a fan of little ball No its not your sons little league team it is a characteristic that defines the major difference between Major League Baseballs two leagues the American League AL and the National League NL The main factor that causes the difference between the two is the ALs use of a Designated Hitter DH a position player who hits for the pitcher but does not play in the field This was an experiment started by Major League Baseball MLB in the 1970s that is unfortunately going on today Although the DH may add runs to a team and length to a game it takes away from the purity of the grand old game Stealing bases and advancing runners can make for a shorter game while the AL style can cause long drawn out games Although these happenings can occur in both leagues movement of runners occurs on a higher frequency in the NL Generally there are more runs scored in an AL game This is a major factor in the length of the game Although run scoring has increased throughout the league it has caused the already long AL games to become even longer Another reason for the longer game is that an AL manager might be quicker to change the pitcher because he does not have to consider pinch hitting for him later in the game because of the DH In the NL a manager
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