WASHINGTON — It looks like the DH-haters can rest easy for now.
Commissioner Rob Manfred apparently is in no hurry to eliminate pitchers from hitting, and reinforced that idea Tuesday afternoon in speaking to BBWAA members. That came as a rebuttal to union chief Tony Clark, who said moments earlier that the universal DH was “gaining momentum” among the players.
“I think since I became involved — and this may give too much credit to my deal-making ability — I could have made a deal with the MLBPA on extending the DH to the National League,” said Manfred, who has been negotiating CBAs since 2002. “I think that’s been a pretty consistent position with the players since 1987, so I don’t think there’s a real headline there.”
“I think the most likely outcome at this point remains status quo. I think one of the things we need to think about, extinction is a bad word, right? It’s a harsh word. It’s a very final word. If you get rid of the DH in the National League, there is a brand of baseball — the non-DH brand — is done. Not played anywhere that’s meaningful any longer. I think there’s going to be hesitation with respect to that.”