Few Clouds 23° Good Afternoon
Few Clouds 23° Good Afternoon

As usual, lack of DH frustrates an American League team in a National League park

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost watches batting

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost watches batting practice before Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Photo Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

It happens every fall. Teams have to play by their opponent's rules during the World Series and feel as if they are in a different world, out of their element.

Often, someone believes the rules ought to be changed, as Royals manager Ned Yost did Saturday.

"I think if a National League team is playing a National League team, you should play National League rules. But I wouldn't mind seeing in all interleague games, there being the DH. That's my personal opinion," said Yost, who has managed in both leagues, having worked for the Brewers previously.

Just to be sure, he was asked if he was referring to the World Series or just regular-season games. Yost said, "The World Series is an interleague game, isn't it?"

Playing under National League rules at Citi Field, the Royals started Friday night and Saturday night without Kendrys Morales, arguably their most potent power hitter. He hit 22 home runs and had 106 RBIs during the season.

Morales usually is the designated hitter, which is not allowed in the National League. Yost sounded an annual refrain Saturday, saying that a National League club always is at an advantage because it can plug in an extra batter as the DH in the American League park, while American League pitchers are not used to batting, as they must do in a National League park.

But the opposite argument also can be made: National League clubs generally do not have an extra hitter of Morales' caliber. In the two games in Kansas City, the Mets started Kelly Johnson and Michael Conforto at DH. Those two and substitutes were a combined 0-for-8.

In any case, Yost said on Friday that he appreciates the strategy involved in National League ball. But all things considered, he added, "If I had to take a preference, it would probably be the American League game, because frankly it's easier, in my opinion.

"Running the pitching staff is tough to begin with, but in the American League, you run him out there until he gets tired. You don't have to worry about the fifth inning and you're down a run and you've got two guys on with two outs, do you hit here or not hit here? Do you double-switch late? You don't have to worry about any of that stuff in the American League."

The positive is that Morales is a wild-card threat who can be used as a pinch hitter at any point in a close game.

"It's definitely a different game, but I think our team is built well for the National League," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. Hosmer is a Gold Glover at his position but came into New York knowing he could be switched to rightfield -- where he played only a few innings this year -- if Yost used Morales and wanted to keep the latter in the game at first base.

"I brought my [outfielder's] glove with me. That's about as prepared as I am," Hosmer said.

Otherwise, the Royals knew they would just have to cope, as each side has to do for at least a couple of games every World Series.

"The rules are the rules," Yost said. "We play by the rules and try not to get too frustrated because I don't like the rules. They are what they are."

New York Sports