Cubs Pres. Epstein: NL 'Few Years Away' from Adopting DH

Cubs Pres. Epstein: NL 'Few Years Away' from Adopting DH

Chicago Cubs President and former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein believes the designated hitter (DH) is on its way to the National League. 

“I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League,” Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein told USA TODAY Sports. “Hopefully we’re just a few years away.”

Many in the baseball world believe the NL will adopt the DH after Commissioner Bud Selig leaves office in 2014 even though it would tarnish the way baseball has traditionally been played in the National League. 

Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a member of Selig’s on-field committee, told USA Today many players are signing long-term contracts with American League teams “with the knowledge that they’re still going to be contributing because they can DH in the later years.”

USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale worte, “Yep, and that’s why the DH is here to stay. The Major League Baseball Players Association isn’t about to stand by and watch a high-priced position go the way of the bullpen car.”

Scioscia, having played with the “Dodger Way” when he played with the Dodgers and was thought to be in line to be the team’s manager, often manages the Angels as if they were in the National League. Many consider the National League brand, which forces teams to hit behind the runner, sacrifice with the pitcher, make two-for-one switches in the late innings and plan ahead for when the pitcher’s spot is due, to be a lot better than the American League brand, which often leads teams to just wait around for the 3-run home run like Earl Weaver did with his Baltimore Orioles. 

Albert Pujols, the Angels slugger who used to play in the National League for the Cardinals, said he preferred the status quo and actually admitted he liked the National League style of play better. 

“I actually like it the way it is,” Pujols said, saying he did not want to see the DH in both leagues. “I like the style in the National League the best. It gives you the opportunity to be a complete player. In the National League, you play small ball and have to create runs. The American League is all about power.”

The American League adopted the designated hitter rule in 1973.