Exhibit A for no DH in NL: Bartolo Colon
DETROIT -- On the divisive topic that is the designated-hitter rule and whether it ought to be applied to National League teams, there are valid, impassioned arguments made by both those for and against pitchers hitting. But Commissioner Rob Manfred might have come up with a new, timely and largely irrefutable addition to this great debate Tuesday.
"Not having National League pitchers hit," Manfred told reporters at Comerica Park, "would deprive us of the entertainment that Bartolo Colon has given us this year. It's been a great source of entertainment for me. I don't know about for the rest of you, but it has been for me."
Yes, Mr. Commissioner, this is an argument many of us can get behind. The 5-foot-11, 285-pound Colon is a singular source of fascination every time he steps to the plate. Whether his at-bat ends with a whiff and a lost helmet …
…or ripping a rare RBI double, as he did Sunday …
…the man is must-see MLB.
So Manfred had a point -- one even an American League manager could get behind.
"That does make sense," said A's manager Bob Melvin, who had Colon on his staff in 2012 and '13. "I mean, you saw [Colon's double] the other day. I'm just surprised he didn't go for a triple, to tell you the truth."
But as far as the universal DH as a serious subject is concerned, Manfred, though open-minded about change in the game at large, is content with the DH rule, as is.
"I don't worry very much about the difference between the two leagues," he said. "I think part of that is a result of the fact that almost my entire history of watching the game there's been a difference between the two leagues, and it's something that you get used to. I also think the difference in the rules is a topic that people love to debate, and I am a huge believer in the idea that if people are talking about baseball, that's a good thing for us. In general, my approach is status quo on that issue."