Waino doesn't want DH in National League
Cardinals ace suffered season-ending injury running out of the batter's box
ST. LOUIS -- While he accepts the season-ending diagnosis doctors gave him on Monday, Adam Wainwright is also aware that the left Achilles injury he suffered breaking from the batter's box on Saturday has spurred on a debate he never intended to fuel.
Since Wainwright's injury, players, media members and fans have had lively discussions about whether this signals the need to bring the designated hitter to the National League. Comments Nationals ace Max Scherzer made to CBSSports.com generated a particular buzz, as he said that uniformity in both leagues could help produce more offense and also be more appealing to fans.
Scherzer took to Twitter on Tuesday to clarify his comments and note that he never intended to become a spokesperson in this debate. By then, though, the ball was already rolling.
Asked his response to those who argue that the NL should adopt the DH, Wainwright replied: "I couldn't disagree more with that."
He then explained why.
"I just think baseball is a National League game. I wish both leagues would convert to National League baseball. And I understand why people would say that, but you can't point to another instance, almost, where the pitcher has hurt [his] Achilles doing that kind of thing. Running the bases? Maybe once or twice a year. Maybe.
"Baseball, the strategy and the game itself in the National League is just a better game, in my opinion. I hope that people don't look at this -- which I know they already are --- and think that we should switch to a DH now. Baseball is a beautiful game. I just hope it doesn't change too much."
Wainwright went on to point out how his injury had little to do with him batting.
"It's really not much different that exploding off the mound to get a ground ball or covering first or fielding a bunt," he said. "It could have happened at any time. Listening to the doctors, there is no reason it happened. It wasn't like it was an incredibly weak tendon. It could have happened doing anything -- I could have been carrying my daughter up the stairs and it happened. So you outlaw carrying your daughter up the stairs? Or outlaw covering first? Outlaw fielding a bunt? It was a fluke thing, and baseball needs to stay just the way it is."
Nevertheless, support for implementing the DH in the NL has gained momentum in recent years, largely as those within the game have sought out ways to address the two topics raised by Scherzer -- uniformity and offense.
"I'm not using the Wainwright thing to move the needle for me," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "I am using the offensive environment as a legitimate discussion. And I think with Interleague Play always occurring now, maybe it makes some sense to consider it. I haven't vetted it completely in my mind. I do like the National League game. I think it's more intriguing from a strategic standpoint."