The New York Mets full-time pitcher and occasional slugger took to Twitter Wednesday to emphatically reject the proposal with one amusing and perfectly fitting GIF.
You’re not going to take the bat out of Thor’s hands that easily.
Syndergaard, who’s one of only two Mets’ pitchers to hit two home runs in a single game, was reacting to recent news that a universal designated hitter rule could be implemented as soon as the 2019 season. That report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal stated that the Major League Baseball players’ union has proposed a universal designated hitter as part of its annual discussion of potential rule changes with MLB officials.
Though it still seems unlikely that this major change will happen this year, there’s been enough movement in that direction in recent years that any reported proposal creates a stir.
As we learned Wednesday, eight potentially significant rule changes are on the table. Some are much more popular than others, but none have or likely will garner the same level of polarizing debate as the National League adopting a permanent designated hitter.
It’s not always as simple as baseball purists versus new school fans either. While some fans prefer to keep baseball as close to the same game it was upon its creation, others simply appreciate the unexpected moments a pitcher batting can create. On the other side of the ledger, fans often argue that baseball is more exciting with actual hitters filling all nine lineup spots. Beyond that, they say pitchers are taking on an unnecessary injury risk while offering little upside as hitters.
All are fair points, but it seems clear which direction the game is headed. It’s just a matter of when all the necessary parties will be comfortable going through with it.
As one of the pitchers who truly loves hitting and has had success doing it, it’s understandable that Syndergaard would stand against a universal DH. Unfortunately for him, he might have to start preparing for life without hitting sooner than later.
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