National League GMs Reportedly Believe Designated Hitter Coming As Soon As Next Year

Kyle Koster
Jon Lester, batting for himself.
Jon Lester, batting for himself. / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Baseball has been embracing change with startling regularity in the Rob Manfred era, so nothing should come as a surprise at this point. Yet it's still jarring to see this tidbit from Jim Bowden reflecting a growing belief among National League brass that the designated hitter is coming as early as next year.

Bowden is obviously well-sourced in the general managing world. If he says there's a growing belief, there's a growing belief.

There should also be great fear. Because adopting the designated hitter in the National League would be one of the biggest mistakes baseball could ever make. And I say that as someone who prefers the AL-style of play. Such a drastic move will do more harm than good.

For every new fan the increased offense draws, it will alienate several traditionalists. There are people who still treat the mere suggestion of uniform MLB rules as sacrilegious.

The push for universal rules makes sense in theory. Yet this difference between the leagues is a positive. Fans grow up adopting and embracing a particular brand of baseball. Asking them to abandon it is asking a lot.

Of course, considering the way MLB has continuously placed the value of potential new eyeballs over existing supporters, loyalists can expect to take another slap in the face.