KC Royals Ned Yost Wants DH In All Interleague Games
By David Hill
Imagine a world where the designated hitter is a part of the National League, instead of being strictly being a part of the American League. If KC Royals manager Ned Yost is to have his way, that could happen, at least in interleague games.
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Doing his postgame press conference following the Royals loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, Yost made his thoughts about the designated hitter known. While he may not be saying that it is time to extend the designated hitter to the National League as a permanent replacement to the time honored tradition of letting pitchers “hit,” Yost does think that, when interleague games come along, that the designated hitter should remain in the lineup.
"“I love the National League rules when National League teams are playing National League teams. But for interleague, I think they should just make it all-DH,” Yost said."
For someone who has become synonymous with bunting, stealing bases and “Yostball,” this seems like a strange stance for Ned Yost. The National League brand of baseball seems more in line with his perceived comfort level of making contact, playing strong defense and literally running the opposition into the ground. One would think that Yost would jump on any chance to bunt even more than usual, and having the pitcher have a plate appearance would help that happen.
It certainly makes sense for the designated hitter to remain in the lineup, even if the KC Royals are playing an interleague game in a National League park. With Major League Baseball looking for ways to pull in the younger crowd, having the potential for a higher scoring game could help. After all, most younger fans would rather see someone like Kendrys Morales, Nelson Cruz or David Ortiz hit home runs than watch a pitcher drop down a sacrifice bunt or try to swing a bat.
There would be unfortunate side effects to this plan. We would no longer have the unintentional comedy of Bartolo Colon batting in interleague games, and this would be quite the sacrifice to have to make. However, for the idea of having a game that may appeal to younger fans without having the baseball equivalent of the accidental humor associated with things like ‘Abraxas – Guardian of the Universe’ or any Nic Cage movie, it may be for the best.
If nothing else, Ned Yost has an idea that may be worth discussing in the future as the powers that be attempt to make the game more appealing to younger audiences. Making the designated hitter a permanent part of interleague, regardless of the home stadium, could be a step in that direction.