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REPLY #3 TO
"DESIGNATED HITTER"



Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) Why not let baseball proceed as if Darwin were manager? Let the pitchers who can hit survive and the rest become extinct? Remember pitchers like Warren Spahn and Babe Ruth?
(MB) Since the employment of pitchers is based solely upon their ability to pitch, the only way that hitting ability would play any part in their baseball survival would be if they were all of equal pitching ability. This, of course, will never happen.
    Truly good-hitting pitchers have always been few and far between -- primarily because that ability is unnecessary for them. The ones who have been exceptional hitters (e.g., Babe Ruth and Stan Musial) have been converted to everyday position players in order to get their bats into the lineup regularly. Those who were merely "good" hitters but were more valuable as pitchers (e.g., Warren Spahn and Don Newcombe) remained on the mound. A modern-day example is Darren Dreifort of the Dodgers. He was an outstanding hitter in college, but is more valuable as a setup man in the Dodgers' bullpen.
    Ruth was an outstanding pitcher in his day. However, the game was full of outstanding pitchers around 1920 and Ruth's ability to revolutionize the offense with his home run prowess was unique. This demanded that he leave the mound and become an everyday player.




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