Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden League Dumps DH; Baseball Purists Rejoice

Fans of National League baseball in Victoria were given an early Christmas present this week when it was announced that the GBL has revoked the Designated Hitter rule for the 2010 season.  This intrepid blogger pointed out the silliness of using the DH in such an offensive-friendly league back on June 26th of this year (see the post Sotolongo Providing Bullpen Stability).  Not only will the rule change reduce the excessive offense, but games lasting 3 1/2 hours or more will be less common (which will be appreciated on those cool Victoria evenings in May and June).

Of course, Darrell Evans' job just got a whole lot more difficult.  In fact, every GBL manager will be faced with difficult pinch-hitting decisions in the middle and late innings.  Double-substitutions will become an important tool for the field bosses.  If the league is smart, they'll expand rosters by at least one player because there will be a lot more lineup changes during games.  Players who can play multiple positions will also be highly coveted this season.  On the flip side, teams will be hard-pressed to carry lumbering sluggers who can only play first base (see Flowers, Brett).

There are many baseball purists in attendance on any given night at Royal Athletic Park and they'll be pleased to see the return of old-school moves like the bunt, hit-and-run and the stolen base.  Somewhere, John McGraw is smiling.

Seal Blubber Bits
  • Cleve's article in Tuesday's T-C indicates that the GBL is currently at 10 teams.  But it's not a done deal that the Palm Springs team will be ready to go in 2010.  The GBL Commissioner (Kevin Outcalt) was quoted in an OurSports Central article on Monday as saying "The team could play in either 2010 or 2011 depending on what they work out with the City of Palm Springs regarding the ballpark facility, or potentially in a ballpark elsewhere in the Coachella Valley."  This means that there are still only 9 firm GBL teams: Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Chico, Maui, Orange County, Long Beach, Tucson and Yuma.
  • Other cities that may be part of the GBL in 2010 include Ottawa, Kamloops, Scottsdale and Tijuana.