If you missed yesterday’s news, I’m jealous. I would like to also miss yesterday’s news.
The universal designated hitter is coming, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Thursday.
As much as I’m inclined to not believe anything Manfred says — he’s essentially taking labor negotiations public here, which I can only really see as a rather pathetic negotiating tactic — this one feels honest because, frankly, the writing’s been on the wall for some time. We’ve known the universal DH was a matter if when, not if, and we knew the answer to the “when?” question was, “soon.”
“Soon” is apparently 2022.
Which means we can retroactively make a special San Francisco Giants moment even more special: Logan Webb’s first career home run. It came in the final game of the regular season, which means it stands as the final pitcher home run before the implementation of the universal DH.
With Rob Manfred stating earlier that the universal DH has been agreed upon, Logan Webb has officially hit the final home run by a primary pitcher in Major League Baseball history! pic.twitter.com/lNGX48wqYL— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) February 10, 2022
There will be more home runs by pitchers. Shohei Ohtani will have plenty next year alone. The Madison Bumgarners of the world will force their way into the batters box as pinch-hitters in 17-4 games, and occasionally run into one.
But bearing a rule change reversal that I am very much in favor of, Logan Webb stands as the final pitcher to hit a real pitcher home run: to come up to bat because it’s his turn in the order, with everyone expecting a strikeout, and awkwardly put one over the fence.
How many days has it been since the owners locked out the players?
73 days now. I’m tired.