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With no universal designated hitter slated for the 2021 season, San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish came up with a hilarious alternative.
The 2020 MLB season, much like everything else in our everyday lives, was altered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Considering the campaign was slashed down to 60 games, the league decided to experiment with new rules and formats. One of the more popular changes was the addition of the universal designated hitter, which has been called upon by many a baseball fan for years.
Flash forward to 2021, and the universal designated hitter will not return, as the league and players union could not agree to a deal. So pitchers will once again return to taking at-bats in the National League. Unless, the league considers San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish’s alternative.
On Thursday, Darvish said he wishes there were a rule that allowed pitchers over the age of 33 to decide whether they want to hit or not, via Dennis Lin of The Athletic.
Darvish’s creative idea
Give Darvish credit for this one, he came up with this right before he went to bed. Will it ever get passed by the league? Probably not.
Even though the universal designated hitter was popular with fans and players themselves, the league offered a deal for it to go into effect in 2021. In exchange for the universal designated hitter, the league would receive an expanded postseason. That did not fly, and thus no deal was reached. But there is hope that it can be installed into the next collective bargaining agreement, which will need to be negotiated once the 2021 season ends.
While the universal designated hitter was scrapped for the upcoming season, seven-inning doubleheaders and putting a player on second base to start extra innings will return.
Pitchers over 33 years old would no doubt love Darvish’s proposed rule. Unfortunately, the likelihood of it getting implemented are slim to none.