Shift to NL city means no World Series DH
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz prepares to take baseball batting practice Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, in St. Louis. The Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are set to play Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz during baseball practice Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, in St. Louis. The Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are set to play Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
ST. LOUIS – It’s not just the stadium and uniforms that will change when the World Series shifts to Busch Stadium for Game 3 tonight. With the switch to the National League city, there won’t be a designated hitter.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said it’s about time the NL adopted the DH.
“Who the hell wants to watch a pitcher hit? Do you have fun watching a pitcher hit? Tell me about it,” Ortiz said to reporters yesterday. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take them to execute that in the National League.”
Adopted by the American League for the 1973 season, the DH first appeared in the Series in 1976, and it was used in even-numbered years through 1984. Since 1986, the DH has been in the lineup for games in AL cities.
The move to St. Louis means Boston slugger Mike Napoli is on the bench for Game 3 tonight and Ortiz takes over at first base.
“If I were commissioner I’d certainly change it, where we could get Nap in there,” said Jake Peavy, Boston’s Game 3 starter.
“I think that we certainly have a little bit of a disadvantage, just simply because of the way our roster is constructed as opposed to theirs. They’re a National League ballclub, and they’re going to play with their normal lineup tomorrow night, with the way they were built. Being an American League team we’re going to miss a huge middle-of-the-lineup bat tomorrow night.”
AL DHs have a .241 Series average with 15 homers and 56 RBI, according to STATS LLC. NL DHs hit for a higher average (.248) but with less run production (12 homers, 46 RBI).
“I do enjoy the National League game, only because it’s what we’re most accustomed to, but also just the thought process that goes into it,” Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny said. “But I do understand, too, the American League side and I think it’s a good mix.”
There appears to be little chance the DH will spread to both leagues or disappear. DHs averaged $8,099,112 in salary in 2012, according to figures compiled by the players’ association, second only to first basemen at $8.56 million. Players don’t want to give up 15 pricey jobs and MLB has little desire to add 15.
“A little controversy between the leagues is really not all bad,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in July before the All-Star game.
“At the moment, we are not going to change it.”
The Cardinals’ 4-2 win in Game 2 received an 8.3 rating and 14 share on Fox and was seen by an average of 13.4 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said yesterday. The rating was up 6 percent from a 7.8/12 for San Francisco’s 2-0 victory over Detroit in the second game last year, and viewers were up 9 percent from 12.3 million.
The two-game average of 8.5/14 is up 10 percent from last year’s 7.7/12 and the 13.9 million viewers are up 13 percent from last season’s 12.3 million.
Cardinals Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright found out he was a finalist for a Gold Glove and couldn’t resist poking fun at himself over the timing of the announcement.
Wainwright, who won a Gold Glove in 2009, noted a pitcher who is strong defensively can really help – “If you can catch little popups right to you.”
After going error-free during the regular season, the 19-game winner hasn’t forgotten what happened in this year’s World Series opener. He called for an easy pop fly and then assumed five-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina would take over, and the ball fell between them for a hit by Stephen Drew that helped Boston to a two-run second inning and a 5-0 lead.
“The mistake I made was I called it early because it was right to me,” Wainwright said. “It was high enough that I just thought someone was going to call me off, and you just can’t play baseball that way. You can’t play sports that way, you can’t do anything in life waiting for someone else to take charge.”
After throwing in the bullpen yesterday, Wainwright thought he could have “easily” done better had the opener been on that day.
The Cardinals had been considering bringing back Wainwright on three days’ rest in Game 4 tomorrow night, but that’s less likely now. It’s not, Wainwright said, because he can’t do it, joking that he’s a physical “specimen,” but because it won’t be a must-win situation.
More than 100,000 fans could jam downtown St. Louis on Monday night with Game 5 going head-to-head with the Rams’ football game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Rams Coach Jeff Fisher doesn’t seem concerned about the potential for empty seats and noted fans who stick with football will be kept abreast of what’s happening less than a mile away.
“They’ll be loud,” Fisher said. “If they come, they’re going to be loud, yeah. We expect a great crowd, a great environment.”
The ball that Shane Victorino hit for a grand slam to help the Boston Red Sox advance to the World Series will be auctioned off next month.
Trailing by a run in the seventh inning of Game 6 of the AL Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, Boston loaded the bases on a double, a walk and an error. Victorino hit an 0-2 pitch from Tigers pitcher Jose Veras over the Green Monster and the Red Sox went on to win 5-2 to clinch the series.
“We were just jumping up and down and I heard this security guard screaming at us, saying, ‘Ball, ball, ball!’ And I looked down and it was literally rolling in between our feet,” said Nick Wood, a 23-year-old University of Rhode Island student and Red Sox fan from Westborough, Mass.
“I grabbed it and after that it was just mayhem,” Wood said. “I’m just overwhelmed by it, I guess, because everywhere I go, people are asking to talk to me.”
The auction will be conducted by SCP Auctions and run from Nov. 20 to Dec. 7.
Honored before Game 2 at Fenway Park, Mariano Rivera is proving to be as popular as ever with fans.
The retiring New York Yankees closer leads major leaguers in licensed gear sold this year. According to Fanatics.com, his sales were up 20-fold during the regular season, including 85-fold in September.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey was second during the regular season, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington outfielder Bryce Harper.
First things first
Willie McGee, winner of the 1985 NL MVP Award for the Cardinals, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 following the introductions of Cardinals Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith and Red Schoendienst.
Grammy Award winner Colbie Caillat will sing The Star-Spangled Banner.