Baseball fans areÂ buzzing aboutÂ recent news reports suggestingÂ the National League plansÂ toÂ adoptÂ the designated-hitter rule.
Reds ownerÂ Bob Castellini, who would have a vote on whether the NL adopts the controversial rule first embraced by the AL in 1973, made his stance on the issue clear Thursday.
Asked about the rumors that the NL could see the DH in place anytime soon, Castellini offered reportersÂ a one-word response:Â “No.”
â€œAll that is blown out of proportion,â€ Castellini told reporters, via Cincinnati.com.Â â€œThereâ€™s no groundswell for it. The commissioner had a press interview after our ownersâ€™ meeting and he was taken out of context.â€
MLB commissionerÂ Rob Manfred’s comments after last week’s owners meeting in Florida suggested NL owners might be more receptive to such a controversial move than in years past.
â€œTwenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, youâ€™d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment,â€ Manfred told reporters, via ESPN.Â â€œBut we have a newer group. There has been turnover, and I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways that we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport.â€
Those comments were spun into stories that the move is all but done. The New York Post reportedÂ in a headline: “National League DH seems almost inevitable forÂ 2017.”
Manfred has since expressed surprise at how news reports misinterpretedÂ his comments to suggest the DH will soon be featured in the NL.
“The most likely result on the designated hitter for the foreseeable future is the status quo,” Manfred told ESPN.com earlier this week. “I think the vast majority of clubs in the National League want to stay where they are.”
The topic is certain to come up as owners renegotiate with the players’ associationÂ MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires after this season. But three-fourths of all MLB owners, or 23 in all,Â would have to vote in favorÂ of the DH ruleÂ for it to become a reality.
Fans don’t need to wonder how Castellini will vote.
â€œOur fans are used to the wonderful baseball thatâ€™s been played here for nearly 150 years, and we donâ€™t plan to have any kind of campaign to change it,â€ Castellini said.