Reds owner: Talk of NL adopting DH ‘blown out of proportion’

Baseball fans are buzzing about recent news reports suggesting the National League plans to adopt the designated-hitter rule.

Reds owner Bob Castellini, who would have a vote on whether the NL adopts the controversial rule first embraced by the…

Baseball fans are buzzing about recent news reports suggesting the National League plans to adopt the designated-hitter rule.

Reds owner 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.

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Asked about the rumors that the NL could see the DH in place anytime soon, Castellini offered reporters a one-word response: “No.”

“All that is blown out of proportion,” Castellini told reporters, via Cincinnati.com. “There’s no groundswell for it. The commissioner had a press interview after our owners’ meeting and he was taken out of context.”

MLB commissioner 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.

“Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you’d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment,” Manfred told reporters, via ESPN. “But 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.”

Those comments were spun into stories that the move is all but done. The New York Post reported in a headline: “National League DH seems almost inevitable for 2017.”

Manfred has since expressed surprise at how news reports misinterpreted 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’ association MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires after this season. But three-fourths of all MLB owners, or 23 in all, would have to vote in favor of the DH rule for it to become a reality.

Fans don’t need to wonder how Castellini will vote.

“Our fans are used to the wonderful baseball that’s been played here for nearly 150 years, and we don’t plan to have any kind of campaign to change it,” Castellini said.

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