Yu Darvish, 34, says MLB should allow pitchers over 33 to decide if they want to hit or not

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By RADIO.COM

There are only a few (somewhat) foreseeable ways in which Yu Darvish never has to hit again in his career. The first would be the reimplementation of a universal designated hitter, which MLB has already struck down for the 2021 season as of now. The second would be the scenario where he pitches a few innings and then gets pulled whenever he eventually has to come to the plate, which is wholly unrealistic. Another would be going back to the American League, but the Padres would be pretty unhappy if that's how Darvish's stint played out.

And then there's Darvish's idea which, conveniently, only affects pitchers who are older than 33 years old. Darvish was 33 in 2020 and will begin his age-34 season with the Padres in 2021.

"So, this is my thought," Darvish's translator said. "I wish they had some kind of rule that said that, you know, pitchers that are over 33 have the right to decide whether they want to hit or whether they want to use the DH.

"Bottom line is I'm not very fond of hitting."

The fact that he made his age the first year to make the cutoff makes me think that this is a humorous approach — not everyone is taking it this way, as if it's some serious idea — but I think we can read between the lines and see the humor here. It's hard to tell with his deadpan delivery and masked-up expression, but given our knowledge of Darvish's goofy nature in other instances, I feel safe thinking that he was just playing around.

Then again... is it really that bad of an idea? These pitchers have earned it sticking around for this long! To be fair, I just don't really see the benefit of having pitchers hit for half of the teams and not for the other half. I was in favor of the universal DH in the first place, and it has literally never made sense to me (or thousands of other fans, I'd imagine) that there isn't consistency in the rules between the two leagues.

The next time there's a universal DH, I'm hoping that it a) isn't as temporary and b) isn't accompanied by a universal pandemic, but that's where we are now.

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