Beanballs a National problem also

Many are calling for the end of the designated hitter as the most direct way to put an end to headhunting.

Updated: October 13, 2003, 11:49 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Want to put an end to headhunting? There are many calling for the end of the designated hitter as the most direct way to making the problem disappear. Is it really all that simple? If Roger Clemens had spent his career in the National League, would he have ever attempted such stunts as trying to ballistically trepan Mike Piazza of the New York Mets in 2000? And what of Pedro Martinez, the instigator of Saturday's mayhem? Surely he wouldn't dare throw at hitters if he himself had to stand in and take some cuts, would he?

It so happens that Martinez cut his teeth in the National League and did have to face those who might wish to retaliate. What were the differences between his hit by pitch rates then and since he joined the American League?

With Dodgers and Expos:
One hit batter every 24 innings.


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Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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