How I get from point A to point B... then to C... and finally to D...
(A) If we accept the premise that the integrity of the MLB championship is inferior to that of other pro sports' championships (all others subject their teams to the same treatment, ie, rule book, and thus rosters are constructed according to the same rule book and on-the-field play is guided by the exact same rule book), and that it does not actually so much test which team is superior (which scientifically-speaking, experiments require both subjects to have been subjected to the exact same treatment, or in this case, rule book), but which form of the game is superior (i.e., more likely to yield a team capable of winning 4 games before the other form of the game does)...
(B) And if we accept the premise that we've now debated for almost 50 years which form of the game is the form that everyone else should accept based on our own otherwise valid reasons for why we ourselves like the form of the game that we do... and that it might be time we see the futility of squashing/disregarding the other side's enthusiasm for their form...and instead, respect their right to enjoy that form...
Then, between those two premises, we're left to think about how we find some way to both restore the WS back to a place where ALL teams come to that series having had EXACTLY the same rule book... and... do that without disrespecting either the 65% or the 25%.
Somewhat obviously, a compromise has to be found.
(C ) And with regard to compromise, a fundamental guideline there is that anything that strays away from the form of the game that people already know is something that inherently makes everyone have to form a whole new opinion about that new form of the game.
I have counted about 25 different compromise rules proposed in the 12-ish years that I've been paying specific attention to the DH dilemma.
I've said on many occasions, if it were just up to me, I favor the Duck Hunter. There's more to it than this, but essentially the idea is that DHs mainly come to bat in the P slot when there are ducks on the pond. Someone else favors the Super PH. Someone else favors what has been called the "bodyguard" model. Then there is the wedge idea... the SIR (substitution induces reassignment) idea... the descending DH idea.
In every case, you end up with traditional people happier than the DH people or vice-versa, because the compromise seems to end up giving more weight to their preference. But, at least, EVERYONE has to give up A LITTLE SOMETHING, which is still more respectful than forcing one side to give up EVERYthing.
Except for one.
(D) It's not my personal favorite, but I've realized it is the one that doesn't force either side to give up anything, at least by MLB HQ mandate... let it be a strategic decision that all 30 managers get to make for 81 home games each season, and leave it to each one, game by game, to decide which form of the game is to be played...
HMC, home manager's choice.
So that's why you see me positing that as I have in recent memory, instead of giving you all the great reasons the Duck Hunter compromise rule would make everyone happy and the game better.
It is simpler than other compromise rules, and it has precedent--i.e., it is the original idea that they came up with to deal with the natural dilemma during spring training interleague games, and it continues to be that way today.
We appear to have some time here to influence Manfred and the MLB owners to do something rational like this, instead of a binary choice. I for one intend to take advantage whenever and wherever I can to advocate for HMC.
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- Sixth Man
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