Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Mets pitcher hits home run, contributes to 8-4 victory of Pittsurgh Pirates. I love National League rules! Also, the Mets are in first place in their division by 3.5 games. Expect me to rev up on that front.

For the baseball-impaired, what makes this interesting is that pitchers are notoriously bad batters. I think it's just a function of the fact that pitching requires specialized training and practice that takes time away from perfecting one's hitting.

Anyway, in the 1970s, the decade of universal suckitude, the American League -- a low-rent outfit lifted into distinction only by the charming and inspiring Boston Red Sox (who, btw, are also in first place in their division) -- decided that pitchers would no longer bat for themselves: their place in the batting line-up would be taken by a "designated hitter."

The "dh rule" spread like cancer through the game: in the minor leagues, American League rules prevail whenever either of the teams has an American League affiliation. In interleague play in the majors, the rules depend on the league affiliation of the home team, which I guess is the best arrangement short of sending the dh rule into the dustbin of history.

During the year 2000 "subway series" between the Mets and the Yankees, the Yankees made sure aging pitching sensation and notorious mountain-troll Roger Clemens never pitched any of the games at Shea (the Mets' park), b/c if he did, he'd have to bat, and -- while I wouldn't want to imply that any Mets pitcher would ever throw at Clemens just b/c Clemens had thrown at Mike Piazza during one of the games at Yankee Stadium, still, Yankees manager Joe Torre clearly thought the better part of valor was to make sure that lumbering thug never had to face a Mets pitcher wielding a projectile travelling at 90 mph.

Anyway, John Maine rules.