Off-season, schmoff-season ... Thanks to MLB Network, there's usually something to watch in the winter months (including November, which is "winter" if you're a baseball person). Case in point: Monday night at 9pm Eastern, Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH premieres on MLB Network. Hosted by Bob Costas, the one-hour documentary features a bunch of great hitters, some pitchers, and some other guys ...
The ratification of the DH in 1973, more than eight decades after it was first proposed within baseball in 1891, became one of the most pivotal changes to shape the game, and to this day it fuels debates between those who oppose it and those who embrace it. In looking at the position's origins and those who rose to prominence or extended their playing careers because of the position, Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH features 25 new interviews with Hall of Famers, writers and historians as well as current and former DHs, including Harold Baines, Billy Butler, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz, Frank Thomas and Jim Thome, among others.
Baseball-Reference.com's Sean Forman, SB Nation's Rob Neyer, Fangraphs.com contributor Bill Petti and MLB's official historian John Thorn also analyze the statistical impact the DH has had on run scoring in the American League and National League.
I was in one of these Behind the Seams things two years ago, and I watched it, and I enjoyed it. I haven't been able to watch this one yet -- they sent me a link last week -- because I have a difficult time watching myself. But I'll probably record the program tonight and just skip past whatever little snippets in which I might appear. The people at MLB Productions who work on these things are good at their jobs, and this is probably the best show you're ever going to see about the DH.