Last night’s Altoona-Harrisburg tilt represented yet another in a long, long, long string of examples why the designated hitter rule needs to be picked up from the curb in the early morning, never to be seen again. Many thanks to Jeff Mandel for proving my long-standing point that a baseball game is a beautiful, unfolding drama when played by nine players who all must hit, run and field.

In case you weren’t among the 1,700+ on the island last night, Jeff not only pitched a shutout through 7, but he also tagged three balls on the button from the nine hole in the lineup. The first one found the Curve rightfielder’s glove. The second and third plate appearances resulted in clutch hits to plate 3 of the Sens’ 4 runs.

With all due respect to David Ortiz, who can absolutely rake, that’s exactly why this game doesn’t need a tenth part-time player. If you want David’s stick in the lineup, get him a glove, too.

I invite you to weigh in on this topic, pro or con. I’ve found that the DH is like politics: everyone has an opinion.

After tonight’s “real” baseball to close out the homestand, Matt LeCroy must begin filling out more softball lineup cards in Trenton. I wonder if (with the Nats’ blessing) he’d consider penciling in “Mandel-DH” once in a while?

From deep short,