Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, weighed in on one of the most hotly debated topics among baseball fans earlier this week: the designated hitter in Major League Baseball (MLB).
It recently got even more heated after MLB reportedly discussed the possibility of instituting the DH in the National League as early as 2020, making the position universal across the entire sport.
Coincidentally, the season would overlap with some of the most important months of the 2020 presidential election.
Buttigieg was asked about abolishing the DH in all of baseball during an event on Wednesday.
“This is going to get me in all kinds of trouble. I mean, the good thing about the way we have it now, I guess you could go either way, depending on the league,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said. “I feel like you ought to have to play both parts of the inning.”
“But then again, I’m not involved in the professional management of baseball, so I guess it’s not up to me. It just seems a little funny to me that all you’ve got to do is just be there for the hitting part. This has never come up before, I’ve got to think about this more. We got South Bend Cubs where I’m at, so we’re National League. I’m going to think about that some more, but my early take is that I’d rather not have designated hitters, but I’m not going to impose that on anybody else.”
While Buttigieg did hedge his bets by saying he wanted to think about his stance more, his initial stance against the DH got the attention of some people online.
I have not decided which candidate I support for President, but @PeteButtigieg coming out against the designated hitter is definitely working in his favor.— Brian Reddy (@snoopster222) August 16, 2019
Pete Buttigieg comes out against the designated hitter in baseball.— Jay Kirell (@JasonKirell) August 15, 2019
I knew he was smart.https://t.co/4KmAUAnpRN
As someone who works as a community organizer but is also a huge baseball fan, I love that a presidential candidate was asked a baseball related question during a town hall. And for the record, I agree with @PeteButtigieg here — we should do away with the the designated hitter https://t.co/MWY11qpx3j— Bryan J. Scrafford (@bscrafford) August 15, 2019
Forget the electoral college, Mayor Pete's leading the charge on abolishing the DH too! A convincing case for my vote tbh https://t.co/ZwEjqT4g9w— Sarah Dziura (@drdziura) August 15, 2019
I love him more and more every day https://t.co/TB6XiSAVih— Nick Pecora (@NickPecora_) August 16, 2019
It’s not unheard of for presidential aspirants to be linked with baseball—apparently former president George W. Bush wanted to become the commissioner of baseball.
Given Buttigieg’s stance on the DH, there may be a large contingent of National League fans who would support a hypothetical commissioner bid by the Indiana mayor.