(RADIO.COM Sports) There are only a few (somewhat) foreseeable ways in which Padres right-hander Yu Darvish never has to hit again in his career. The first would be the reimplementation of a universal designated hitter, which MLB has already struck down for the 2021 season as of now. The second would be the scenario in which he pitches only a few innings and then gets pulled whenever he eventually has to come to the plate, which is wholly unrealistic. Another would be going back to the American League, but the Padres added him because of his ability to help lead the to a National League pennant and compete for World Series.
And then there's Darvish's idea, which, conveniently, only affects pitchers who are older than 33 years old. Darvish was 33 in 2020 and will begin his age-34 season with the Padres in 2021.
"So, this is my thought," Darvish said through a translator. "I wish they had some kind of rule that said that, you know, pitchers that are over 33 have the right to decide whether they want to hit or whether they want to use the DH.
"Bottom line is I'm not very fond of hitting."
The fact that he made his age the first year to make the cutoff makes me think that this is a humorous approach — not everyone is taking it this way, as if it's some serious idea — but I think we can read between the lines and see the humor here. It's hard to tell with his deadpan delivery and masked-up expression, but given our knowledge of Darvish's goofy nature in other instances, we feel safe thinking that he was just playing around.
Then again ... is it really that bad of an idea? You could contend these pitchers have earned it sticking around for this long!