It used to be that All-Stars were bestowed the title of "DH" as a late-career master's degree. Familiar names received handsome salaries to take four at-bats per game into their baseball dotage.
As recently as the 2007 season, the likes of Frank Thomas, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Jason Giambi and Jose Vidro were the primary designated hitters for their respective teams.
But as politicians have said of certain positions in the manufacturing sector: Those jobs are going away, and they may not come back.
Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui and Magglio Ordoñez -- full- or part-time designated hitters in 2011 -- are unemployed less than two weeks before Opening Day. They have amassed a combined 8,708 hits, but the industry is ready to move on without them. And it's not hard to see why.
American League general managers have realized that, sure, it's worthwhile to have perennial All-Stars like David Ortiz or Victor Martinez in the DH spot. Anything short of tha...