There has been a lot of uproar lately about baseball’s “unwritten rules” and I’ve come to the conclusion that people don’t have any idea what they are talking about. Much like fighting in hockey, people think the point is just to punch someone in the face, or throw a ball whizzing past their dome just to get your jollies off. That is ignorant. And these people should not talk about these topics ever. They also probably have never played the game or are Rick Dempsey.
First of all, a bit of disclosure: I was not good at baseball which is why I never played past a half-hearted fall season in Junior College. However when I did play, I played by “the rules.” One time, as a sophomore, in the JV/Varsity scrimmage I threw at a teammate because I gave up arguably the longest homerun ever hit on the planet earth and the batter proceeded to walk all the way to second base. Should I have “been better, and not given up a bomb?” Probably, but the fact that I suck doesn’t mean this guy gets to go all Manny Ramirez whenever he hits a dinger. If you’ve seen me play slow pitch softball, you know that I play like one of the biggest dickheads you will ever meet. I talk shit and I hot dog whenever possible. I’ll do this all day because opponents can’t handle it. Which is why MLBers pimp homeruns and guys with balls throw inside on David Ortiz.
The only recourse players have is if somebody shows you up and your pitcher
isn’t a bitch has your back is to throw at someone, preferably their best player. The reason for this is not to piss the other guys off like most people think. The point is “You beat me, that’s ok. Don’t be a cock about it.” You know what happens next when guys aren’t being primadona assholes? Nothing happens, because everyone on both benches knew it was coming and it is over. It’s baseballs system of checks and balances. The real problem is guys like Tony Larussa. He has been in the game long enough to know better, but the longer I watch the more I’m convinced he knows nothing. You don’t bitch and whine about a pitch up and in to your star player, you take it. After that, if you feel it was intentional, you get ONE SHOT to get even. If you’re guy misses, you send him to the minors. You certainly don’t deny, then half deny, then freak out after the game trying to explain they did it intentionally and you didn’t. Everybody knows it you did it. Either say, “yeah we threw at him” or don’t answer.
Not all of these “rules” can be defended. If a game is close and you’re being no hit, feel free to try to bunt for a base hit. You’re trying to win. But in large part, these “rules” are necessary. Otherwise you’ve got dudes doing cartwheels on the way to first base after a homerun and pitchers flashing the Charlie Daniels as a post strikeout celebration. The problem is not the rules, it is those who think they are above them.
If you think that because baseball isn’t a contact sport that intimidation and physicality isn’t a huge part of it then you are mistaken. And if you don’t love watching Nolan Ryan throw at, then rearrange Robin Ventura’s face, you are a liar. This video brought to you by “The Unwritten Rules Of Baseball”
See you at the yard
~ Jjaks Clayton