Scout’s Take: Unwritten Rules in Question

The unwritten rules for major league baseball players are just that, unwritten. If they are not written down, they don’t exist.

When San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a 3-0 pitch in the eighth inning for a grand slam, with a 10-3 lead, it made the score 14-3. The Texas Rangers took exception to that. According to the Rangers, it appears that there is a rule in the unwritten rule book that Tatis was not obeying. The unwritten rule of not swinging at a 3-0 pitch with a big lead late in the game. OH Boo Hoo Hoo, let me get a tractor trailer of tissues for the Texas Rangers. How about getting your pitcher to throw a better pitch.

What’s next, everyone gets a trophy? No yelling from the fans or dugout when the pitcher is in his windup? Mommy bring me my water? That’s what they do in Little League. There is a reason why they call it the Major Leagues.

I’m not saying there are some things that players try to not do to show up an opponent. That is out of respect. Bat flips and fist pumps are fun for the fans but trust me, those are the kind of things that will land you flat on your back from a veteran pitcher. That is because unwritten rule 6, section B-3 states that “Showing up a pitcher, team or home team crowd, will be in violation of said rule. Penalty will be chin music in following at bat. Not to be extended beyond that next at bat against said team.” As Casey Stengel would always say, “You can look it up.” Well, maybe not that one.

So now I have given you two different thoughts on this “unwritten rule” thing. Now what? I do believe players have to respect each other and tip their cap to someone who either just struck you out or hit a bomb off of you. But when a pitcher gets mad at a hitter for taking him downtown in any situation, he should be mad at himself for not making a better pitch. And the strike out victim needs to maybe do a better job with his pitch selection.

This kid Tatis is the hottest young hitter in baseball today. Instead of bellyaching about this young star showing you up, how about tipping your hat to a kid who is only trying to be the best at what he does. And what’s with his manager Jayce Tingler? How about having your players back and talk to him later in your office instead of embarrassing him in the press? Talk about violating an unwritten rule. Shame on him.

Baseball players have always policed themselves when their unwritten rules were violated. Some of the sentences handed down have not been pretty. Making this into a big deal is indicative of the lack of things to write about as we watch this make-believe season.

By the way, who says a seven run lead in the eighth inning is safe today? Those juiced up baseballs are flying out of stadiums like toupees in a hurricane. HOF great Johnny Bench tweeted this to Tatis: “So you take a pitch…now you’re 3-1. Then the pitcher comes back with a great setup pitch…3-2. Now you’re ready to ground out into a double play. Everyone should hit 3-0. Grand Slams are a huge stat.”

I can never figure out why so many of today’s players appear to be sensitive to these things. As long as teams put blame on things like this for a poor effort that day, they will be losers to me at more than just a ballgame.

Looks like the unwritten rules committee needs to call a meeting to address this travesty. One that threatens to cause players to seek therapy for their fractured egos.

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