"it's not good for baseball in that situation" -- unwritten rules being broken, playing baseball the wrong way

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keep this thread updated throughout the season so we can keep a list of the very bad men who are not nice to other teams.


Minnesota Twins players were upset Sunday that Baltimore Orioles catcher Chance Sisco bunted against the shift for a hit in the ninth inning of Minnesota's 7-0 victory.

With one out in the ninth, Sisco bunted toward the vacant left side of the infield to get on base. The Orioles eventually loaded the bases, but Jose Berrios worked out of trouble, getting Jonathan Schoop to pop out to the catcher and Adam Jones to strike out to complete the three-hit shutout.

Despite that, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier spoke out about Sisco's bunt after the game.

"I could've said something, but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there, with Chris Davis, Adam Jones and those guys," Dozier told reporters. "I'm sure they'll address it and move forward."

Berrios added to reporters: "I don't care if he's bunting. I just know it's not good for baseball in that situation. That's it."

Sisco told reporters he was doing what he could to get on base.

"Just trying to mess with the timing of the game," Sisco said, according to the Baltimore Sun. "He was kind of going through the lineup. Just trying to do what I can to get on base.

omar little, Monday, 2 April 2018 21:17 (three years ago) link

i've seen it suggested that they're pissed because it extended the game and they had to travel and play a day game today while the orioles are off

that doesn't make it any less dumb of course

mookieproof, Monday, 2 April 2018 21:27 (three years ago) link

i mean this isn't even really an "unwritten rule" right?

na (NA), Monday, 2 April 2018 21:50 (three years ago) link

like there's an unwritten rule about bunting during a no-hitter/perfect game, and there's an unwritten rule about bunting when you have a big lead, but this doesn't meet either of those scenarios

na (NA), Monday, 2 April 2018 21:53 (three years ago) link

No matter the game or sport, it is ridiculous to complain about someone making any legal play within the letter of the rules. If edge cases turn out to be an exploitable dominant strategy then usually rules are adjusted to mitigate the un-fun-ness or imbalance.

In other words even when you’re up 7-0 it’s still the batter’s job to get on base. It’s much worse to take a handicap because non-ludic considerations than to “run up the score” or whatever nonsense.

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 2 April 2018 21:57 (three years ago) link

dozier is a fool

Karl Malone, Monday, 2 April 2018 21:57 (three years ago) link

Or even down 7-0 selfxp

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 2 April 2018 21:57 (three years ago) link

it is ridiculous to complain about someone making any legal play within the letter of the rules.

i want this PSA played on the scoreboard whenever fans boo the pitcher for throwing to first

Karl Malone, Monday, 2 April 2018 21:58 (three years ago) link

That’s hilarious tho

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 2 April 2018 21:58 (three years ago) link

the fans aren't booing because they think the pitcher is being a bad sport. they're doing it because it's fun to boo the other team and throwing to first constantly slows down the game. plus, if you can shame the pitcher into not throwing to first anymore maybe the runner can steal 8)

frogbs, Monday, 2 April 2018 22:04 (three years ago) link


Andy K, Monday, 2 April 2018 23:23 (three years ago) link

lol that is the dumbest complaint ive ever heard in the the OP.

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Monday, 2 April 2018 23:49 (three years ago) link

wow, rude

Andrelton Simmons' bunt single breaks up Corey Kluber's no-hitter in 5th inning.

— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 4, 2018

mookieproof, Wednesday, 4 April 2018 21:53 (three years ago) link

Re: last night's Yanks-Red Sox brawl, apparently when you want to throw at a guy you need to do it on the first pitch. Kelly hitting Austin on the third pitch of the at-bat was out of line.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 12 April 2018 07:59 (three years ago) link

though lol @ the idea of getting to 2-0 and saying "fuck it, I'm nailing him with a fastball"

frogbs, Thursday, 12 April 2018 12:33 (three years ago) link

“I have two dogs.”

Andy K, Thursday, 12 April 2018 13:48 (three years ago) link


i can't read the full story bc it's on the lolthletic but still f this old man nonsense

na (NA), Thursday, 12 April 2018 19:27 (three years ago) link

where is francisco cervelli's respect for the game

mookieproof, Thursday, 12 April 2018 21:56 (three years ago) link

on the original story, fuck's sake, extreme shifts are ALSO called "not good for baseball" so.. shouldn't defeating them be GOOD for baseball? i'd much rather see a return to ty cobb style hittin' 'em where they ain't as a counter to The Shift than the current tack, which seems to be juiced balls, altered "swing paths" and trying to basically just hit it out of the park

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 13 April 2018 15:45 (three years ago) link

extreme shifts are extremely cool

frogbs, Friday, 13 April 2018 15:47 (three years ago) link

i agree!

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 13 April 2018 16:14 (three years ago) link

extreme shifts aren't new, either

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Friday, 13 April 2018 16:44 (three years ago) link

no, doing them on every hitter is though

was weird a couple of weeks ago to see xander bogaerts checking the bill of his cap for instrux about where to position himself for the next batter

this is a good article on all this: http://www.weei.com/articles/column/bradford-are-players-buying-what-baseball-selling-when-it-comes-analytics-its-work

Ron Roenicke, Red Sox bench coach: "I think always since we started the shifting and things like that, you're going to have a pitcher that makes a good pitch and a guy is out front and he taps the ball through. You have to convince him first. You're right, that cost you. But say you go back a month. In the last month, we've saved you 10 hits and cost you two. Because it is an issue. A guy makes a great pitch he wants that guy to be out but he forgets about the bad pitch with a bullet line-drive that we're standing right there to catch. Everything is on percentages and the percentage is that I'm going to catch 10 balls and I'm only going to get hurt on two, I'm going to want to catch the 10 balls. And they buy into it. You just have to show them stuff."

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 13 April 2018 16:51 (three years ago) link

The Houston Astros put a pretty good beating on the White Sox on Friday night, waltzing to a blowout 10-0 victory.

So why was the Astros' starting pitcher so steamed after the game?

Justin Verlander, the future Hall of Famer who took a no-hit bid into the fifth Friday, was vocally upset with Tim Anderson, the White Sox shortstop who has been playing with a totally different attitude this season after his on-field struggles last season and the emotional effects he experienced while dealing with the death of his best friend.

Verlander lost his no-hitter on Anderson's one-out base hit in the fifth inning, to which Anderson, whose mission this season is to have fun playing baseball, celebrated. But that celebration wasn't what peeved Verlander. Instead it was Anderson's attempt at stealing second base on a 3-0 count - and the subsequent celebration when the steal didn't count because of a walk - and his attempt at stealing third base shortly thereafter. That play went haywire, as Anderson was picked off, caught in a rundown, safely made it back to second but just as Omar Narvaez was arriving, making an out. The two exchanged words on the field after that play.

But remember that that's another one of Anderson's missions this year: to steal more bases and get in opposing pitchers' heads with what he's doing on the base paths.

Well, he sure got Verlander's attention this time.

"I wasn't upset with him being excited about getting a hit," Verlander told reporters after the game. "Hey, that's baseball and you can be excited about getting a hit, he earned it. He steals on 3-0 in a 5-0 game, that's probably not great baseball. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I don't know. But he celebrated that, though. And it's like ‘Hey, I'm not worried about you right now. It's 5-0, I'm giving a high leg kick, I know you can steal. If I don't want you to steal, I'll be a little bit more aware of you. But I'm trying to get this guy out at the plate.'

"Anyway, I walk (Narvaez), (Anderson) steals 3-0, kind of celebrates that at second base again. I don't even know what he was celebrating, he didn't even get credit for a stolen base. Maybe he thought he did, I don't know.

"Then he makes, in my opinion, another bad baseball decision. Stealing third in a 5-0 game with two guys on in an inning where I was clearly struggling - I walked a guy on four pitches and went 1-0 to the next guy - and I pick you off on an inside move after the way he had kind of been jubilant about some other things, I was just as jubilant about that. Very thankful that he gave me an out. That's what I said, and he didn't like that comment but, hey, that's not my fault, that's his fault.

"I'm not going to let the situation dictate what I do out there, I'm going to slow everything down and that's what veterans can do - see the game, play the game, play the game the right way. He was a little over-agressive and I let him know it. I took offense to it."

Why all this angered the Astros' ace so much in the fifth inning of a 5-0 ballgame, that could be trickier to figure out. It sounds like another case of the "unwritten rules" of the game. But not being written down anywhere, it's hard exactly to tell which rule or rules Anderson broke.

Told after the game that Verlander wasn't very happy with him, Anderson didn't seem to be too concerned about being on the wrong side of the all-time great hurler.

"That's fine," he said. "If that's how I play, I'm having fun and it's exciting.

"I don't care what other people think, that don't bother me.

"I'm out just playing and having fun. If he took it to heart, so what?"

this is the good shit


omar little, Saturday, 21 April 2018 16:47 (three years ago) link

Yknow going back to the OP you could consider doing an extreme shift like that breaking some unwritten rule. You’re asking to get bunted on. It’s so dumb to complain about.

frogbs, Saturday, 21 April 2018 16:57 (three years ago) link

benches cleared in white sox/royals yesterday because salvador perez got mad at tim anderson for swearing after hitting a home run


na (NA), Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:45 (three years ago) link

I know Verlander's married to some model; where did Perez learn to be such a princess?

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:52 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I think we all knew the Rays' 1-inning start would be "bad for baseball," and here's Zack Cozart


the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 22 May 2018 11:47 (three years ago) link

Sliding into home to break up a double play where you barely nick the catcher's leg with clearly no intention to hurt him = open season on catchers


NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 04:51 (three years ago) link

nah fuck that

the cubs as a team have a quite recent history of breaking pirates players' legs on slides
rizzo personally has a history of shady plays at the plate
joe maddon is a sanctimonious prick who believes only he and his team are capable of playing baseball the correct way. 'my concern is that they're teaching the fans the wrong thing' lol fuck you


rizzo was already out. diaz was not near the plate. did rizzo have a clear path to the plate (even if he weren't already out)? i will say yes. maybe he had no intention of 'hurting' diaz; a better way to do that is not to slide at his legs. he made a choice to go out of his way to hit diaz, which ten years ago would have been fine; now, it is not.

maybe tonight gregory polanco will, in the process of grounding out, slide into rizzo's knees or spike his achilles at first. it'll be cool, because he's just trying to break up the play.

and on the *other* 'playing baseball the right way' tip, this took place with the cubs up 5-0 in the eighth inning of a game in which the pirates managed two hits.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:13 (three years ago) link

they were up 3-0 when it happened, this play led to it being 5-0

did the umps say anything about why they didn't call it an illegal slide?

na (NA), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:18 (three years ago) link

ah, ok

mookieproof, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 14:27 (three years ago) link

Both the #Cubs and Pirates have been told by league that Rizzo should've been called for interference on his slide at home. That differs from the umpire's call on the field as well as the video review

— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 29, 2018

curious about exactly who made this determination

mookieproof, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 19:12 (three years ago) link

that's not Joe Torre's territory, is it

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 19:18 (three years ago) link

The rule doesn't say that the runner must avoid the catcher if there's a clear path to home plate. The runner can choose his path as long as he can reach the plate and doesn't deviate from that path to go after the catcher.

He's also supposed to finish his slide (i.e be on the ground) before making contact with the catcher, in the photo above Rizzo's knees are a few inches above the ground. He could have been called out for that, but it's close.

The rule is supposed to protect catchers, not turn baseball into a zero contact sport. The rules (including the Utley rule) still leave plenty of room for breaking up plays.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 23:00 (three years ago) link

there are no circumstances, barring a rundown, in which rizzo's natural path to the plate would involve being that far inside the baseline.

i did not say that baseball should be a zero-contact sport. if diaz had been standing on home plate, then go ahead and slide into him. diaz was not, and rizzo deliberately altered his course to hit him -- and i don't care that had his slide continued he could still have touched the plate.

in what way is this different than had rizzo just grabbed diaz's arm, or did an a-rod slap? other than being more likely to cause injury, i mean. it's an accident of history that catchers and middle infielders have long been considered fair game for this stuff when, say, first basemen are not. the recent rule changes have attempted to rectify that, making this slide illegal no matter how many armchair macho men complain about the wussification of the game

mookieproof, Tuesday, 29 May 2018 23:26 (three years ago) link

Blocking the plate isn't really the issue though. If the runner can reach home and doesn't deviate his path to go after the catcher, it can be a legal slide. It doesn't matter whether there is another path that might avoid the catcher or a shorter path or whatever.

There's always going to be more leeway in defining the "baseline" for slides into home, not least because you can slide through home. If you need to slide and stay on the base (if you're hoping to be called safe), like at second or third then you have less room to deviate and can't justify sliding into the fielder if he's not in contact with the base.

Plays usually end at first base, so there's no reason to make contact with a first baseman. You can also run through first, so it's really not comparable. It's not the same as a fielder trying to turn a double play at second, where the play is continuing while the runner is sliding. The same thing can happen at home.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 30 May 2018 10:05 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

i'm always curious about things that AREN'T considered unsportsmanlike ... like the hidden ball trick doesn't seem sportsmanlike or "the right way to play the game" but no one ever gets that mad when it happens, at least not to the point of retribution. pitch framing can border on cheating but it's considered a skill instead of something that will get you plunked. is it because good pitch framing and the hidden ball trick are just inherently cool?

na (NA), Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:01 (three years ago) link

hidden ball and pitch framing are neither attached to any superstition that i know of nor are they considered disrespectful of your opponent as far as i know, and it seems like all of the unwritten rules are one (don't talk about a no-hitter, don't step on the mound) or the other (don't bunt during a no-hitter, don't admire your home run, don't enjoy playing baseball). kinda surprised the defensive shift didn't get dangerously close to breaking axiom #2 but i guess you can't plunk the entire infield out of spite.

challops trap house (Will M.), Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:19 (three years ago) link

"don't enjoy playing baseball" lol

devops mom (silby), Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:25 (three years ago) link

i think that mainly players don't want to feel embarrassed. pitch framing isn't really directed at your opponent so much as at the umpire; an ideal umpire shouldn't even care where the catcher's glove is.

as to why stealing signs is bad and the hidden-ball trick is good, i have no explanation

mookieproof, Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:28 (three years ago) link

i'd almost argue the unwritten rule is "don't get caught by the hidden ball trick"

challops trap house (Will M.), Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:37 (three years ago) link

Former third baseman Matt Williams used a different technique. On more than one occasion, he asked the runner to step off the base so that Williams could sweep the dirt off it, then tagged out the runner when the runner complied.[4] This worked twice.[5][1]

omar little, Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:47 (three years ago) link


In the minor leagues, in 1987 catcher Dave Bresnahan of the Williamsport Bills pulled an unusual hidden ball trick against the Reading Phillies in the Eastern League. With a runner on third base, Bresnahan switched catcher's mitts and put on a glove in which he had secreted a peeled potato. When the pitch came in, Bresnahan fired the white potato down the third-base line, enticing the runner to sprint home. Bresnahan then tagged the runner with the baseball which he kept in his mitt. The umpire awarded the runner home plate for Bresnahan's deception. Bresnahan was banned from the league for the incident, but the fans of the Bills loved the play and the team eventually retired Bresnahan's number.[19][20]

omar little, Thursday, 28 June 2018 20:48 (three years ago) link

15 years ago i played in an adult wood-bat league -- my team was all the leftovers who weren't on or picked up by an established team, and we lost every single game. and i broke a lot of bats, but not in a fun way -- they just kind of splintered instead of blowing up like the big leaguers' do.

but i did pull off the hidden-ball trick as a first baseman. and since i am a sad old man i will bring it up every time it's mentioned on this borad

mookieproof, Thursday, 28 June 2018 23:05 (three years ago) link

xp. that's amazing

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 28 June 2018 23:08 (three years ago) link

one month passes...


Baseball's biggest problem isn't strikeouts or analytics or pace of play.

It's curmudgeonly broadcasters that piss on the current game and players. You know what's a bad way to sell a product to young fans? Screaming "get off my lawn!" every night. pic.twitter.com/GhnT3TdXeu

— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) July 29, 2018

InfoWarriors (Spottie), Monday, 30 July 2018 03:47 (three years ago) link

I think it’s at least a little bit fair to be disgruntled at some nerd telling you where to hit the baseball

faculty w1fe (silby), Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:48 (three years ago) link

I think he’s probably just mad that no one is telling him to hit baseballs this year

Karl Malone, Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:50 (three years ago) link

Wish he had just retired a Nat :( but I guess the chance to keep hitting baseballs has a draw of its own

faculty w1fe (silby), Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:51 (three years ago) link

i dont blame older players for feeling that way.

InfoWarriors (Spottie), Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:53 (three years ago) link

one of the bigger names to retire as a tacoma rainier

mookieproof, Thursday, 9 August 2018 18:53 (three years ago) link

i think someone should suggest the Saberseminar sell SuperNerd t shirts next year

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 August 2018 19:49 (three years ago) link

unwritten front-office rules

Believe the Tigers were about to get big bites on Shane Greene -- until a non-contender blocked him on the waiver wire. That's legal, but front offices don't forget the obstruction. Among non-contenders, it's viewed as a low blow.

— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) August 23, 2018

mookieproof, Thursday, 23 August 2018 17:05 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

There's disrespectful batflips, and then there's this.....pic.twitter.com/mmnVrkVfOb

— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 11, 2018

mookieproof, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:51 (three years ago) link

44 second home run trot

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:57 (three years ago) link

kinda like Burt Reynolds entering the Tonight Show set in 1978

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:59 (three years ago) link


Karl Malone, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:02 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

maybe goose gossage is the way he is because of how long it took george brett to get around the bases here:

October 10, 1980: George Brett hits a three-run home run in Game 3 of the ALCS. The Royals sweep the Yankees and win their first American League pennant. #RaisedRoyal pic.twitter.com/rbwFmeosi6

— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) October 10, 2018

mookieproof, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 15:09 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

I think it was Ron Coomer the other night who was talking about how it used to be if your team was playing a meaningless game on the last day of the season, everyone just wanted to go home, so if a batter saw more than three pitches in an at-bat, they were fined by their teammates. Not even a kangaroo court situation since it was the end of the season, just immediately pay $50 or $100 if you see more than three pitches. It was a pretty funny anecdote.

na (NA), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 00:55 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

Here's my unwritten rule: There is literally no bad time to hit dingers. https://t.co/dkBVMWrAXP

— Michael Baumann (@MichaelBaumann) May 18, 2021

mookieproof, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 03:58 (eight months ago) link

wow i just caught up with this. fuck larussa. unbelievable.

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 19 May 2021 17:38 (eight months ago) link

You’d think sticking up for your own players would be an important unwritten rule...

I honestly hope the Sox have a bad skid of losses and LaRussia’s gets ripped apart by fans and the team alike. I am so grossed out by him at this point that I want his own players to just ridicule him openly

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 19:03 (eight months ago) link

i would prefer that the sox keep winning and larussa get another DUI and gets ripped apart by fans and the team alike

na (NA), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 19:43 (eight months ago) link

i dunno - if two DUIs wasn't enough to prevent him from getting the job, I'm not sure three will have any effect.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 19:57 (eight months ago) link

It's good that everyone under the age of 65 who doesn't have a sports media job appealing to Boomers thinks LaRussa's full of shit.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:01 (eight months ago) link

Hate can be very therapeutic, so a gift for everyone.


(I knew instantaneously where he'd come down.)

clemenza, Thursday, 20 May 2021 16:48 (eight months ago) link

"Yermin the Vermin"...fuck this guy.

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Thursday, 20 May 2021 17:14 (eight months ago) link

bill the pill

na (NA), Thursday, 20 May 2021 17:20 (eight months ago) link

yermin the vermin doesn't even work unless you mispronounce his name

na (NA), Thursday, 20 May 2021 17:20 (eight months ago) link

Has a reporter asked if the Minnesota Twins’ feewings were hurt? That seems to be the germane issue. And an important one in baseball, that famous respecter of players’ feewings.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 20 May 2021 17:34 (eight months ago) link

"Yermin the Vermin"--only skimmed, missed that; ugh.

clemenza, Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:03 (eight months ago) link

how about “bill the dipshit” it has a ring to it

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:05 (eight months ago) link

I love how swinging at a pitch is considered reprehensible but then throwing at a player in retribution is totally ok according to the "unwritten rules"

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:07 (eight months ago) link

jeez, bill james, cut it out

In the great movie "Gran Torino", Clint Eastwood pats a young child on the head, only to learn that this is considered highly offensive in the Hmong culture. It’s an unwritten rule.

We are, of course, in the middle of a controversy involving the unwritten rules. Yermin Mercedes, who is no relation to his cousin, Vermin Gran Torino . .

Anyway, the thing that has just happened, between Yermin the Vermin and Tony LaRedneck, has very close parallels in my life, your life, and everybody else’s life.

Mercedes, of course. . . and I mean no disrespect by joking about his name. . .but

Karl Malone, Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:15 (eight months ago) link

i haven't seen gran torino, so maybe i'm missing some connection to it and "vernin"? james has clint eastwood on the brain

Karl Malone, Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:16 (eight months ago) link

If an established position player is pitching then swing all you want imo.

This is not a triple A pitcher trying to get a job in the majors and they are adding to his era in a blowout, the other team basically called in the L.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 21 May 2021 01:23 (eight months ago) link

Astros broadcast just said that A's fans stand out to them because they seem to boo only players from the 2017 team, and not ALL of the current Astros like other fans do.

— Gabe (@925mlbfan) May 20, 2021


reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 21 May 2021 17:07 (eight months ago) link

i believe that the best fans in baseball will also boo the proper players

Karl Malone, Friday, 21 May 2021 17:08 (eight months ago) link

Wonder if Springer will get such a treatment.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 21 May 2021 19:30 (eight months ago) link

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