Category Archives: This Week in the Unwritten Rules

This Week in the Unwritten Rules

June 21
Tigers closer Jose Valverde and Arizona’s Miguel Montero get into a public war of words over Valverde’s mound antics.

June 22
Adam Jones lobbies to have an error changed to a hit in a game in which his team was soundly defeated. This doesn’t always play well in the clubhouse.

June 23
The already outdated rule about not swinging after back-to-back home runs has officially been decreed dead

June 24
Fredi Gonzalez’s spat with Hanley Ramirez finally catches up with him.

June 24
Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders shows us that respect on a ballfield can take many forms.

June 25
Joe Maddon vents near an ump, not at him. It makes no difference; he’s tossed anyway.

June 25
No-hitter etiquette leads to message-board hilarity.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules, Video Edition

Going to the ballpark to talk to players and ex-players about the unwritten rules is an invigorating process. Sometimes, however, interviews turn out differently on the page than they do in person.

That’s why we’ve decided to bring you This Week in the Unwritten Rules, a semi-regular video segment we’re hoping to produce for the rest of the season. With video, we’re able to bring you some of the sport’s key characters, discussing the Code directly.

Enjoy.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

June 14
Mound conference etiquette says that a pitcher waits for his manager after getting yanked from a game. Compared to some, Tony Sipp got off easy.

June 15
Another bunter tries to break up another no-hitter. Nobody seemed to mind.

June 16
Adam Dunn taught a painful lesson to a rookie catcher who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

June 17
As evidenced by Casey McGehee’s takeout of Erick Aybar, what might seem like clear Code violations aren’t necessarily so.

June 18
A war of words heated up between Carlos Zambrano and Jerry Blevins.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

June 7
Brandon Phillips pounds his chest in self-congratulation. The Nationals drill him for it. Discussion ensues.

June 8
A Cincinnati Enquirer columnist dismisses the importance of baseball’s Code. This space disagrees.

June 9
ESPN the Mag suggests that pitch tipping plagued Ben Sheets. Sheets disagrees.

June 9
Getting to the heart of Dallas Braden’s quest for respect takes us back to Stockton.

June 10
Baseball’s Code isn’t just for players. Umpires and fans have their own sets, as well.

June 11
It appears as if Pete Rose corked his bats in his run-up to 4,192. Does it matter? Depends who you ask.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

A week shortened by Memorial Day gives us a truncated list of Code violations.

June 1
Nearly everybody respected the Code during Roy Halladay’s perfect game (and those that didn’t still couldn’t jinx it).

June 2
Carlos Gomez put on a whale of a show while pimping his homer. His saving grace: contrition after the fact.

June 3
Jim Joyce blows a perfect game for Armando Galarraga. Had he hewn to the Code, he never would have made that mistake.

June 4
For those who thought Joyce set the umpiring profession back a generation, a Triple-A call-up showed them how it’s really done.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

May 23
Visual evidence emerges that players have, in the past, run across the pitcher’s mound.

May 24
Ozzie Guillen claims that offenses should shut down as early as the fourth inning. Then he emphasizes his point.

May 24
The juncture at which an umpire issues a warning can make a significant difference in the way the unwritten rules play out, or not.

May 25
Two more intra-squad squabbles—between Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa, and Francisco Rodriguez and Randy Niemann—add to the rash of such incidents so far this season.

May 26
Adrian Beltre explains that players go to extra lengths when it comes to doing things like helping preserve a no-hitter.

May 27
Bengie Molina has a lack of speed, not a lack of feelings—as he lets ESPN know.

May 28
Ted Lilly is called out for pitching from in front of the pitcher’s rubber. “Talk about adding a yard to your fastball,” wrote Whitey Ford about the practice.

May 28
ESPN’s Eduardo Perez offers a mini-primer on how to talk to umpires.

May 29
Colorado’s Ryan Spilborghs swung at the first pitch after teammates had hit back-to-back home runs . . . and hit a home run. One reader to this blog is out a steak because of it.

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

May 17
Dallas Braden debunks the axiom that says one shouldn’t change a thing while in the process of throwing a no-hitter. He did, during his—by accident.

May 18
Hanley Ramirez loafs after a booted ball, blames injury. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t buy it.

May 19
Hanley Ramirez, anything but contrite, blows his situation into the stratosphere.

May 19
The Red Sox pull starter Josh Beckett for injury reasons without a trainer ever visiting the mound—giving their reliever unlimited time to warm up. The Yankees, unappreciative, protest the game.

May 20
Hanley Ramirez
finally apologizes; everybody exhales and moves on.

May 21
Mets starter John Maine is pulled after five pitches while being called a “habitual liar” about the state of his health. Except that’s exactly what he’s supposed to do.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

May 10
Dallas Braden’s perfect game would have been markedly less perfect had Evan Longoria gotten his bunt down in the fifth inning. Should he have tried it in the first place?

May 11
Josh Beckett went nuts against the Yankees, throwing fastball after fastball at or near multiple players. Was it unintentional? Does it matter?

May 12
The Phillies own both a pair of binoculars and an allegedly powerful hunger to see what the other team is up to behind the plate.

May 12
Nap-gate hit the Mariners clubhouse hard. The real issue, however, isn’t Ken Griffey Jr.’s sleep habits, it’s who’s leaking sensitive information to the media.

May 13
It’s not like the Phillies haven’t been accused of sign stealing before. Like, last October, by Yankees fans.

May 14
Chris Carpenter is proving to have a weak spot when it comes to perceived disrespect. Turns out there is such thing as too much devotion to the unwritten rules.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

May 3
Pirates starter Zach Duke failed to respond when Dodgers reliever Ramon Ortiz threw two pitches at Andrew McCutchen—one at his head. Realizing the potential for disaster, he immediately owned up to his oversight, in a most public manner.

May 4
An additional wrinkle for the Zach Duke situation concerned whether he should have been instructed by manager John Russell to carry out the deed.

May 4
I wrote a piece for Yahoo Sports, detailing 10 of the lesser-known unwritten rules.

May 5
Milton Bradley
quit on his teammates, leaving the ballpark after being pulled from a game—while the game was still going on. There are few more effective means of losing clubhouse support.

May 6
Dallas Braden weighed in on the Alex Rodriguez mound-crossing affair once again, this time on video.

May 6
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick talked to three prominent pitchers about how they’d respond should various unwritten rules be broken on their watch.

May 6
Anaheim’s Howie Kendrick bunted in the game-winning run in the 12th inning against Cleveland. Not every member of the Indians appreciated it.

May 7
Washington’s Scott Olsen had a no-hitter through seven innings against Atlanta. Then the Braves requested that the grounds crew tamp down the mound. Did it distract him? Two batters later, he gave up a hit.

May 7
Morgan Ensberg discusses a novel way to relay pitch selection from second base, and it has nothing to do with stealing signs from the catcher.

- Jason

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This Week in the Unwritten Rules

April 26
In light of the debate about youngster Dallas Braden’s propriety in calling out Alex Rodriguez, we look at some instances of players verbally overstepping their bounds.

April 27
Mark Teixeira annihilated Angels catcher Bobby Wilson in a play at the plate. Was he within his rights? You be the judge.

April 28
There are proper and improper methods of “deking,” or throwing phantom (decoy) tags down on unsuspecting base runners. In a game against Philadelphia, Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria deked Ryan Howard perfectly.

April 29
An unwritten rule prohibits teammates from speaking ill of each other in the press. You wouldn’t know it by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, but the same holds true for management.

April 29
Chris Tillman, a Triple-A pitcher in the Orioles system, no-hit the Gwinnett Braves. In the fifth inning, he said in the Baltimore Sun’s Orioles Insider blog, “I looked up and noticed what was going on, and then I started noticing my teammates were sitting farther and farther away from me in the dugout, giving me the cold shoulder.”

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