Home MLB Web pick of the week: Unwritten rules

Web pick of the week: Unwritten rules

by Matt Smith

Web-PickIt’s more of a web ‘picks’ of the week today as the ‘Alex Rodriguez running across the pitching mound’ saga has prompted much debate about the infamous ‘unwritten rules’ that govern baseball.

The incident in question occurred in a game between the Yankees and A’s when Alex Rodriguez made an out on the basepads and ran across the pitcher’s mound on his way back to the dugout. Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden went brilliantly barmy about it, claiming that A-Rod had broken one of the unwritten rules of baseball.

Various books have been written about the so-called unwritten rules and I reviewed Paul Dickson’s contribution last November.  The nature of unwritten rules, in baseball and any other community, is that they are governed by the members of that community and different people will not always agree on them. 

In a recent article on MLB.com, Brewers manager Ken Macha and D-Backs manager A. J. Hinch both classed A-Rod’s alleged violation as a ‘new one’ to them, whereas St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa claimed “there are a lot of current players who wouldn’t know that rule … I guarantee that young man [Braden] has studied baseball history”.

Former Major Leaguer Morgan Ensberg found A-Rod ‘not guilty’ in one of a number of typically interesting and funny posts on the subject at his ever-enjoyable blog. His most recent is a response to an article on ‘unwritten rules’ by Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com.

The unwritten rules are a very subjective, sometimes contradictory, set of laws and that’s partly what makes them such an interesting topic to learn about.

Hat tip to Joe for passing on the recent Morgan Ensberg post, providing the inspiration for this week’s Web pick.

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