Thanks to the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, the unwritten rules of baseball have once again come to the forefront — primarily because Boston pitchers keep throwing at Manny Machado for taking out Dustin Pedroia with a hard slide. Let’s just state for the record that the unwritten rules are stupid, should be discarded, and whoever follows them should be suspended from baseball for half a season.
That said, if baseball players are going to continue to insist upon following these unwritten rules, I figured I would write down some rules that should be followed also — kind of the unwritten, written rules of baseball, so to speak.
1. ROUGNED ODOR RULE: This one is simple. If Odor plays on your team, then you are forbidden from charging the mound, throwing at a hitter, complaining about a hard slide or whining in any form about any plays that you consider to be dirty. (Yes, this includes Mike Napoli.)
2. MIKE NAPOLI RULE: Speaking of Mike Napoli, if your pitcher hits two opposing batters in a game, you don’t get to whine and charge the mound after a Lance McCullers pitch goes behind you. You also don’t get to do it because Rougned Odor is a teammate.
3. CHRIS SALE RULE: If you cut up your entire team’s uniforms and throw a fit because you don’t like your team’s throwback jerseys, you don’t get to become an arbiter of the best way to play baseball (like throwing at Manny Machado because you think he slid too hard into Dustin Pedroia).
4. JOSE BAUTISTA RULE: Bat flips are fun. Bat flips are cool. And if you get angry because a guy flips a bat after a home run, maybe consider taking out your anger on the pitcher who gave up the homer. (See: Texas Rangers.)
5. BRIAN MCCANN RULE: Here’s a corollary to the Jose Bautista Rule…if your pitcher gives up a home run to a rookie pitcher and it’s that pitcher’s first homer, get angry at your pitcher for serving a pitch the guy could hit instead of getting angry at the rookie celebrating as he rounds the bases.
6. CURT SCHILLING RULE: Nothing should bar a team from bunting to break up a no-hitter. Especially if the score is only 2-0 and it’s the eighth inning. The object of the game is to win, and it’s hard to win if a team can’t get a runner on a base. So what if you lose the no-hitter?
7. BO PORTER RULE: Speaking of bunts, if a club is going to play a defensive shift, there’s also nothing that says opponents can’t lay down a bunt to beat that shift. It doesn’t matter what the score of the game is.
8. VIN SCULLY RULE: Broadcasters should be allowed to talk about no-hitters in progress, contrary to baseball superstition. Vin Scully talked about no-hitters in progress a lot, and he’s only the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.
9. CRAIG BIGGIO RULE: If you throw your elbow out into a pitch, you get called out instead of getting first base as the result of a hit-by-pitch. (The NBA version would be the James Harden Rule where, if you initiate contact, then flail yours wildly toward the basket after contact, your opponent gets to shoot three free throws instead of you.)
10. DON DRYSDALE RULE: This isn’t the 1960s. Any pitcher throw at a batter's head is suspended for the entire season.
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