Breaking News
More () »

Opinion | Why it's time to let the unwritten rules of baseball die

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch Monday night, and old baseball minds got mad. There's no place in baseball for whining and crying
Credit: AP
San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. watches the flight of his grand slam ball that came off a pitch from Texas Rangers relief pitcher Juan Nicasio in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday Aug. 17, 2020. The shot also scored Jurickson Profar, Josh Naylor and Trent Grisham. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Some things are just too simple. If you don't want a hitter to crush a baseball on a 3-0 count, throw a better pitch. Don't whine about it like a loser afterwards. That's bush league, as movie San Diego news voice Ron Burgundy once said.

Monday night, Fernando Tatis Jr. smashed a grand slam against the Texas Rangers. The blast put the San Diego Padres ahead for good. Juan Nicasio threw the pitch and the Rangers were upset. Heck, Tatis Jr.'s own manager Jayce Tingler didn't like it. Tingler needs to relax and understand that a mighty talent shouldn't be harnessed to protect an expired relic of a code.

Here's an idea: the unwritten baseball rules need to disappear. Lose them. Burn them. Something nice and quick. The game doesn't need a dusty set of rules to adhere to, especially in a season that is anything but ordinary. It's time to embrace the 3-0 blast-off swings, bat flips, pitcher passion screams, and the new grooves this game is offering. Let's celebrate the likes of talent such as Tatis Jr., Mike Trout, and Jack Flaherty instead of policing their activities.

Since the game is rapidly changing and evolving, there's no use in staring backwards for too long. The designated hitter is here to stay. Runners are taking second base in the tenth inning. Pitch clocks are a thing. There's minimum batters-faced requirements for relief pitchers. All of this basically means the old has to be let go.

If it's okay with the masses, a little fun in the game might be a good thing, especially if you are trying to collect new fans due to losing others after an ugly labor dispute before the 2020 season restarted. Introduce some youthful exuberance to the game instead of trying to harness it. You never know, young people might smile more at a game that puts middle-aged people to sleep. Instead, they are most likely told to respect the unwritten rules.

Question: If they are so sacred, why do they have to be unwritten? Why so secretive?

The truth is they are weighing the game down instead of pushing it forward. If the Rangers are mad about Tatis Jr. hitting a baseball halfway across the city during the game, maybe they should try a better pitch next time. Get the hitter out and no one whines about it.

Grown men shouldn't whine. It's right next to crying, which is basically illegal in baseball. The next time a hitter goes 3-0 on a Rangers pitcher, or any pitcher on any team in the league for that matter, I hope the next pitch is sent 400+ feet behind the mound. I hope that batter pauses and admires the ball before tossing the bat.

I'm tired of old things ruling over the modern era of a game. Like Kylo Ren said, "let the past die; kill it if you have to."

The game is a great one, and it doesn't need any tales from the crypt.

The unwritten rules of baseball need to vanish. Let the kids roam free and have some fun. You never know... Perhaps the game will be more fun and appealing if everyone lightened up a little.

More Commentary

Paid Advertisement