A Gentlemen’s Agreement? How “Unwritten Rules” Are Ruining The MLB

Don’t wear white after Labor Day is one of the many unspoken rules in society that make you scratch your head. For some it impacts their wardrobe for the second half of the year, for others it raises questions as to why it even exists.

Rules like that exist in the MLB and are ruining the quality of a great sport. Some of the “Unwritten Rules” have surfaced recently and are being questioned by players, legends and former managers alike. If these are not addressed then they could cause issues down the road for league morale and revenue for the MLB.

A rule that I don’t understand in baseball is the “Don’t bunt to break up a No-Hitter” ruleIf a pitcher is pitching a no-hitter, great, but as a batter your job is to get on base and score. If a bunt will accomplish that then you shouldn’t hold back.

The best batters are shrewd operators and don’t care whether it’s a no-hitter or a blow out, they want to knock one out of the park. The fans want to see this as well, which is why the “Don’t swing on a 3-0 count when your team is ahead” is probably the dumbest one of all.

Fernando Tatís Jr. of the San Diego Padres can tell you about this one since he recently broke it. The Padres’ slugger blasted a grand slam over the right field wall in a matchup with the Rangers. He caught a lot of flack from his manager but also received support from legends and players.

One such legend, former Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench, said on Twitter “So you take a pitch…now you’re 3-1. Then the pitcher comes back with a great setup pitch…3-2. Now you’re ready to groundout into a double play. Everyone should hit 3-0. Grand Slams are a huge stat.”

Mr. Bench, if you are reading this thank the baseball gods for your soul. This is exactly right. Why set your self up for a 3-1 or 3-2 setup and groundout if you can just blast a pitch and score?

This isn’t even the most egregious rule though. The “Do not swing at the first pitch of an at bat if the pitcher has allowed back-to-back homeruns” rule makes me face palm quite often. If Brian Bumgarner is laying an egg on the mound and I step up and he throws a line drive over the plate in my wheelhouse, I’m putting it over the back wall.

One that I think would add some flair to the game if it didn’t exist is the rule, “Don’t spend time admiring a home run you hit.” I would love to see batters express themselves after booming one over the The Green Monster in Fenway Park. Imagine Aaron Judge giving a “Hulk Smash” or “Gavel Slam” celebration after a homer in Boston.

People say that the MLB is boring and this is why. I would love to see batters hitting grand slams and homers more often and celebrating but because of these rules we don’t get that luxury.

I have one more that in my opinion takes leadership out of the players’ hands:

The “A pitcher shouldn’t show displeasure after one of his fielders commits and error” rule. I believe that if a fielder makes an error that the pitcher should be allowed to show his frustration. The leader in other sports is allowed to do it, so why can’t a pitcher?

These are just some of the most glaring of the MLB’s “Unwritten Rules.” If these continue to be enforced they could lose more than just fans but players as well. MLB please allow fans and players to play the game loose and free. Thank You.

 

 

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