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Old 09-07-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,302 posts, read 6,839,296 times
Reputation: 6517

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Filihok: Unwritten Rules in Baseball: The Nationals are better than the Cubs
Quote:
We oft hear of the "unwritten rules of baseball". Things like not mentioning a no-hitter, not walking between the catcher and pitcher, not stepping on the pitcher's mound when you're on offense, retaliating for one of your teammates being hit by a pitch, etc.

I think the reason that these rules are unwritten is because they are too stupid to write down.

Case in point, last night's Nationals vs Cubs games.

The Nationals have the best record in baseball. The Cubs, well, they have a better record than the Astros.

Last night the Nationals were beating the Cubs 7 - 2 in the 5th inning when this thing happened.

Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | CHC@WSH: Benches clear as Porter, Quirk have words - Video | MLB.com: Multimedia

The Nationals had been putting it to the Cubs in this series, outscoring them 29 - 8 at that point. Apparently, Cubs' bench coach, Jamie Quirk, began yelling at Nationals' 3rd basecoach, Bo Porter, about Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded and the Nationals up by 5 runs.

The fracas eventually cleared, Werth hit a long flyball to right field and order was restored.

Until the bottom of the 6th inning when this happened.

Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | CHC@WSH: Harper takes one inside, benches clear again - Video | MLB.com: Multimedia

Harper was the next Nationals batter after Jayson Werth and Cubs' pitcher, Lendy Castillo, appears to try and hit him with a pitch.

I'll admit I don't know exactly what happened and I'm doing some speculation and mind reading here.

Apparently the Cubs felt that Werth should not have been swinging 3-0 up by 5 runs. That's when things first started. Why should Werth not have done that? I don't know. Up by 5 the Nationals should quite trying to win because the game has already been decided? That's certainly not true. The Yankees had a 5-run inning that same night. A 5-run lead is a good lead, but certainly not insurmountable. But, maybe, the Cubs felt the Nationals should stop playing to win at that point.

Dumb

But it gets even dumber.

If the Cubs felt that that Nationals should stop trying to win the game, why were the Cubs still trying to win the game?

How do we know the Cubs were trying to win the game? Because they didn't throw at Jayson Werth in the 5th inning.

Lendy Castillo could very easily have thrown a 3-1 fastball at Werth right after the 'inappropriate' swing. But he didn't. Why? Because the bases were loaded. Throwing at Werth would have given the Nationals another run. Why wouldn't the Cubs want the Nationals to score another run? Because the Cubs were still trying to win the game. If the Cubs are still trying to win the game, then, by any type of logic, the Nationals should also still be trying to win the game.

Apparently that type of logic eludes a frightening portion of individuals involved with Major League Baseball.

So, instead of throwing at Jayson Werth, the Cubs wait until the next inning to throw at Bryce Harper.

Harper has been at the center of controversy before.

Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | PHI@WSH: Harper impresses with catch, steals home - Video | MLB.com: Multimedia

There were a faction of idiots who felt that 'the punk' Harper deserved this.

There is another faction, that includes me, who thinks that Harper is an amazing player who combines outstanding natural talent with maximum effort as evidenced by his steal of home against Hamels and this similar play made in the first inning of the game against the Cubs. Of course, Harper got to 3rd base by combining his talent and hustle on this triple.

The Nationals are having an amazing season because they combine talent with hard work, hustle, and smart baseball. The Cubs are looking up at them and should look up to them instead of engaging in this petty nonsense.
Click the link to watch actual videos of real baseball in order to compare and contrast the right and wrong way to play baseball
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
11,213 posts, read 7,283,682 times
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We are all idiots in the manner of ballplayers following the unwritten rules.

Consider all the times in traffic where you have become infuriated when some other driver violated the unwritten rules of the road. You decide to be courteous and allow a driver trying to change lanes to merge in front of you...and suddenly the car behind that driver takes advantage of your pause and also merges in front of you. Big deal, you are now two cars further behind rather than one, your life hasn't been altered in any important manner, yet you are still outraged at that second driver. Why? Because that person did it without your permission! Had that person given you a pleading look or gestured to indicate that he or she also wished to swithc lanes, you probably would have allowed it as well...but they have to get your okay first! That is the unwritten law in such matters.

You wind up pissed off, but swallow the insult. Some people don't, and that is where we get road rage incidents.

So, these ballplayers do seem ridiculous with their vendettas directed against the violaters of pointless, unwritten rules of baseball courtesy, but they are reflecting their humanity. We are all that stupid from time to time.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Cook County
5,286 posts, read 4,065,055 times
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So this forum is pretty much just your blog now?
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,302 posts, read 6,839,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeish View Post
So this forum is pretty much just your blog now?
yes
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,302 posts, read 6,839,296 times
Reputation: 6517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
We are all idiots in the manner of ballplayers following the unwritten rules.

Consider all the times in traffic where you have become infuriated when some other driver violated the unwritten rules of the road. You decide to be courteous and allow a driver trying to change lanes to merge in front of you...and suddenly the car behind that driver takes advantage of your pause and also merges in front of you. Big deal, you are now two cars further behind rather than one, your life hasn't been altered in any important manner, yet you are still outraged at that second driver. Why? Because that person did it without your permission! Had that person given you a pleading look or gestured to indicate that he or she also wished to swithc lanes, you probably would have allowed it as well...but they have to get your okay first! That is the unwritten law in such matters.

You wind up pissed off, but swallow the insult. Some people don't, and that is where we get road rage incidents.

So, these ballplayers do seem ridiculous with their vendettas directed against the violaters of pointless, unwritten rules of baseball courtesy, but they are reflecting their humanity. We are all that stupid from time to time.
Fair point

Maybe the big deal isn't so much the unwritten rule as the unwritten punishments.

As angry as I've gotten I've never decided that driving my car into the offender was justified.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,755 posts, read 39,152,929 times
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I thought this was going to be about the half-swing and the balk.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
11,213 posts, read 7,283,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
Fair point

Maybe the big deal isn't so much the unwritten rule as the unwritten punishments.

As angry as I've gotten I've never decided that driving my car into the offender was justified.
But not because you didn't want to, right? In your mind you might have been crushing that offending car with a tank.

It becomes more complex when an entire team is involved rather than two people driving somewhere. There is the entire "band of brothers" ethic which complicates it, as in "standing up for your teammates", the popular euphemism applied to a pitcher retaliating with a purpose pitch after one of his brethern had been plunked earlier.

I'm sure the evolution of these unwritten rules reveals some actual incident behind each one. For example, the "don't mention a no hitter while it is still going on" rule most likely became a superstition after some pitcher took a no hitter into the late innings and then some teammate started blabbing about it, followed shortly by the first hit by the opposition. Coincidence and cause got fused in people's minds and soon it was understood that if you did mention an in progress no hitter and it was then lost, you would be blamed. The absense of logic isn't important, the popularity of the misbelief is.

Why can't you steal a base if your team is leading by a large margin after six innings? Probably because there once was some ugly incident, something where more than just the pile it on stolen base was the source of animosity between two teams, and this made the stolen base seem like the last straw in what had been a series of insults directed at your team. After that a stolen base in such circumstances was seen as a deliberate attempt to rub it in the opposition's face, as in "He knew it would pizz us off, he knew it wasn't needed for the game, but he did it anyway. The only reason for doing was to flash a gesture of contempt for us. We must reestablish our ferocity by retalitating down the road."
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:55 PM
 
1,310 posts, read 761,099 times
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The correct answer to the original question is: Any team, even a little league team or even a bunch of guy's just getting together are better than the Cubs. You can't imagine how bad it is to hear all of the has-been sports announcers on local TV/radio talking about this loser team.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,302 posts, read 6,839,296 times
Reputation: 6517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
But not because you didn't want to, right? In your mind you might have been crushing that offending car with a tank.
I don't recall that, no.

Quote:
It becomes more complex when an entire team is involved rather than two people driving somewhere. There is the entire "band of brothers" ethic which complicates it, as in "standing up for your teammates", the popular euphemism applied to a pitcher retaliating with a purpose pitch after one of his brethern had been plunked earlier.

I'm sure the evolution of these unwritten rules reveals some actual incident behind each one. For example, the "don't mention a no hitter while it is still going on" rule most likely became a superstition after some pitcher took a no hitter into the late innings and then some teammate started blabbing about it, followed shortly by the first hit by the opposition. Coincidence and cause got fused in people's minds and soon it was understood that if you did mention an in progress no hitter and it was then lost, you would be blamed. The absense of logic isn't important, the popularity of the misbelief is.

Why can't you steal a base if your team is leading by a large margin after six innings? Probably because there once was some ugly incident, something where more than just the pile it on stolen base was the source of animosity between two teams, and this made the stolen base seem like the last straw in what had been a series of insults directed at your team. After that a stolen base in such circumstances was seen as a deliberate attempt to rub it in the opposition's face, as in "He knew it would pizz us off, he knew it wasn't needed for the game, but he did it anyway. The only reason for doing was to flash a gesture of contempt for us. We must reestablish our ferocity by retalitating down the road."
Sacrificing virgins to a volcano might have coincided with a great harvest once, doesn't mean it's not stupid to do it now.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: NY
6,326 posts, read 5,556,613 times
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Basically, it sounds like the cubs felt the Nats/Werth were showing them up, and ultimately decided to retaliate. I wonder what the words were that were exchanged. They didn't exactly difuse the situation but instead seemed to inflame it. Maybe Harper got hit for something he said too. I have no idea.


Basically, I think the Cubs must have felt disrespected, and finally decided to retaliate. The choice of Harper, and/or having things boil over might have been a culmination of things that occured throughout the series too.
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