If Nomar Garciaparra was a soccer player that had to re-lace his shoes three times for every stoppage in play, he’d be more hated than Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović combined.In baseball, traditions like this are commonplace.
Yesterday, The Los Angeles Times ran an article about the “Unwritten Rules of Baseball,” that discusses what ballplayers do and why they do it.
When Earvin Santana threw his no-hitter earlier this week, his teammates behaved in a manner that would make a baseball traditionalist’s head explode. Instead of leaving the pitcher alone while he sits by himself in the dugout to think about how awesome he’s doing, the Angels players would talk and joke with the right-hander.
They were not “supposed to do that” but there’s nothing in the rule book to explain that. And there won’t ever be.
The Unwritten Rules of Baseball are a bit like Fight Club, as the LA Times article explains:
“The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime.”
“Thou shalt not speak of the unwritten rules.”
Major Leaguers know the unwritten rules from watching games, not from other players sitting down and telling them. People who have been around the game longer are more apt to know them. Howie Kendrick, a veteran who was one of the Angels players who turned his nose up at the baseball gods for chatting it up with a pitcher who was in the midst of a no-no, knew the rules well enough to not even bring up the no-hitter while talking to him. “We didn’t mention what was going on because it’s kind of one of those unwritten rules. But we tried to have fun.”
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