Dodgers: Unwritten rules of baseball and their relevance

Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) follows through on a three-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Mets during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) follows through on a three-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Mets during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

On Wednesday, Yasiel Puig hit a towering shot into the left-field pavilion. And like any other artist would do, he took a second to admire his work. This gesture was not taken well by the Mets, and their reasoning was respect and the “unwritten rule” of bat flipping and staring at your home-run for an extended time.

Following Puig’s slow start to rounding the bases, Wilmer Flores had taken offense to the wild horse’s actions. He let Puig know about his disdain by shouting something at Puig while he was trotting passed him. Yasiel then responded with a quick answer and continued his home run jog, eventually being greeted by Travis D’Arnaud. Seemingly the situation was over, but then Puig had a talk with Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes who both let him know that they didn’t appreciate his actions.

But they were not done yet. In a post-game interview, Wilmer Flores said:

"“I don’t think he knows what having respect for the game is.”"

Respect, once again he was referencing the fact the baseball has a list of unwritten rules and if you don’t abide by these list of rules you are considered to be disrespectful to the entire game of baseball.

Some of these unwritten rules make sense, but others are head scratchers. In fact, some of these are old-school thoughts, and many in the game of baseball are beginning to realize how ridiculous the unwritten rules can be. But there are still some fans, managers, and players who still believe that everybody should respect these set of rules that are not actually rules, there is a reason they are unwritten.

The first and currently most relevant to these rules that we will discuss is the idea that you should not bat flip/admire your home run. This perhaps is the silliest one of them all. After, all these players are professionals, so they have earned the right to react however they want when they do something to help the team win.

When players celebrate a no doubt jack with a bat flip or if they watch the ball for a while before jogging, they get called out on it. People will say they should act professional and act like “they’ve been there before.” But baseball is a game of failure, so if you do hit a home run it’s a big deal, and you should be excited about it because despite what the Dodgers have shown us this month, the long ball is relatively rare.

This notion is completely unnecessary. Players should be allowed to express their emotions on the field. In the moment of euphoria that is hitting a ball 400+FT, you may not even think about what you are doing and just react to how happy you are. Plus it makes the game fun, and of course, not everyone expresses their emotion (I’m looking at you Chase) but for the ones that do it truly is a sight and others should not stop them from doing so over a rule thought about decades ago. It adds a little personality to the game.

However, despite the silliness of the rule, not all of these are bad. As a matter of fact, some are smart and make sense. One that does make sense is not stealing when your team is way ahead. This rule is one that most, if not all, ball-players respect and practice if they are in the situation of leading by a significant margin. First off running up the score is classless and should never be done at any level of the sport. Secondly, if your team is leading by that much why risk injury trying to add on runs that are unnecessary.

One controversial unwritten rule that some fans are confused as to why it’s a problem is bunting to break up a no-hitter or perfect game. Personally, this is one that I believe players should follow.

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But Jarrod Dyson thinks otherwise as he did just that on Wednesday night to break up a perfect game by Justin Verlander with a bunt single. But if you look back at that play, it ignited a comeback by the Mariners.

The reason I and others think you shouldn’t do this deep into a no-no is the simple idea of gamesmanship. If you are going to break it up early with a bunt that’s fine but anything from the 6th inning on has to be a real hit and not a bunt. If you’re going to break it up later just swing, or else you seem soft by basically saying I can’t get a real hit off of you, so I am going to bunt instead.

The final unwritten rule is retaliating by dosing an opposing player. This rule is just senseless. If someone hits your player, some teams feel the need to retaliate and hit a player on the opposite team. This rule makes absolutely no sense. For the simple fact that this could potentially end up hurting a player over a petty act. Padres manager Andy Green said it best earlier this week.

"“What do you accomplish by hitting somebody?” Green said. “You accomplish nothing. You put a man on first base, and you give them a chance to win a baseball game. … You don’t, all of a sudden, gain the high, moral ground because you chose to retaliate. You don’t, all of a sudden, get to pound your chest because you were man enough to throw a ball at somebody’s back. I think it’s absolutely asinine to even take that approach.”"

These players are adults and doing this is acting like a child. If you hit a player on purpose and your only reasoning is because “he hit me” or because he bat flipped, that is the same excuse a third grader would give. Hitting someone with a 90 MPH fastball is nothing small and should not be used to react to what may have been an accident.

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These unwritten rules have been a hot topic lately especially with all of these being relevant within the last week. Some are indeed smart, but others are outdated and are not feasible. At the end of the day, Yasiel Puig will continue to celebrate bombs, Jarrod Dyson will continue to find any way to get on base, and managers will continue to “protect” their players by putting others in danger. Some will follow and others will laugh them off but either way, these unwritten rules will be something that is a part of this beautiful game of baseball.