The Unwritten Rules of Baseball

  Hello Mariners fans, I’m getting ready to head down to Safeco field to attend a pre-game event sponsored by the local blogs Lookout Landing and USS Mariners. It should be interesting to listen to Jack Zduriencik and observe how he handles questions from a group of hardcore fans. It will also be interesting to meet some of the authors and readers of these two established blogs, particularly since my style of reporting is more old school with less emphasis on the use of sabermetrics in my analysis of the game.

   It does appear that my generation is left in the role of standing up for traditional Baseball values and even some of the rules mentioned in a book I recently obtained entitled : The Unwritten Rules of Baseball by Paul Dickson. Make no mistake about it I am far from a conservative in most matters but I do believe that Baseball is America’s Pastime and the game itself is bigger than any of us.

   This brings me to a couple of unwritten rules that I have always known about and are actually written in this book. Oh and by the way I am not saying this book or any code of ethics are infallible and need to be followed blindly forever, but like a lot of our current society where it seems  that everything is up for grabs without any ethical norms, ignoring the established protocal in Baseball  can be a bit chaotic and unsettling.

  On page 71 rule 1.17.13. this book refers to the unwritten rule that “Broadcasters should not utter either of the terms Nohitter or Perfect Game before the feat is accomplished. The book goes on to say that many broadcasters observe this taboo but many don’t, including our very own Dave Sims who is actually cited in the book as an example uses the alibi of being a reporter and needing to keep people informed. Well thanks Dave but most of us can read the scoreboard without your shrill showboating.

As many of you know Dave Sims is from the East Coast and thus loves to talk often and loud, particularly when there is even a hint of a no-hitter developing as he did last night with Luke French on the mound. Sims was as usual making reference to a possible no-hitter in the 5th inning as he usually likes to. I have listened to him do this several times and as soon as I heard him talking about a possible no-no last night my stomach sank and I knew it would not happen. Sure enough in the 7th French gave-up a hit and that was that.

  I guess with Sims it is not only just his disregard for the unwritten rules of the game but it his brash style in hyping things that may never happen rather than providing accurate and interesting accounts of the game at hand. On a side note Dave Niehaus does it as well but in a not quite as irritating manner.

 This great book has a lot of interesting unwritten rules in it covering things like: always run out a grounder to the infield, don’t show up the umpire, rookies are supposed to keep their mouths shut and their ears open salaries notwithstanding.

Of course there is the rule about no crying in baseball, and for the Sweeney fans rule 1.91 states : Hugging is tolerated in Baseball, but only recently!

  On another more serious note is rule 1.2.2. which states : Never Rat out a Teammate. This rule brings to mind the whole Larry Larue situation where he used an anonymous tip supposedly from a player to take down Ken Griffey Jr. with the allegation that he was sleeping in the clubhouse during a game. Now in hindsight it is perhaps easy to say that it was time for Griffey to retire anyway, but if indeed a player did Rat-out his teammate, the Baseball Gods will surely find a way to punish this individual sooner or later…..

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