Friday, June 1, 2007

The Unwritten Rules

After all the Blue Jays' whining and moaning about ARod distracting Howie Clark enough to let a pop-up drop untouched, others around baseball are weighing in. Better look out ARod, 95-year-old Omar Vizquel doesn't approve of your actions!

This "incident" has led to some debate around baseball and the media about the unwritten code of the game, and what's considered acceptable as gamesmanship and what crosses the line into the realm of cheating or the dreaded "unprofessional play."

Bud Selig has appointed a council of well-respected players, coaches and former players (all white, don't worry...Maddux and Glavine have key roles) to define the undefinable and finally put into writing the unwritten rules of our beloved national pastime. Here's a brief look at some of the council's findings about what type of plays are permissible.

OK: An infielder fooling a baserunner into believing that a ball has been hit on the ground when in fact it was a fly ball.

Not OK: A baserunner yelling "I got it!" to distract a fielder from catching a pop-up.

OK: A runner on second base trying to steal signs and relay them to the batter.

Not OK: The batter peeking himself to look at the signs.

OK: A good, hard-nosed slide to break up a double-play by a gritty gamer like Craig Biggio or Darin Erstad.

Not OK: A good, hard-nosed slide to break up a double-play by a pretty-boy prima donna like ARod.

OK: The first baseman attempting to distract a runner on first base with some friendly chatter.

Not OK: The first baseman gently caressing the runner's inner thigh while whispering, "My wife likes it with two guys."

OK: Playing "I Walk the Line" on the PA system when a pitcher gets wild.

Not OK: Playing "Kim" by Eminem when Elijah Dukes is at bat.

OK: Throwing up and in when a hitter is standing too close to the plate.

Not OK: Throwing up and in when a hitter is standing too close to the plate...but still in the on-deck circle.

OK: A pitcher who has been removed from the game returning to the clubhouse to shower.

Not OK: Sneaking into the clubhouse early just to beat Miguel Cabrera to the post-game buffet.

OK: The hidden-ball trick.

Not OK: The hole-in-the-bottom-of-the-popcorn trick.

OK: Standing and admiring your long home run if you happen to be an idiot savant.

Not OK: Hitting a home run, then using your bat as an imaginary machine gun to slaughter everyone on the other team.

OK: Treating your teammates and opponents with respect, and playing with integrity and manners.

Not OK: Actually trying to win the fucking game.