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As Joe alluded to in his daily screengrabs post today, we have another baseball unwritten rules situation on our hands and you’d be hard pressed to find one that is stupider than Fernando Tatis Jr. getting scolded for hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch when the Padres were leading the Rangers 10-3 in the top of the eighth.
Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a grand slam on a 3-0 count with a big lead, leading to criticism from both managers.
What do you think about this unwritten rule in baseball?
🎥 @MLB #PadresTwitterpic.twitter.com/55rX1bL4Qm
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 18, 2020
Here’s Padres manager Jayce Tingler saying that Tatis Jr. swung through a take sign on 3-0 when San Diego had a “comfortable lead”:
Tingler saying he’d rather his own player take a strike than hit a grand slam holy shit what a dumb soft sport baseball can be sometimes. Constantly caught in its feelings. pic.twitter.com/58R1xRZ3m0
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 18, 2020
Tatis Jr. essentially apologized for not knowing the unwritten rule:
Fernando Tatis was asked how difficult it is to not swing at a good pitch on 3-0: pic.twitter.com/pAn5TCoxiW
— 97.3 The Fan (@973TheFanSD) August 18, 2020
Tatis Jr. has absolutely nothing to apologize for. A seven-run lead with two Rangers at-bats still to come is hardly insurmountable — and even if it were, his job is to hit and their job is to get him out.
The unwritten rules of baseball continue to do be some of the dumbest things in sports.
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
I think the proximate issue is: the manager gave a “take” sign that the batter either missed or ignored. You can certainly argue about whether the manager was right in his decision to give the sign. Heck, you could argue that with the bases loaded that the expected value from taking was better than swinging away, despite the result in this one instance.
But what the manager should address – in private – is a player missing or ignoring the sign. That’s not the player’s decision to make. In different circumstances that could be a costly mistake to a team. Yes, I’m imagining this player isn’t going to be asked to lay down a lot of bunts, but missing a hit and run or the like gives away outs and opportunities.
I’ve played a lot of baseball in my life, I get the unspoken respect rules, but some of them make no sense. Some of them are contradictory. Let’s think.
1. 10-3 is a good lead, but it’s not insurmountable by any stretch. What determines a big enough lead to start sand bagging? I wouldn’t say it’s 7 runs.
2. Which hitter counts suddenly trigger “courtesy”? If it’s not ok 3-0, then what about 3-1? 2-0? 1-0? Please explain this mysterious “hitter courtesy formula”. I’ll wait.
3. Hits = $$$. Hitters are paid A LOT based on the numbers, so why on earth would a hitter pass up a chance to increase stats? It’s a bad business decision. You think a pitcher is passing on a chance to K hitters or get outs just because he has a lead? Why is a hitter the only one who’s supposed to be nice?
4. Do pitchers have to throw softer if they have a big lead? No. No breaking stuff allowed with a lead? No. Do fielders have to let ground balls through if they have a big lead? No. I was always taught that you disrespect the game if you aren’t playing at 100%. Which is it?
5. If you want to ease up then PULL YOUR STARTERS. If the manager really wanted to be nice then why is he still playing Tatis in the first place?
6. If it’s worth all this nonsense why not introduce a run rule and take all the guess work out?
7. If the other team is upset getting boat raced, then allow them to voluntarily forfeit. You can forfeit. Give teams the option to give up if they are getting embarrassed. If you’re not willing to surrender then on with the beat down imo.
All valid points.