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By this point in the day, you’ve almost assuredly seen maybe the stupidest example of unwritten rules in baseball history: Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch with a seven-run lead in the eighth inning, his manager Jayce Tingler scolded him for swinging through a take sign, and Tatis Jr. apologized for not knowing the unwritten rule.
Now, two baseball legends have weighed in.
Reggie Jackson (who was maybe the cardinal unwritten rules violator in MLB history) tweets:
Fernando Tatis keep playing hard and playing great, it’s a pleasure to watch you play, love your success and the Padres rise to be a winner. Keep leading the way. It ain’t easy to hit Hrs. Keep bringing energy you have to the game, we need players like you. An All Star
— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober) August 18, 2020
Johnny Bench brought some facts to the discussion as well:
So you take a pitch…now you're 3-1. Then the pitcher comes back with a great setup pitch…3-2. Now you're ready to groundout into a double play. Everyone should hit 3-0. Grand Slams are a huge stat. @tatis_jr https://t.co/4D3ilsD9Sh
— Johnny Bench (@JohnnyBench_5) August 18, 2020
Good for Jackson and Bench for standing up against this stupidity. I can’t believe this is even a conversation — Tatis Jr. was doing his job. If the Rangers don’t like it, they could get him out. If Jayce Tingler doesn’t want Tatis Jr. cranking a grand slam, then put a substitute in his place. Baseball needs MORE competitors like Tatis Jr., not less.
7 CommentsLeave a Reply
How can I disagree with 2 of my 3 all time favorites (Tom Terrific is the 3rd). What Bench says seems to make perfect sense.
Unwritten rules are made to be broken.
I don’t have a big issue going after a 3-0 pitch regardless of the situation so long as you’re a 3-0 swinger the vast majority of the time. As in, that’s who you are. Steph Curry going deep up 15 late is fine, that’s what he does. Some random center who never takes 3’s doing it is another story.
Having said that, it’s always the unintended consequences that come back to bite ya. What about stealing bases…..what about bunting…..what about changing pitchers again….etc. All these things are frowned upon like the 3-0 swing above used to be. If you let one rule go…..you sort of have to be fine with the rest, no?
Mr. October and the Big Red Machine man those were the days great players and teams i miss em
Yeesh, I’m 70 years old and began playing organized baseball when I was eight. Somehow, I was unaware of this unwritten rule, too. I’ve never heard of it.
Let’s be honest, all sports have unwritten rules. Football players take a knee for 3 snaps in a row to run out the clock, basketball players dribble out the shot clock so they don’t score again, etc. Agree or disagree with this story, but let’s don’t act like baseball is the only sport that does this.
I am with Bench, more hitters should be hacking on 3-0. It’s the best pitch to hit you’ll see, so why aren’t you swinging away? Taking a strike on 3-0 is one of those mindless coaching points of baseball that make no sense for a hitter. It’s the equivalent of taking a knee on first and goal.