The game of baseball continues to evolve year in and year out with changes coming all across the diamond. These changes include a look at speeding up the game with limitations on stepping out of the box, as well as how much time a pitcher can stall for on the mound. Other changes have included the expanded role of video replay while also adding the ability to do blood tests to clean up the game.
In the end Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball, all of the 30 MLB Owners and the players themselves have not made the biggest change of all. That change is to part ways with the Unwritten Rules of Baseball while allowing the game to evolve with the other key changes that are being put in place by MLB officials.
Here are a few of those Unwritten Rules of Baseball that many fans of the game may not even know exist:
No Bunting while a pitcher is throwing a No Hitter
No Showing Up the other Team
Play The Game The Right Way (Respect The Game)
Retaliate On The Mound
Don’t Rub It after being hit by a Pitch
In the end the game has changed, as players have gotten bigger, faster and stronger while the style of baseball has also changed. Why can’t a player lay down a bunt when a no hitter is going on the mound if that player does use the bunt and his speed to his advantage? Who says a player can’t pump his fist or stare on that big key home run? Isn’t the game more about the fans and making it a piece of entertainment to reel in those television dollars?
Then the one rule that needs to be changed as soon as possible is the ability to retaliate after seeing a team member get hit or a player who watches a home run. This continues to show up, with the most recent display coming during the 2017 MLB Season between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.
After a hard slide by Manny Machado, back in April, took out Dustin Pedroia, which many experts said didn’t look dirty and even Machado attempted to catch him. The Red Sox have attempted to retaliate in five different pitch attempts at the Orioles third baseman including two up near the head and one sailing right past him by a starter who allows the fewest walks in all of baseball.
This is where the line needs to be drawn and that book of Unwritten Baseball Rules needs to be tossed. Most starters now throw mid 90’s and a pitch to the end could derail a career much like the Red Sox saw with Tony Conigliaro many years ago. For the game to evolve Rob Manfred needs to step up and squash these issues while handing out big time fines for a player that is hit intentionally.
For now though we can all sit and wonder what the next rule might be added to this group over the coming years.