Should Some of Baseball’s ‘Unwritten Rules’ Be Written?

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Should Some of Baseball's 'Unwritten Rules' Be Written? Once again, thanks to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the baseball world has to explain the "unwritten rules" to inquiring minds.

A-Rod's trip up and over A's pitcher Dallas Braden's mound during the sixth inning of the Yankees-A’s game in Oakland on Thursday broke one of baseball's unwritten rules, and Braden called out the former AL MVP after the game.

"I don’t care if I’m Cy Young or the 25th man on a roster," Braden said of the incident. "If I’ve got the ball in my hand and I’m out there on that mound, that’s not your mound. You want to run across the mound? Go run laps in the bullpen. That’s my mound. I don’t go over there and run laps at third base. I don’t go over there. I don’t spit over there. I don’t spit over there. I stay away. You guys ever see anybody run across the mound like that? He ran across the pitcher’s mound, foot on my rubber. No. Not flyin’."

This ugly blemish may not surprise those who have followed the game the last decade, as Rodriguez has had his fair share of diamond etiquette boo-boos. In Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, he slapped the glove off the hand of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo when the hurler was covering first on a groundout.

In 2007, A-Rod was nearing third base while running out a two-out pop-up and yelled "mine!" at Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark, who was camped under it. Clark, thinking it was shortstop John McDonald calling him off, backed away from the easy out, which allowed the ball to fall in and the run to score. 

What if some of these "unwritten rules" were jotted down alongside ground-rule doubles, balks and dropped third strikes? Should some of baseball's unwritten rules be written?

Aside from A-Rod's antics, here are some other unwritten rules that Bud Selig and the MLB brass could have fun policing:

  • Never steal a base when the game is a blowout.
  • Never lay down a bunt to break up a no-hitter.
  • Never swing at a 3-0 pitch when your team has a comfortable lead.
  • Always throw at an opposing batter when your batter gets plunked.
  • Hitters must never show up pitchers and/or prance around bases during home run trots.
  • Every able-bodied player and pitcher must leave the bench and bullpen in a fight.
  • Runners on second should never send a catcher's signs to batters.
  • Hitters should never look back at a catcher's signs or where he's setting up.
  • Slides into second when breaking up a double play must be hard but clean with spikes down.

If you were Selig, which one of these "unwritten rules" would you police, and how would you do so? What are some other unwritten rules? Should the unwritten rulebook become required clubhouse reading so everyone in baseball knows the code of the diamond?

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