When Unwritten Rules Don’t Apply

Photo is courtesy of Getty Images/http://bleacherreport.com/ Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

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As a baseball fan, you find yourself hating players for simple reasons. Sometimes it’s because of the team they play for while other times it’s because the sports world will never shut up about them (cue the Derek Jeter love anthem), and sometimes you just hate a player because they are a whiny jerk. It has nothing to do with the actual person, their accomplishments, or even how good they are…you just hate them…this is the very definition of fan hatred.

Today, we get to deal with two players that I hate (again…fan hatred, relax). Colby Rasmus and Colby Lewis, an outfielder and a pitcher respectively, who apparently ticked each other off a little bit on Sunday.

Allow me to set up the scene: The Texas Rangers did what has become a trend in baseball; they played an extreme shift on a hitter who has a strong tendency to pull the ball. In this case with Rasmus being a lefty, the shortstop moved over to the right side of second base and the third baseman moved over to where the shortstop would normally play, leaving a massive hole at third base that isn’t named Roger Dorn. Anyhow, with a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, Colby Rasmus sees this shift and bunts down the third base line for a single. There is nothing wrong with that, right?

Apparently not.

Rasmus and Lewis exchanged some words after the bunt, and later after the game Lewis proceeded to explain just why he got his panties in a twist. (Quotes courtesy of MLB.com – Chris Tolman)

  • “I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”
  • "I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average," Lewis said.
  • "[Rasmus] didn't steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position," Lewis said. "That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn't appreciate it."

So…that’s not the way the game should be played? Apparently Colby Lewis, being an American League pitcher who never bats, has forgotten the old baseball saying, “hit ‘em where they ain’t.” What an idiot! Have you never heard of scoring insurance runs? Or am I the only one who’s heard Tom Hamilton use that term? Shut up Colby Lewis! Did you ever think that Colby Rasmus didn’t steal because maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t given the steal sign by his third base coach? Last I checked, you run on the crack of the bat with two outs unless directed otherwise. Colby Lewis, you are a whiny douche!

I thought that was the whole point of baseball, to hit the ball to a spot that is void of a fielder in an effort to get on base and in turn score runs. It’s not as if a two run lead is by any stretch a sure thing. That lead could be negated with two swings of the bat. I’ve seen much bigger leads disappear quickly with few innings left than this (remember, I am a Cubs fan). So was it wrong for Colby Rasmus to get on base in an effort to try to score more runs and ensure a victory for his team? Absolutely not!

The worst part is, I hate Colby Rasmus and defending him makes me feel dirty. I always thought he was a cocky little piece of crap…who just so happened to wear a Cardinals uniform for the first few seasons of his career. So as a Cubs fan, of course I hated him. But how can I not defend him in this situation? If I were him, I would have done the same thing! (Actually no…that’s a lie. Judging from my “stellar” baseball career, and by stellar I do in fact mean terrible, I probably would’ve struck out.)

At any rate, can we just be done with all these unwritten rules? They really are quite stupid. If you don’t want a player to bunt for a single when they are up by two runs, then don’t play a massive shift in an effort to skew the odds in your favor. If you don’t want a team swinging for the fence with a seven run lead, then pitch better, or find better pitchers. The whole point of putting a team on the field and improving it is to avoid those types of situations. There is no greater motivation to improve than humiliation. Plain and simple.

But what say you? Should Colby Rasmus have just hit into the shift to avoid hurting Colby Lewis’s feelings? Is Colby Lewis right to complain about this supposed violation of baseball’s ridiculous unwritten rules? You’ve been kind enough to suffer through my opinion, now I want yours!

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