But if they are unwritten, why are they still considered rules?
Because, baseball is considered a "gentleman's game". Which comes into suspect when you see a bench clearing brawl. However, these bench clearing brawls are just what I'm talking about. Have you ever wondered why anytime a couple of players get into a riff both teams jump into action? Because it's one of the unwritten rules. I swear it's true. Whenever a player gets into an argument or fight with an opposing player, you must get up and protect your teammate or teammates. I swear it is true. There have even been books written on the subject. Which I will list at a later time since I only have an hour for lunch.
Here are some of the other unwritten rules:
- Running Across the Diamond
The pitchers mound is consider to be sacred and it is considered to be rude if an opposing player enters the mound area or walks across it
- Tipping Your Cap
When a player has had a great game or has hit a home run, a player is expected to come out of the dugout and tip his cap to the crowd if and when they are cheering or giving him an ovation.
- Showing Up the Umpire
- Running Out Ground Balls and Fly Ball
Ever wonder why a player will run as fast he can to first even if it's a given that he is out? The is because baseball is a game of hustle. Even when it's near certain a player won't reach first base safely, he's expected to run hard until the out is recorded.
Yes it's rude, but it seems to happen a lot. I just don't understand how it can't!. But you really aren't supposed to be stealing signs.
- Breaking Up Double Plays
Again, it's a rude thing. While it's OK to run into a second baseman or shortstop in an effort to keep him from throwing to first base and completing a double play. But an unwritten rule says you don't slide into the base with your cleats high in an effort to injure the opponent.
Sometimes a bean ball can lead to a fight, usually at the pitcher's mound. While fighting is discouraged in the rulebook, the unwritten rule says that when a fight does flare up, you must race in to protect your teammates during the brawl.
Don't Rub It
I love this one. We all know getting hit by a pitch hurts like a son of a gun. But did you know it's considered a sign of weakness to rub the area in order to soothe it? Yeah, this will divide the boys from the men..
Don't Show Up Your Teammates
To me this has to be hard. Whenever your teammate makes a fielding error, the pitcher is expected to keep it inside and not show up his teammate via either verbal or nonverbal expressions of frustration. Ouch!
- Home Runs
When a team hits back to back home runs, the next hitter to come to bat should not swing at the first pitch. To do so is consider rude and showing off.