There are, obviously, a whole slew of “unwritten rules” in baseball and there has been some debate over whether Alex Rodriguez broke one yesterday in Oakland. Like many baseball writers, I can’t say that I’d ever heard anyone explicitly talk about a runner crossing the mound as a “violation” in the same way that, say, bunting late in a no-hitter would be, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Obviously some “violations” come up more often than others.
Someone sent me a link to this blog, written by Jason Turbow who (apparently) wrote a whole book on the codes of baseball. As someone who has obviously done a lot of research into the unwritten rules of the game, I found his take interesting. At the very least, as Turbow points out, this isn’t the first time that A-Rod has – in the words of Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop” – fractured an occasional law.
For me, the issue is less about what A-Rod did and more about how he reacted. I tend to agree with Mark Feinsand (scroll down to the end), who would have liked to see Alex just diffuse the issue as best he could and move on. By taking a few shots at Dallas Braden’s track record (pointing out that he’s essentially a scrub), Rodriguez accelerates the situation instead of bringing it down.
Is it understandable that he’d fire back? Sure. We all have tempers and emotions. But I would have liked to see the “new” A-Rod just take the high road, know that he’s (clearly) the bigger star and try to nip it right there.