The unwritten rules are ridiculous
In a game with so many rules, it seems ridiculous that there are unwritten ones as well in baseball. And we’re not talking about how responding with a “k” text message to a long, heartfelt message is a sick burn. Pretty much everyone can agree on the implications of that.
With baseball, there are at least two sides to every unwritten rule. Take, for example, theatrics after a home run like the bat flip. Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista got grief (and ultimately ended up getting punched in the jaw the following year by Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor) for doing a bat flip after hitting a massive homer against the Rangers to win a playoff series.
Meanwhile, Boston Red Sox designated hitter “David Ortiz does the same bat flip after every home run,” as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy put it. “He carries a Mariachi band around the bases with him every time he hits one. But it’s okay because he’s Big Papi.” It’s one thing to have an unwritten rule that bat flips should only be reserved for big moments. It’s another thing to say that they’re fine for Big Papi but not other sluggers.
Maybe the enforcement of these unwritten rules, with retaliation in the form of beanballs and harsh slides and the like, will change someday. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper thinks it makes baseball “a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself.” His opinion is that he’s fine with both the home run celebrations and the on-the-mound ones. “If a guy pumps his fist at me on the mound, I’m going to go, ‘Yeah, you got me,” he told ESPN the Magazine. “Good for you. Hopefully I get you next time.'” It will take a critical mass of more players with attitudes like him to change things, though.