Last night, Justin Germano popped Evan Longoria in the ribs after the game was effectively out of reach. That event induced everyone from Dewayne Staats to my dad to speculate as to which Indian would have to take one to make things right.
David Price, either didn’t know his duty to protect Longo or just passed on the opportunity begging the questions:
- Does Price owe Longo more Friendship Popcorn?
- Has Price exposed Longo to more bean balls in his starts?
- Does the payback principle actually protect hitters?
To me, the unwritten rules of baseball are akin to the pirate code from Pirates of the Caribbean: The unwritten rules aren’t rules at all, they are more like guidelines. I love the unwritten rules because they are applied so fluidly and generally, are only raised by a player or manager that has other reasons to be mad.
In fact, there is a solid argument to be made that Price would have broken two unwritten rules had he retaliated on Longoria’s behalf. 1) Thou shalt only retaliate if the beaning was intentional; 2) Thou shalt allow blowouts to end quickly.
It’s not as if Longo was plunked by a front-end pitcher. He was hit by Germano, a pitcher walking nearly 4 hitters every 9 innings so, if Price had plunked an Indian, it could easily have been seen as retaliation for an unintentional act. The Indians, who seemed resigned to go quietly into that good night would certainly have seen Price’s retaliation as unwarranted thereby motivating them to extend the proceedings (or even hit another Ray hitter) thereby violating rule 2. Isn’t this fun?
Either way, this video went around the web yesterday. It serves as a good reminder that no one should be advocating another person to be hit by a pitch unless and until they are willing to stand in themself.