How baseball’s unwritten rules are stinting the growth of the game


Photo Credit: Danielle Allen

Rob Manfred, the commissioner of the MLB, is unsure of how to address the problem of baseball’s declining popularity. A good place to start is to make it more entertaining for the younger audience, as their attention spans will only get shorter.

By: Massimo del Pozo, Reporter

Since the dawn of the modern era of baseball, there have been numerous disputes involving Major League Baseball’s unwritten rules. The game is now less exciting than ever because of these out-of-date unwritten rules.

Most recent situation

Baseball’s unwritten rules have been picked up in the 200-year-old game’s history and are followed by some MLB players. They aren’t necessarily obvious, however. Unwritten baseball rules have been passed down through the years and frequently cause disputes between younger and older players. 

Asdrubal Cabrera, a 15-year MLB player who was a 2x All-Star for the now-known Cleveland Guardians was recently in a scuffle with another player. During the Venezuelan Winter League, an opposing player hit a homer run and proceeded to bat flip, admiring his work. Cabrera took offense toward this as he went outside of the dugout and decided to punch the opposing player in the face.

This caused a big brawl between both teams and Cabera was trying to teach the player to show respect. Younger fans criticized his behavior saying if you don’t want someone to bat flip, don’t give up a home run.

Problem with this

Unwritten rules are making the game unfulfilled for most younger baseball players and fans. Rising star Fernado Tatis Jr. was blasted by his own coach Jayce Tinger during the 2020-2021 season when he hit a grand slam. One of his best accomplishments at the time while instead of being proud of the then-rookie Tingler stated he’d rather have his player take a strike than hit a grand slam when up a lot of runs. This is while the pitcher he was facing is competing throwing pitches in the upper 90s. 

The Texas Rangers classified this as running up the score and were also upset. There shouldn’t be an argument when you are losing a baseball game by ten runs, that’s all to it. Do they just want the leading team to wait for the other team to catch up in runs? Instead, most teams when losing by a lot of runs put in a position player who throws softly, already giving up on a baseball game that isn’t fun for the audience. When a team maintains its effort while having a sizable lead, it shouldn’t be viewed as disrespectful.

What makes it not fun for the players

What isn’t right is that most of these professionals are competing for a roster spot to provide for their families and have to lower their stats from these at-bats. That game in the long run won’t matter, but the MLB baseball player numbers go with them forever in history. 

This can draw back many fans and people wanting to play baseball nowadays. Sports are designed to be competitive while still being fun, and if it isn’t maximized, some players will feel bored. You are restricted by your coaches and have to apologize to the media for your actions even though at the moment you had a blast, truly embarrassing for the sport.