Baseball is one of the strangest team sports in the world. Untimed games, different dimensions in every ballpark, and a bizarre obsession with obscure stats are only a few of the reasons why baseball is such a unique sport. Another strange aspect of baseball is a collection of "unwritten rules" that have evolved over 100 years.
Don't swing on a 3-0 count with a five-run lead
I've been following baseball for over 30 years and I had never heard of this unwritten rule. Leading 7-2 in the fifth inning, Nationals RF Jayson Werth swung at a 3-0 pitch. This led to a heated exchange between Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk and Nationals 3B coach Bo Porter.
I literally had no idea what Quirk was angry about when I saw this. When Nationals manager Davey Johnson referenced this unwritten rule after the game, I just rolled my eyes. The idea that a baseball team is supposed to let up when it gets a five-run lead is preposterous.
Of course, as a diehard Cubs fan, I could have told the Nationals that their five-run lead was probably safe against my favorite baseball team. But that's a story for another article. This silly unwritten rule makes you wonder how many baseball teams have lost games after relaxing with five-run leads.
At the same time, Jamie Quirk may be the smartest guy in the Cubs dugout. After playing pathetic baseball since the trade deadline, Quirk took it upon himself to light a spark for the Cubs. Goodness knows that Dale Sveum isn't doing anything to inspire the Cubs. After the Nationals swept the Cubs, Chicago crushed the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-2.
Still, the fact that people get up in arms about unwritten rules such as stealing with a five-run lead, mentioning a no-hitter in progress, or walking the tying run shows how odd baseball can be. But without these unwritten rules, baseball managers, coaches, and players would have a harder time finding reasons to get angry.
Patrick Michael is a resident of New Orleans, but grew up watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN with Harry Caray and Steve Stone as the announcers. A diehard Cubs fan, Patrick's favorite season was 1984 when the Chicago Cubs were one win away from reaching the World Series. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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