Was Padres phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. wrong in crushing a 3-0 pitch Monday night, breaking one of baseball's ludicrous unwritten rules with his team ahead 10-3 late?
Tatis sparked controversy amongst baseball's No Fun Committee, missing a take sign in a 3-0 count against the Rangers and blasting a grand slam in the eighth inning. The next pitch Texas threw went behind the back of third baseman Manny Machado.
After the game, Rangers manager Chris Woodward, while admitting baseball's unwritten rules are being challenged in the game today, said he didn't like Tatis swinging 3-0 in that spot. Padres manager Jayce Tingler criticized Tatis after the game, calling it a "learning opportunity" but clarified Tuesday he was referring to missing a sign rather than breaking an unwritten rule.
Padres MGR Jayce Tingler started his presser by saying Fernando Tatis Jr. "had a special night" and, "I wish that was the main focus." Tingler said he's "glad" Tatis missed that sign and the "teachable moment" he referenced was more about picking up signs, not unwritten rules.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) August 18, 2020
"You're up by seven in the eighth inning; it's typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It's kind of the way we were all raised in the game," Woodward said. "But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not right. I don't think we liked it as a group."
Rizzo offered a different perspective.
"That unwritten rule needs to be washed away because [pitchers] may not even throw you a fastball down the middle anymore 3-0," he said.
"I can see guys getting ticked off but he did exactly what he was supposed to do swinging at a 3-0 pitch, and that's hit a grand slam. I don't know if you can be that ticked off about it.
"Our job is to get a hit every single time we go to the plate."
Anthony Rizzo defends Fernando Tatis Jr. for breaking 'washed' unwritten rule originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago