With the Red Sox down seven runs with three outs remaining, it was, according to the codes, time to "play soft." With the count 3-0, Hunter knew a fastball strike was coming from a struggling pitcher whose job was just to end the mismatch. Over 162 games, every team is going to get drubbed, so every team favors an ethic that tells when to stop stealing bases, when to not tag at third and try to score on a medium deep fly ball, when not to bunt a runner from first to second.
But, Turbow notes, the codes require judgments conditioned by contingencies. Although the team on top late in a lopsided game does not stop trying to hit, it stops pressing to manufacture runs. But how big a lead is "big enough"? Well, how bad is the leading team's bullpen? Does the losing team score runs in bunches? Where is the game being played? In launching pads such as Wrigley Field and Fenway Park? In the thin air of Denver's Coors Field?
Looking forward to CFH magic for the next bball season, Georges style.
Traditionally, baseball punishes preening. In a society increasingly tolerant of exhibitionism, it is splendid when a hitter is knocked down because in his last at bat he lingered at the plate to admire his home run.
I was pitching a game in high school against a conference rival and the coach's son hit a HR off me. As he rounded 3rd, he does the Q-Dog sign (upside down Omega for those who don't know). This is a small, white kid from rural Iowa, mind you.
You can guess where the first pitch of his next at-bat went.
That same year we were trailing in a game by about 6 runs in the last inning. We hadn't done anything offensively all day, so I bunted for a hit then proceeded to steal second. I was just trying to start some kind of rally. My coach actually yelled at me for showing up the other team when the game was basically over. I always knew he was a crappy coach.
Needless to say, I would agree with some of these unwritten rules, and diagree with others.
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