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More unwritten rule silliness, as White Sox take offense to Marlins running up 7-0

May 24, 2010, 11:41 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez running across Dallas Braden’s mound in Oakland got people talking about baseball’s so-called unwritten rules and they were on display again yesterday when the White Sox freaked out after the Marlins twice stole a base up 7-0 in the fourth inning. White Sox starter Freddy Garcia was responsible for allowing the seven runs before being chased from the game in the third inning, and had this to say afterward:

It’s 7-0, it’s not a good thing to steal a base. That’s no respect for the other team. Whatever happens happens, but it’s not showing respect. It’s 7-0 when you steal second and third. I think it’s bad baseball.

And here’s what manager Ozzie Guillen said:

I don’t know what happened there, but this is baseball. You have to respect [the other team]. I was up eight a couple of days ago. That’s the way we learn to play the game. We had to do something about it, and we did. We had to tell the guys not to play like that.

What the White Sox “did” was plunk one of the players who stole a base, Brett Carroll.
Here’s the thing, though: MLB teams come back from seven-run deficits in the early innings all the time, either to make it a one- or two-run game by the later innings or to actually pull off a comeback win. For the White Sox to say the Marlins should just close up shop in the fourth inning because they’re ahead 7-0 is absurd, particularly since it’s not as if the White Sox will stop doing everything they can to close the gap.
Plus, this isn’t little league or high school or even college. This is professional baseball, at the very highest level, played and managed by grown men making millions of dollars. If you want the other team to stop scoring, then pitch and defend better. Do you think Guillen would apologize to the Marlins if they ceased trying to tack on more runs and the White Sox ended up coming back to win the game? Of course not.
Paul Konerko thankfully stepped up as the voice of reason in the White Sox’s clubhouse afterward:

I don’t know. Everybody has a different opinion. We were still holding the guy on base. Usually unless you have a double-digit lead you [can] steal a base. [Carroll] was afraid not to go because he thought he missed a steal sign. That’s what he told me. But as far as the unwritten rule, if you ask five different guys you are going to get five different answers.

Exactly. The day seven-run leads in the fourth inning mean an automatic victory is the day an unwritten rule against teams trying to score more runs should be followed.

  1. Ed from Tampa - May 24, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Something like that was said recently between the Yanks and Rays. Joe Maddon relied to the effect “if they agree to try and not score any runs, we’ll do the same”. Wasn’t there a game 10 or 15 years ago where Cleveland came back on Seattle from 12 or 13 down? And to think I had some respect for Guillen and the White Sox…

  2. James - May 24, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Unwritten rules are “unwritten” for a reason. They are stupid!!!!

  3. Rollins - May 24, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    There’s no one left in professional sports who isn’t a liar, a cheater, a whiner, or a drug addict.

  4. Kenny - May 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Reds were on top of Braves 8-0 the other day and lost. I say keep stealing.

  5. RT - May 24, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    The attitude of Ozzie Guillen is exactly the kind of thing that has ruined my once-fervent interest in Major League Baseball. Ozzie should be coaching Milton Bradley, the two of them can leave the ballpark early and laugh at the fans who actually pay good money to watch these so-called “professionals.”

  6. JR - May 24, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    I wish the White Sox would be as indignant about the fact that their play STINKS ON ICE as they are about this!

  7. Patty - May 24, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    I’m with so many others: teams come back from -7 all the time. If my ball club stopped playing when they were 7 up, I’d be calling for the manager’s head. Maybe take a breath a +10 – until then, leave everything on the field. Go Tigers!

  8. three - May 24, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Ozzie is an idiot once again

  9. SOXSUCK - May 24, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    I’m a Cleveland fan so that last one was for the Indians. As for the Sox, suck it up! I remember a game where the Indians were down 15-2 or something like that back in the late 90’s and came back to win the game in the 9th. So a 7 run lead means nothing! Cry when you are down 25-0 and the team keeps stealing bases.

  10. Mike - May 24, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Every team/player should play the exact same way they always do no matter what the score is. Always give 100%, steal bases, swing hard, and NEVER feel sorry that you’re beating the snot out of someone else. Buck up White Sox. This is professional baseball, not some little league where everybody gets a trophy no matter what. Take the loss and move on… Geeze, I can’t believe this is even an article that’s up for discussion.

  11. scatterbrian - May 24, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Aren’t they really called unspoken rules? Like not farting in an elevator, or or not talking during a movie, or not asking a fat woman when she’s due?
    Either way, people throw around the word “respect” way too often in today’s society. I don’t think people really understand it’s definition. As long as I’ve played baseball–or any game–you never stop playing.

  12. Matt - May 24, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    As a White Sox fan, I have been lobbying for the Sox to fire Ozzie (and Kenny) for a long time. The team needs to get a manager that isn’t a complete f-tard.

  13. Jeffrey - May 24, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Let’s go Yankees!!
    And for the best laugh you’ll have today, go to porkchopfactory. Com

  14. Dan - May 24, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    The White Sox are a bunch of whining idiots. We all know that.

  15. Spanky - May 25, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Isn’t the Sox and every team’s job not to give up Runs and score more than the other team, I believe it’s called competion. So the WhiteSox should ask for another unwritten Rule to be made up that states ” when the other team is up by 7 runs, the other teams Pitcher is only allowed to throw fast balls down the center of the plate till we catch up, because we like to wine and make up little league rules, but still be paid enormous amounts of money not to produce.

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