May 10, 2011, 1:08 PM EST
Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.
Well, good for Rule 3.09. It’s still stupid, even if it’s in the rule book. I spoke this morning to Joe Sheehan — who will be our guest on HBT Daily later today — and he said that the rule is an old one, borne of a fear that players will conspire to fix games, which was not uncommon back in eighteen-dickety-seven through 1919. Not so much of a concern these days, and certainly divorced from the notion of pretending that baseball players on opposing teams are blood rivals.
Which, according to Lance Berkman, who got a glimpse of the Red Sox-Yankees thing last year and is now heading into Chicago for the first time as a Cardinal, is certainly not the case:
“The fans and the media are the ones that really get that fired up about it,” Berkman said. “I mean for us, obviously we want to win, they’re a tough team. But it’s not like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a blood match.'”
I think that, to the extent you see animosity among rivals it’s a personal thing. There were some Red Sox players who really didn’t care for Alex Rodriguez a few years ago. There are likely some Cardinals who don’t like Carlos Zambrano at all. But “Red Sox vs. Yankees” and “Cubs vs. Cardinals” is more of an abstract concept. Sure, the competition is fierce, because all competition at the professional level is fierce. And yes, if there are serious stakes in play, the competition can be ratcheted up a notch.
But the tribalism if “Cubs bad, Cardinals good!” just isn’t the kind of thing that resonates in big league ballplayers. And I’m fine with that.
- The Padres have talked to the Phillies about Cole Hamels 19
- Why is John Smoltz a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame? 40
- Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him” 85
- Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals 48
- Nexen Heroes accept Jung-Ho Kang posting fee from unidentified MLB team 35
- Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins 16
- The Padres have given their fans something to talk about. Which is badly needed in San Diego. 64
- Justin Upton traded to the Padres for three prospects 79
- Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene. (145)
- The United States will seek to normalize relations with Cuba (144)
- Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade (97)
- Chase Headley signs a four-year deal with the Yankees worth at least $52 million. (95)
- St. Petersburg City Council votes down deal to allow Rays to look for new stadium site (90)