Friday, June 11, 2010

The Rules

So Nicky admits he doesn't know the rules. It's an obscure rule, so I'm almost willing to excuse his ignorance. But we're always told about how he's a valuable player because he does the little things- the intangibles. He always gives you a great effort out there. He hustles. He sure didn't look like he was in any hurry to cross the plate. Manny Ramirez may be able to get away with whimsical baserunning, but when you've spent most of your career around the Mendoza Line, you should hustle on any play. Anybody who has watched or played baseball for any amount of time should know that odd things happen. I challenge anybody to find me a circumstance in which the run is less likely to count if you sprint home instead of lazily trotting.

If you paid me however many millions of dollars they are paying him to throw the ball into the outfield, I would study the rule book every single night- in the season and the offseason. Again, this is doubly true for an "intangible" player like Punto. Without fundamentals like knowledge of the rules, what value is he? Perhaps somebody should explain to him that if a fielder catches a batted ball before it hits the ground, then the batter is out. A lot of guys in the dugout don't know that rule. If the batter hits a ball to the pitcher, he throws to the first baseman who tags the base before the runner reaches the base, then the batter is out- even if he slides headfirst into the base.

As I'm writing, I proved myself wrong. If a runner is on second base and the ball is hit to an infielder, if you sprint home you will probably be tagged out.

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