Baseball is unique in that we have so many rules that exist outside of the rulebook. These rules aren’t etched in some book, but instead, they are passed down from coach to player and player to player, and in some cases, they are held more sacred than the rules the boys in blue are required to uphold.
These certainly aren’t all of the unwritten rules most players follow - creating such a list would be impossible, as almost every league, level, organization, and region seems to have their own interpretation of many of the rules to follow.
• Don’t try to embarrass another team once you’re beating them handily. Stealing, bunting, etc., is unnecessary when leading by 8 or more runs. Keep hitting doubles by all means and try to score, but don’t try to rub it in. The exception to this rule being in a championship game or other such contest that carries significant weight.
• Don’t throw at the other team’s pitcher. In high school and college this goes unheeded, but in pro ball, this is a good way to start a donnybrook.
• Even when attempting to disrupt a play, such as breaking up a double play, never intentionally try to injure an opposing player. You’re not a tough guy because you try to hurt someone; you’re a major douche bag. Knock him down, for sure, but don’t try to end his career.
• Unless you’re a big leaguer, when you hit a bomb, don’t stand there and look at it. The next guy might get one in the ear.
• Don’t show up the umpire by drawing lines in the dirt… You’re gonna get tossed. If you have to complain, look straight ahead and say what you have to say without letting the world know you didn’t like the call.
• Never show up a coach or teammate. This can be done in a number of ways, but here’s a couple examples: If someone misses a sign and you get throw out or left out to dry as a result, don’t throw your hands up, yell across the field, or do anything else. Go to the dugout like nothing happened and then deal with it. If a guy makes an error, keep your mouth shut until you get to the dugout. If a called play fails, don’t mean-mug the play caller.
• Don’t look at the catcher’s signs while you’re hitting. Stealing signs is a part of the game, but peeking in the box is for cowards.
• If you’re gonna steal signs, at least try to be sneaky. Being obvious about it makes you look bush, even if everyone knows it’s expected.
• Only throw at another player to protect your teammates or if a guy tries to disgrace your club.
• If you’re gonna throw at a guy intentionally, hit him below the shoulders. No matter how big a tool he is, he doesn’t deserve to suffer a serious injury.
• Don’t step on the first baseman’s ankle when you cross the bag. That thing is plenty wide enough for you to hit it without crippling the guy standing there.
• Don’t bunt to break up a perfect game or no hitter. That’s chicken shit, I don’t care what anyone says. Unless the post season is on the line, if the guy is tossing up a perfecto after 7, be a man and swing the bat.
• If you’re way up and the other team throws a wild pitch, advance. It’s more embarrassing for you to stay put. You humiliate the other team more by “taking it easy on them.”
• If you’re not a pitcher, don’t cross the mound during a game.
• Don’t get caught stealing 3rd with 2 outs.
• Don’t make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base.
• Don’t throw at a guy because he’s playing good… I.e., don’t drill someone because they’ve been raking and you’re sick of them pounding doubles off the wall.
• Players: don’t goad or yell at opposing coaches or staff.
• Coaches: don’t goad or yell at opposing players.
• Never laugh at a player, whether he is an opponent or a teammate, because he lacks talent or ability. Also, never laugh when an opponent gets injured.
• PLAY HARD ALL THE TIME
That’s about it for now, feel free to post any others you believe in or that I’ve failed to list, or post comments to agree or disagree with any that I’ve mentioned!