Playing By The Unwritten Rules

St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 25: Joe Musgrove #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talks with pitching coach Ray Searage #54 in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on July 25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It happened again, a kerfuffle at a major league baseball game involving an apparent violation of the unwritten rules.

Those are a big deal in baseball – or, at least, used to be.

The Cardinals had a seven-run lead over the Pirates in Pittsburgh when a St. Louis runner stole both second and third base, drawing boos from the crowd.

It seems there’s an unwritten rule against running up the score like that.

Other unwritten rules: don’t showboat when you homer by flipping the bat or slow-walking around the bases…. don’t break up a no-hitter with a bunt…and if your guy is pitching the no-hitter, don’t talk to him on the bench or mention the no-hitter in any way.

That last one is pure superstition.

But you’ll notice most of these are a code of honor, enforcing basic standards of respect and sportsmanship.

Baseball isn’t the only place where the unwritten rules seem more disregarded than ever. I am so old I remember when it was a given that you got out of your seat on a bus or train if an elderly person or pregnant woman needed it.

Rules – written or not – are a key way in which we civilize ourselves.

When we go overboard, they are made to be broken.

But if everyone starts running red lights, cutting the line and running up the score, is there any doubt chaos will ensue?

Turns out those Pirate fans may have been booing their own team, not the rule-breaking Cardinals.

Maybe the new unwritten rule is – nothing matters anymore but who wins, and who loses.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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