Breaking down the unwritten rules

From SABR member Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on April 13, 2012:

This morning, my Twitter timeline was filled with about thirty people linking to the same article – a garage sale success story from Erik Malinowski. Malinowski found an issue of Baseball Digest from 1986 that contained baseball’s 30 “unwritten rules”, and so, I thought it might be fun to break each of them down and see whether they still hold true 26 years later.

 1. Never put the tying or go-ahead run on base.

This seems more like a “good idea” than a rule, as it’s not really something a pitcher can control. My guess is that if they had their druthers, they’d never put anyone on base.

2. Play for the tie at home, go for the victory on the road.

This one isn’t baseball specific, as you hear announcers talk about this rule in every sport. As I understand it, the idea behind this is that the home team is more likely to win in extra innings (or overtime in other sports), so extending the game is more likely to lead to a win at home. Given that we know that home field advantage is something like 54-46 in baseball, much smaller than in other sports, this is one that probably applies much more in football or basketball.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 13, 2012. Last Updated: April 13, 2012.