Goldman: Baseball’s unwritten rules are the vestiges of a drunk and violent sport

From SABR member Steven Goldman at Deadspin on April 25, 2019:

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is having a very good April, give or take a gratuitous insult to his buttocks. He’s hitting .383, which is second in the AL, and has stolen nine bases, which leads the league. He has popped four home runs, too, which is the issue, here. After one of those homers, a two-run blast off Kansas City righty Brad Keller on April 17, Anderson gave his bat what could be called a flip but was really more a disdainful, emphatic slap. “It was a bomb. It was a bomb,” he told’s Scott Merkin. “I smoked it, so I got excited. I wanted to help the bat boy out a little bit, so I threw it to him.”

That’s threw it to versus threw it at, and what’s a slight prepositional difference between a man and his bat boy aside from a few thousand dollars of reconstructive dental work? Keller didn’t care whether Anderson’s intention was to celebrate his shot or ease the bat boy’s burden, though. When Anderson next batted, Keller drilled him in his lower left cheek. Benches emptied and cross words were exchanged. Major League Baseball suspended Keller for five days for throwing a pitch in anger, and Anderson one game for calling Keller, as Jeff Passan put it, “a weak-ass f***ing n-word.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 10, 2019. Last Updated: May 10, 2019.