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ARod's Ethics & the Yanks' Poor Play
Posted by Janet Eagleson at 5/31/2007 7:08:00 AM
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As a hockey writer, I don't often get involved in the ruminations and rumblings of the baseball side of our business. But after ARod hit Toronto this week, I think someone has to say something. This is NOT about his Sunday night antics at the Brass Rail on Yonge Street or his alleged tryst with a blonde Toronto babe. This is about his childishness on the basepaths late in Wednesday's game. With the Yanks up 7-5 late and ARod on second, a fellow pinstiper ticks an infield fly. ARod races toward third and as he passes the rookie third-bagger, he yells, "MINE!" The poor guy backed off thinking his shortstop had called him off, the ball fell in and another run scored. No other Yankee was willing to talk about it postgame -- they sent all reporters straight to the big man himself. He didn't say much but seemed to mumble something about needing to do something to break their losing skid... Nice. ARod not only broke the interference rule, he also broke the moral code of baseball -- the etiquette all little leaguers are taught the moment they first put on their spikes. Who cares about his indiscretions off the field -- let's take a long hard look at how his selfishness might be a symptom of a much larger problem for the Yanks.


When I first heard about what ARod did, I thought people were making too much of it. I've played a lot of SS in my time and a member of the other team yelling at me while trying to field a ball wouldn't be shocking or even get me upset. But after actually seeing the replay, yeah, that's a little overboard. At that point he's probably breaking the rules, and it's blatently obvious. He should be taken to task for what he did.

Still, the whole "breaking etiquette" thing just doesn't fly with me. There's too much that gets thrown into that category which isn't etiquette at all.
Posted by herbilk at 5/31/2007 9:44:00 AM
Yeah, it's not too far out to suggest it would have been a non-issue if the Jays had their regular duo of Glaus/Clayton on the left side of the diamond instead of Clark/McDonald; not that A-Rod wasn't keenly aware of that fact.

He's deserves a fine as it creates unnecessary danger to the infielders; it's tough to make a case for "etiquette," the Webster's definition "the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life," in pro sports. Well, except golf.
Posted by quon at 5/31/2007 9:57:00 AM
Maybe it's not cool, but I like to think of it as a heads-up play. I did that kind of stuff all the time when I played slow-pitch softball. Of course that was probably because I wasn't very good at sliding.

I don't see how this is different from yelling at basketball players when they shoot field goals or free throws or defensive linemen moving and talking to offensive linemen in the hopes of drawing a false start. You do what you can to get in the heads of your opponents. Maybe this was a childish way to do it, but then again, a catcher telling a hitter "your wife says 'hi'" just as the pitcher is delivering probably happens far more frequently and is just as childish.

As Omar Little might say, "it's all part of the game, yo."
Posted by kennruby at 5/31/2007 9:59:00 AM
There really isn't too much 'etiquette' when it comes to running the bases in baseball. At least, when you're ARod. However, to suggest that he should be 'taken to task' for simply yelling 'MINE' is a bit absurd, if you ask me. Clark should have caught the ball, point, blank, period. It was a simple infield pop-up, and it was his ball. The game was not decided due to the play and, frankly, I think it was a smart move by ARod. As others have stated, players use techniques like that all the time. I'm not saying it was a classy move, (classy and ARod don't belong in the same sentence) but it achieved the desired result.
Posted by Ebears at 5/31/2007 10:18:00 AM
We needed a win! I love it!
Posted by Rugby12901 at 5/31/2007 11:38:00 AM
If Jeter did this, we'd be hearing about a "scrappy team captain" who "maybe went a bit overboard" but "wants desperately to win and will do anything to get his team the victory."

But A-Rod does it, he's trash.

I hope A-Rod finds a home next year where his skills and drive are appreciated.
Posted by joeo at 5/31/2007 11:41:00 AM
It's a bush-league play, and I'd say that no matter who it came from. Of course, this is the same guy who did that lame "Hong Kong Phooey Chop" in Game 6 of the ALCS, 2004.
Posted by spianow at 5/31/2007 12:29:00 PM
I'm just glad that their team is woefully underperforming this season.

A-Rod already proved he was full s__t when he pulled that (aptly titled by pianow) "Hong Kong Phooey Chop".

Now he's proven he's bush league and an adulterer.
I'm sure it will be a kodak moment when he gets home to the wife and kid today.
Posted by flutiefan at 5/31/2007 12:41:00 PM
How is this any different than an infielder trying to fake out a baserunner who was running on the pitch and a flyball was hit, trying to make him slide?

Put me in the "part of the game" camp. Maybe bush league, and I wouldn't do it, but it's also overblown.
Posted by Erickson at 5/31/2007 1:22:00 PM
and referring to Clark as a rookie is misleading. The guy has been in pro ball for nearly 15 years now.
Posted by djbrown at 5/31/2007 1:53:00 PM
The report is that he said Hah, which is what it looked like on the video of the play, rather than Mine. If he said Hah and that's why Clark bailed, shame on him and smart play by ARod. If he had lowered the shoulder and plowed into Arroyo at 1B, would that have been a better play than trying to slap the ball away? Is it any different than a basestealer trying to kick the ball out of a fielder's glove? I don't love ARod, but he seems to be held to a higher standard than anyone else. On the Kodak moment, the ***a href=""***NY Post***/a*** already had pictures in today's paper of his wife in the SUV with suitcases.
Posted by airjan23 at 5/31/2007 2:13:00 PM
Fine -- by definition, Howie Clark is NOT a rookie. But dare we say 100 games and some 248 AB leaves him with little MLB experience, let alone confident in a situation against a team as storied as the Yanks? And change etiquette to "the code" -- it's all about semantics, anyway. The bigger point here -- and it's worthy of discussion -- is the clubhouse situation with this team. Not a single teammate came out of the dugout to defend their "teammate" AND NONE would comment to the media post-game. There is clearly a significant problem in that clubhouse -- is behavior like this the symptom... or the cause?
Posted by eaglehawk at 5/31/2007 3:41:00 PM
In any sport or game of competition there are Art of War tactics you can emply that technically arne't against the rules. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you want to play that way.

In the tournament Scrabble world there are some rogues who will do all sorts of sketchy things bordering on cheating to try to steal a game. You can't always police that, but the damage they do to their reps is significant. Faced with the options to do the same tactics, I don't think it's worth it.

If I were a star baseball player, I'd think about legacy, too. Why not go down as a Hall of Famer who was respected by most (if not all), rather than being seen as a petty pseudo-cheater who was so disliked, not even his teammates would defend him on anything.
Posted by spianow at 6/1/2007 6:58:00 AM
So where does that put A.J. Pierzynski? Seems to me that there is probably no other player in the game that likes him, yet his teammates love having him around.
Posted by kennruby at 6/1/2007 9:58:00 AM
This isn't an issue if its not A-Rod. Ponder this: Have you ever yelled something at someone taking a jumpshot in hopes they would miss it? Does the quarterback try to "hardcount" the defensive line so that they jump off sides? Have YOU ever yelled at someone trying to catch YOUR popup when you were growing up? The answer to these questions are yes, yes, and yes, and it's OK, because you are trying to win.

Forget the unwritten rules of baseball, because they should be REwritten.

The larger problem here is how Derek "The Captain" Jeter has not shown half an ounce of leadership since players like Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez have left the bronx. These guys would have A-Rod's back (or tell him exactly how to act, under no uncertain terms) where Jeter keeps quiet, hoping not to draw any bad press himself. He is lacking as a leader, and this situation is the perfect example of that.

Posted by sdousfiuyuoy at 6/1/2007 7:14:00 PM
Whether you want to call it etiquette or "the code", it's irrelevant. It's against the rules. It's also classless and unprofessional. A-Rod is an A-Hole.

Here is the rule as it is written in MLB's Official Rules;

(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter- runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.

Rule 2.00 (Interference) Comment: In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch.

On any interference the ball is dead.

The batter should have been called out to end the inning. The Umpire blew this call, and it's he who should be reprimanded.

Posted by Greg Cathers at 6/3/2007 6:53:00 AM

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