Baseball’s actual unwritten rules uncovered

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Over at Deadspin, Erick Malinowski reveals baseball’s unwritten rules. Which, strangely enough, were written down in a 1986 issue of “Baseball Digest.”  I got “Baseball Digest” back then and I think they’re all still in my basement. Which, if my basement wasn’t a hellscape, I’d consider looking for right now.

Anyway, a lot of the unwritten rules mentioned there are just conventional baseball strategies. Others are artifacts of 1960s-80s baseball.  All of them are broken routinely these days.

Missing: the kinds of unwritten rules issues that come up now, which are all about respect and decorum, it seems. But then again, since Tony La Russa is retired and Chris Carpenter is on the disabled list, there isn’t anyone around who cares about that crap.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.