The other night golfer Hunter Mahan, obviously a baseball fan, tweeted something about the unwritten rules hubbub involving Yasiel Puig:
If players are so upset at Puig celebrating a triple or clutch hits then get him out. I’m tired of hearing about baseball’s unwritten rules
— Hunter Mahan (@HunterMahan) October 15, 2013
That’s the top retort for most folks who don’t take issue with on-field demonstrativeness and makes a lot of sense.
Fox’s producers decided to run with that, however, and had Tim McCarver reference the tweet and jokingly argue that if a golfer had no problem with a violation of unwritten rules in baseball, then he’d clearly have no problem with violations in golf too. So he suggested some violations, such as letting pro golfers wear shorts, talking while one’s opponent is hitting, walking over putting lines and to driving into foursomes in front of you. Here’s a screen grab:
Two problems with this, of course. First: these wouldn’t be violations of any unwritten rules. They’d be violations of actual rules. Pro golfers are not permitted to wear shorts by explicit PGA rules. USGA rule 16 prohibits players from touching putting lines. The USGA also explicitly spells out the contours of golf etiquette with respect to talking while other players are hitting and allowing space between you and the group in front of you.
The second, and much bigger, problem with this: looking at golf as any sort of model of behavior and decorum for baseball in the first place. Golf has a stick so far up its hind end that even Brian McCann, Chris Carpenter and Tony La Russa would tell golfers to chill the heck out, dude, and try to have a little fun out there. The last thing I’d ever want is anything akin to a golf sensibility spilling into baseball.
In any event: until the MLB rules talk about what one can and one cannot do when they do something good in a baseball game, all of this talk remains ridiculous.