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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.