Tim McCarver tries to have fun with the “unwritten rules,” fails

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The other night golfer Hunter Mahan, obviously a baseball fan, tweeted something about the unwritten rules hubbub involving Yasiel Puig:

 

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:

source:

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.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.