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MLB’s postseason ad is a full-throated endorsement of breaking the unwritten rules

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This blog has existed for nearly ten years now and for all ten of those years we’ve been talking about the unwritten rules. About deportment. About respecting the game. Acting like you’ve been there. Not showing the opposition up. Not flipping bats or calling attention to yourself. And, of course, policing the players who do do those things.

Ten years ago, I think it was pretty novel to argue that, no, bat-flipping and showboating were good things that are exciting and which can help MLB better-market its personalities. In the past few years, however, I think that stance has become the established one and the opposite — the adherence to the old school rules and behavior — is a minority view, limited to some cranky old announcers, a certain segment of players and fans of a certain age and demographic profile. We still get controversies over these things but, really, the bat-flippers and showboaters won.

If there is any doubt about that, note that Major League Baseball — with the help of a guy who was once called out for being so disrespectful as to [gasp!] wear his hat backwards — has centered its postseason marketing campaign around players doing the things that tick off the Joe Simpsons and Madison Bumgarners of the world.

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Report: Martinez, Nationals agree to contract extension

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WASHINGTON — Manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals have agreed to work out a contract extension that will keep him in charge of the club beyond next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

Martinez led the Nationals to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2019, his second season as the team’s skipper.

When he initially was hired, Martinez signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2021 that had not yet been picked up by the Nationals.

After a title defense slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, Washington was 23-34 and last in the NL East before facing the New York Mets on Friday night.

It’s the second game of a season-ending four-game series at Nationals Park.

Martinez was sporting his World Series ring on his right hand when he spoke to reporters via a video chat before word emerged Friday afternoon of a change to his contract.

“The coaching staff and myself decided to wear it for the last week of the season, so we’ve been wearing it this whole week. It’s kind of cool,” Martinez said about his ring. “Come Sunday, it goes off and goes back in its little shiny box. But it’s kind of nice to look down and look at it.”

Asked earlier in the week whether he would like his up-in-the-air contract status resolved before the season ends, Martinez said his agent and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had been discussing the matter.

“I love it here. I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” Martinez said then. “I appreciate the family. I appreciate this organization. We’ve built a special relationship here, so I hope I get a chance to stay for many, many years.”

Then he paused for five seconds before adding: “The sooner, the better, though.”