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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O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.