Raymond Rants

By Raymond Ranbhise

On April 12, the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 13-2. While this would be nothing out of the ordinary, this game caused a lot of controversy because the Giants broke an unwritten rule to not score runs when they are up by a lot.

By the end of the second inning, the score was in favor of the Giants 10-0. Despite this, the Giants kept their foot on the gas pedal and continued to score runs. This angered the Padres and when Giants outfielder Steven Duggar stole second base, an argument occurred between Giants third base coach Antoan Richardson and Padres third base coach Mike Shildt. 

When Giants manager Gape Kapler came out in defense of Antoan Richardson, Shildt told Kapler to “control that motherf*cker”, referring to Richardson. However, this is not an isolated incident as it also happened when the Giants played the Washington Nationals and beat them 12-3. At the time, the Nationals were mad at the Giants for playing hard for 9 innings.

The beef between Antoan Richardson and Mike Shildt shows what’s wrong with baseball. (Photo courtesy of sports illustrated)

The concept of this unwritten rule is moronic. Why should the Giants stop playing hard just because they are up by a lot early on in the game? The Padres are a possible playoff contender and to stop trying after two innings is an insane concept, especially in a possible playoff matchup. If the Padres and the Nationals did not want to lose, then their pitchers should have not allowed those runs to be scored and instead performed better. 

This unwritten rule of not trying when a team is up by a lot represents a fault in baseball. These are the best athletes in the world and they get paid millions of dollars to play. Not trying after being up by a large margin gives the other team a chance to come back and is quite frankly a childish rule. 

The 2017 Superbowl is an example of this, as after leading 28-3, the Atlanta Falcons stopped trying, the New England Patriots capitalized on this and had a big comeback and won. At least in football there are time restrictions and after a certain amount  has elapsed, it becomes impossible for a team to win. Baseball is not restricted by time, which means that it is possible for a team to succeed, no matter how much they are down by until the final out is recorded. 

An example of this is in 2001, when the Cleveland Indians were down 2-14 against the Seattle Mariners and then the Indians managed to shorten the deficit to five by the 9th inning. With two outs, they scored five runs, tying up the game and then won in extras. A similarly famous case in 2016 occured when the Kansas City Royals were down 1-7 against the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the 9th but then scored seven runs and won the game 8-7. These examples are reasons why teams should not give up when up by a lot because it ruins the integrity of the sport and makes it less fun to watch. 

These scenarios serve to highlight how baseball has a problem with illogical unwritten rules ruining the game. MLB teams should be encouraged to play their best, even if they are already up by a significant amount  and once these unwritten rules are not followed, the game will become a better product on the field.