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Rules of the Game

Actual rules, quoted verbatim, from the Official Rules of Major League Baseball:

Section 1.00. Objectives of the Game. 1.02: The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.

OK good, I'm down with that. These are fine too, brilliant in fact:

Official Rules 2.00. Definition of Terms:

A FLY BALL is a batted ball that goes high in the air in flight.

A PITCH is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. All other deliveries of the ball by one player to another are thrown balls.

An INFIELDER is a fielder who occupies a position in the infield.

"SAFE" is a declaration by the umpire that a runner is entitled to the base for which he was trying.

I'm not making this stuff up. Here are a few of my old favorites, taken directly from "The Baseball Encyclopedia, Ninth Edition, Appendix C, Major Changes in Playing Rules:"

1880 – Base on balls on eight balls instead of nine.

1882 – Base on balls on seven balls.

1887 – Batter no longer allowed to call for a high or low pitch. Base on balls on five balls. Strikeout on four strikes instead of three, where the first called strike did not count.

(No explanation is given for what that last part could possibly mean.)

1920 – The spitball and other unorthodox deliveries abolished. Special provisions made to allow two pitchers as spitball pitchers for the 1920 season and
thereafter no spitballers will be allowed.

1973 – A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game.

Oh wait, not that one, sorry.

Like I said, these are actual rules. This next one I made up, but tell me it's not appropriate:

Section 7.11. Qualifications for Ball Park Designers:

All architects under consideration for the building of new baseball stadiums must show proof of attending at least one major league baseball game in his or her lifetime, excluding games played in Denver, ever, Houston since 2001, or Philadelphia post 2003. Applicants may however be referred to the International Olympic Committee for openings in Athens…

Hideo Nomo's split finger is exactly the break the Dodgers need. One of them, anyway. The minor injury was the only way Nomo was going to get the time off necessary to rest his not-fully-recovered shoulder, and pitching 2 2/3 innings over ten or fifteen days is just about right.

This constant referring to "mechanics" is good though, because it has replaced "chemistry" as the most often talked about thing that's wrong with the Dodgers…

It's a shame that Fred McGriff has decided to take another run at 500 homers.

Not only is it an obviously selfish ploy by McGriff and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but he's no lock to get the final nine.

Further, instead of being the player with the most home runs not to be elected to the Hall of Fame, McGriff will be the first and perhaps last to hit 500 and not make it to Cooperstown…

Nothing sarcastic to say about Kevin Towers this week, but please check back soon…

Statue for Sandy: A little progress to report, so stay tuned. And if you haven't yet, please scroll down to the photo below, and chime in. Vote Yes on 32. Every vote counts…

Remember, glove conquers all…



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