Astros: Marisnick’s beaning raises issue with MLB unwritten rules

Astros’ Jake Marisnick would love to be in the spotlight for other reasons, however, the Angels’ actions last night continue a disturbing trend in the MLB.

On July 8th, Jake Marisnick made a split-second decision. The tape has been reviewed, broken down, and debated to death. Whether you think it was intentional or not, hard facts are Astros‘ Marisnick made an ugly collision with Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Yadier Molina was big mad about it.

Since that day, Marisnick has been upfront, truthful and remorseful of his actions. Joe Torre, MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, deemed Marisnick’s slide unintentional but still delivered a two-game suspension to Marisnick.

You would think that would be the end of it. Yes, it was bad, yes Lucroy is on the shelf for a spell, and yes Marisnick took his suspension on the chin. The Angels weren’t satisfied with just that.

Fast forward to last night. Angels pitcher Noé Ramirez took matters into his own hands.

Here is where the biggest issue in all of baseball starts. The double standard and the “unwritten rule book” that players abide by. Let’s go to the MLB Rule Book, shall we? If you have time to read the giant mass that is Baseball Rules, it’s located here in a PDF format.

“It’s just old school baseball”, “He got what he deserved”, “He knew he was going to get hit”, the hypocrisy has never been more evident.

First, let’s look at Jake Marisnick’s first offense. The slide. Per rule 6.01 (i)

“A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct
pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher
(or other player covering home plate), or otherwise, initiate an
avoidable collision. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner
attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other
player covering home plate) in such a manner, the umpire shall
declare the runner out (regardless of whether the player covering
home plate maintains possession of the ball). In such circumstances,
the umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other
base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of
the collision. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate
manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 6.01(i).”

Ok, got it. One can understand why Marisnick was called out and got a suspension. The following suspension isn’t in question here, so I won’t go on a bunny trail. Now, let’s dive into rules against beaning.

Wait. Hold on….let me look at the table of contents here.

“6.01 Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher
Collisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
(a) Batter or Runner Interference . . . . . . . . . . . 61
(b) Fielder Right of Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
(c) Catcher Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
(d) Unintentional Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
(e) Spectator Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
(f ) Coach and Umpire Interference . . . . . . . . . 68
(g) Interference With Squeeze Play or
Steal of Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
(h) Obstruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
(i) Collisions at Home Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
(j) Sliding to Bases on
Double Play Attempts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71″

 

 

 

Yup ok…I see the sliding…but…

 

“6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
(a) Balks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
(b) Illegal Pitches With Bases Unoccupied . . 75
(c) Pitching Prohibitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75″

 

There is no rule against beaning a player? Really? Interesting. Per Jake Marisnick himself, “There are unwritten rules in baseball, and I think as players we respect them. I think that’s a question for (Ramirez) if it was intentional or not. I’m not the one throwing the baseball.”

This raises so many massive red flags that I wonder if Joe Torre can see them from his office in New York. What Marisnick is implying is that even though there is no real rule against beaning a player, MLB players (and baseball players across the globe) respect these unwritten rules because….why exactly?

The league constantly pushes the issue that they want to protect players. As evident by changing the rule for home plate collisions. Yet they give the pitchers the freedom to throw a baseball 95 MPH+ to a batter they are “retaliating” against.

As stated earlier, the hypocrisy is just astounding.

The MLB needs to heavily look into “retaliation” beanings, because this isn’t the first time this has happened, and it certainly won’t be the last time. However, if the League is truly looking out for the player’s safety, they will have heavy fines/suspensions in store for the Angels organization.

This tweet sums it up perfectly.

Per Astros’ manager AJ Hinch, he told reporters yesterday

“Wasn’t everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?” I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot.

“It’s a confusing time. Either the players govern the players on the field like it’s always been, or we legislate it to where none of this crap happens. They got a free shot at him with no warning, no ejection. We’ll see if there’s discipline, and without discipline, there’s not going to be an issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are in, cool. We’re well aware.”

A player shouldn’t “anticipate” being thrown at. Especially a 95 MPH heater to the head. If the ball would have connected, does that mean the MLB looks the other way and says “Well, he got what he deserved”? Who gave the pitchers the right to deem something like this is necessary. This goes into the hands of the umpire as well.

However, let’s be real here. Nothing will come from this. Jake, as classy as he could be, moved on from it. He waved his Astros’ teammates back into the dugout, he squashed the situation, he moved on. The MLB will too. And that’s the sad part. They will move on, sweep this under the rug and will run as if it’s business as usual.

Next: Astros: Was that the final straw for Framber Valdez?

For future’s sake though, Joe Torre and company need to heavily look into this. They need to change the “unwritten” rules. The location of the pitch was unwarranted and was detrimental to the safety of the batter. If Jake Marisnick was deemed to have a two-game suspension for endangering a catcher, Brad Ausmus or at the very least Noé Ramirez should be punished the same way.