10 MLB Rules Fans Don't Know

Zak SchmollAnalyst ISeptember 15, 2012

10 MLB Rules Fans Don't Know

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    Major League Baseball has a pretty robust rulebook to say the least, and as a result, there are many rules that most people haven't even heard about.

    In fact, I want to lay out 10 in particular that I found in the rulebook that I had not necessarily known about. Some of them are kind of funny and some of them are more practical and relevant on the field, but I hope that you enjoy looking through this list with me.

    All of the rules are taken directly from MLB rulebook itself which can be found here.

Rule 10.07 (g)

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    When a runner is tagged out after oversliding a base, while attempting either to return to that base or to advance to the next base, the official scorer shall not credit such runner with a stolen base.

    I guess that I personally always thought that if you ended up going beyond the base and got caught, you would still receive credit for one stolen base and also be credited with one time caught stealing. However, it seems as if the entire play is one event that either results in a stolen base or the alternative.

Rule 10.17 (c)

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    The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.

    I have never really seen this type of thing happen, but apparently the ultimate win can be subjectively assigned by the official scorer if the actual pitcher who would normally receive the win was ineffective. Typically, there is no debate about the winning pitcher, but apparently there could be.

Rule 4.12 (a) (1)

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    A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons: a curfew imposed by law...

    Baseball is not able to overrun the law. I guess that kind of goes without saying, but I did not know that this particular rule was actually written into the official book.

Rule 3.18

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    The home team shall provide police protection sufficient to preserve order. If a person, or persons, enter the playing field during a game and interfere in any way with the play, the visiting team may refuse to play until the field is cleared.

    Baseball is not able to overrun the law, but it is supposed to take responsibility for enforcing it. I personally assumed that this was common sense and didn't realize that it was explicitly outlined in the rulebook.

Rule 3.09

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    Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.

    This rule just seemed a little bit funny. Given the grief that some of these players get from the fans whenever they step on the field, it is hard to imagine them ever wanting to get any closer to those fans than absolutely necessary.

Rule 10.16 (e)

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    An error by a pitcher is treated exactly the same as an error by any other fielder in computing earned runs.

    I knew about this rule so I guess I kind of broke what I said in the first slide, but I have to admit it has always confused me a little bit. If the pitcher makes an error, shouldn't that be charged to his record as much as an earned run?

Rule 1.04 (a)

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    Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.

    This rule does make a lot of sense, but in a way, it is somewhat surprising that this type of thing is mandatory. Most likely, Major League Baseball didn't want to ruin the integrity of the home run by allowing people to build stadiums that were too small.

Rule 1.11 (f)

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    Glass buttons and polished metal shall not be used on a uniform.

    This is a very practical rule, but who would honestly think about wearing glass buttons on the field? That's sounds like a bad idea on a number of levels.

Rule 5.09 (g)

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    A pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, runners advance one base;

    I guess that this is trying to say that catchers should not use their faces to try to stop wild pitches. Not only does it sound painful, but it also won't stop the runners from advancing to the next base.

Rule 3.02 (My Overall Favorite in Case You Were Wondering)

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    No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.

    I don't mean to make fun of this rule whatsoever, but I love the fact that they mention licorice as a banned substance. I guess that means that I need to keep my Twizzlers in the dugout.


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