There are many sins in baseball. Some are minor, but others are severe. We call the severe ones the Cardinal Sins of Baseball. There are many Cardinal Sins, but these are the 13 I think are the most severe.
1. Walking the Pitcher
This should NEVER happen. The pitcher is almost always the worst hitter in the lineup and should never be walked. Sure, they may get a hit once in a while but never walk them, and if it’s an intentional walk, just hang up your cleats already.
2. Not Tagging Up on a Deep Fly Ball
You usually never see this at the Major League level, but it could happen. You should always tag up on a deep fly ball, even if they outfielder literally has a cannon for an arm. If you’re a slow runner, take a chance! If the throw gets there before you do, barrel into the catcher! You may get out, but hey, you sent a message.
3. Not Knowing Who Covers on a Steal
This one is very simple. It almost never happens but still. Okay, if the batter’s right-handed, the second baseman covers. If he’s left-handed, the shortstop covers. That’s because if it’s a hit-and-run and the batter pulls the ball, the correct fielder will be there to field the ball.
4. Not Sacrificing Yourself When the Time is Right
This one is usually common at the younger levels of the game. Almost everyone knows what their role is as a batter in the majors, but there still are those stubborn players who always want to be the hero.
5. Giving Up on a Play
This occurs at every level of play. If the batter hits a ground ball to the first or second baseman or a weak fly ball right at an outfielder, the batter doesn’t run at full strength. There have been numerous occasions when a fielder botches the play. They may lose the ball in the sun or trip or something. Never give up.
6. Getting Picked Off at Third Base
This infuriates me all the time. You usually never see a pitcher attempt to pick off a runner at third, let alone pick them off, but when it happens it drives managers crazy. First of all, there’s no reason to take a big lead off third base unless you’re attempting the rare sacrifice squeeze. Secondly, you’re only 90 feet from home plate. Look alive! You have a chance to score a run!
7. Running to Third Base on a Ball That’s Hit in Front of You
This means that if a runner’s on second and he tries to go to third on a ball hit to the third baseman or shortstop. If it’s obviously in the hole, or if the third baseman gets pulled way of the bag, then that’s a different story. If it’s too close to call look for the third base coach. He’ll tell you what to do and if you’re out, blame him.
8. Swinging at the First Pitch after Two Quick Outs
Never swing at the first pitch after the first two guys made two quick outs. AND NEVER GIVE THE PITCHER A THREE PITCH INNING. That will put you at a huge disadvantage. First of all, you’re pitcher and defense won’t have much resting time, and secondly, you won’t tire out the pitcher.
9. Pitcher Not Covering First Base
Every time a ground ball is hit to the first baseman, especially when he gets pulled off the bag, the pitcher should be running over to cover first base. Let the first baseman call you off, there’s no harm done. Look at Jamie Moyer. He runs over to cover the bag all the time. If you’re not covering the bag, that’s not good baseball.
10. Getting Wrung Up on A 0-2 Pitch That was Close
If you’re a Phillies fan, you know exactly what I mean. Remember the Burrell shuffle? He would stand in the batter’s box then all of a sudden back up like the ball was going to hit him. Then he’d be called out looking. Never think the pitcher is going to waste a pitch. The chances are he will if it’s an 0-2 count but never expect it. He could always sneak one by you.
11. Walking the Lead-off Batter
This one would’ve been higher up, but it happens so often that it’s ridiculous. 70% of lead-off walks turn into runs. That’s not good… for the pitcher anyway. If you can’t locate your pitches then you shouldn’t be at the big league level. Now I’m sure every pitcher has an off day, but if you’re doing it constantly something’s wrong.
12. Throwing Behind the Runner
This almost never happens. Throwing behind the runner means that if a runner is running to say second base, and the fielder throws it the first. The only exception to this rule is if a runner is going on first movement, and the pitcher throws over to the bag. Other than that, it should never happen. If a catcher throws to first or third while the runner is trying to steal second, I think he’s taken too many foul tips to the head.
13. Taking Steroids
This one's really a joke, but if you take steroids and play baseball, you're ruining your life, your familiy's lives, and your career.