Social media and the talking heads of ESPN were abuzz on Tuesday, loudly pontificating on the unwritten rules of baseball after the Chicago White Sox’s Yermin Mercedes hit a ninth inning home run off Willians Astudillo to extend Chicago’s lead to 16-4 from 15-4 on Monday.
The unwritten rule is that you take a 3-0 pitch and swing at the 3-1 pitch, but Mercedes clobbered the 3-0 offering into the night sky. To me, that crosses a line, and I think the Twins, despite some utterances to the contrary, believe that too. White Sox manager Tony La Russa also believes it, which led him to reportedly talk to Mercedes about it. The unwritten rules of the game also spell out how a team like the Twins is expected to respond, and so they did with reliever Tyler Duffey throwing behind Mercedes in the seventh inning. Duffey was ejected and so was Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. This is part of the game.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s game was dramatic in other ways as well. The Sox raced out to a 4-0 lead, then Miguel Sano put the Twins on his back and hit three home runs to tie the game at four in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Jorge Polanco singled in the winning run for the 5-4 walk-off win.
Matt Shoemaker gets the ball on Wednesday.
-Outfielder Trevor Larnach got another hit and is now hitting .292.
-Those who appreciate the unwritten rules of the game were clearly in the minority on Tuesday. It also appears that those arguments fell across generational lines, which explains why former Twins player, Roy Smalley, and La Russa, understand it, but perhaps why current Twins manager, Baldelli, can’t or won’t.
And then there was this…
Construction began for Metropolitan Stadium in a farm field in Bloomington, Minnesota on June 20, 1955. The stadium was completed in just one year, and opened on April 24, 1956. (Don Black/@StribSports) pic.twitter.com/zLbyHqz9Y8
— Vintage Minnesota (@VintageMinn) May 18, 2021
Piranhas no more. They are now the guppies.
— Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen) May 18, 2021