There are two recurring problems with this series about this Unwritten Rules series. The first problem is that it's hard to avoid getting meta, which forces me to spend the introduction writing about the writing of the unwritten rules. I was able to avoid it this time, but it will eventually be an issue. The second problem is there are only so many times one can write about a bat flip or stolen base with a big lead. The unwritten rules just might be finite.
And yet there's always a new one.
In today's entry of Writing the Unwritten Rules, we have an aggressive time caller and an impatient man. Usually what we do is note the transgression and grade its severity on a made up scale. In this instance, though, it took me so very long to figure out who broke the unwritten rules first. Here, take a gander:
It's delightful. It's so very dumb, even by unwritten rules standards, that it crosses the border into art. The condensed version:
Weaver: C'mon, bro.
Seager: Hold on.
Seager: I said hold on.
Seager Hold onnnnnnnn.
Weaver: /throws baseball as hard as he can
Seager: Seriously, hold on.
Seager: Mostly just waiting for you to get ready, really.
Seager: Okay, almost ready, just digging in some more.
Seager: /gets hit by baseball
My usual line here is that pitchers throw a rock-hard projectile at murderous speeds, and if they screw up with their intentional plunking, it could kill someone. But, you know, Jered Weaver, so we'll have to take that into account.
After watching the video 38 times and giggling with every viewing, I've determined what the unwritten rule is:
Violation: Holding your arm out for time with both feet in the box
We all know that pitchers hate, hate, hate when late time is granted, and there's a long history of pitchers throwing behind a hitter in those situations instead of pulling the emergency brake on their delivery. This is different, though. Seager came into the box with his arm up, and dugdugdugdug his feet in, with his arm up asking for time. This wasn't a late call on Seager's part -- the umpire was the one who took his time.
Seager let Weaver know he was the one who called for time with a chest thump/beans tug combo.
At this point, everything is cool. "My bad," Seager said with his chest thump. "Also, I'm uncomfortable," Seager said with his beans tug. Unless it was a sign of pure disrespect. Either way, this led to...
Escalation #1: Weaver chirps
That was the 37th time Weaver has faced Seager. And I'll bet you Seager was annoying every time. Some batters can't help it! Pablo Sandoval taps his feet, home plate, and feet 76 times before every at-bat to honor his favorite Broadway musical, The Music Man, and pitchers have to deal with it. That's his annoying quirk. Seager apparently holds his arm up and digidigdigs.
Weaver had some harsh words after the game.
Here's what Jered Weaver said of Kyle Seager calling time with both feet in the better's box ... pic.twitter.com/oUL6jIsDRO— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) September 17, 2015
This is known in baseball as "Godwin's Unwritten Law," invoking the name of Derek Jeter to prove a point about unwritten rules because, no, seriously, what in the absolute hell does Derek Jeter have to do with any of this? I picture Weaver using that line in all sorts of real life situations. When some jerk swoops into a parking spot that he clearly had his blinker on for, when someone with a full grocery cart clogs up the self-checkout line, when ...
Random Guy: /takes urinal right next to Weaver in otherwise empty bathroom
Weaver: Oh, come on. Derek Jeter would know to pee into one of the end urinals.
"I don't know if Derek Jeter did that ..." deserves to be a meme. It's a shame that we'll all have forgotten about this in three hours.
Escalation #2: Seager chirps back
As any of us would, probably. He yells "HEY, I'M BATTIN' HEAH," with a thick Brooklyn accent ...
... but mostly resumes his business.
Escalation #3: A very demonstrative hand up for time
This is how a baseball player gives extreme sass:
<) )╯ I'm
\( (> callin
<) )╯ time
My theory is that there's no plunking if Seager doesn't give that snap-snap sass with his head. It was a clear you're-not-the-boss-of-how-I-call-time move.
Escalation #4: Naughty words
Bits of this escalation are found in the first chirping, probably, but the constant peppering of f-bombs made the situation more tense. Seager yelled "I'm fudging waiting" for some reason, even though he was clearly asking for time and not waiting for Weaver to pitch at all. To which Weaver responded: "Fudge."
We can't tell what Weaver's yelling during the first called time. Probably some variation of fudge, turned into an adjective. It's a safe bet.
Edit: The Mariners broadcast has a better look at this.
Escalation #5: Jered Weaver being a redass
He can't help it. He will forever remind me of the metal kids in high school who were really cool with me when we were one-on-one together, walking home or something, but who would flick their lit cigarette butts at me when they were with their friends. They didn't do it because they were bad people. They were doing it because they had pain in their lives, and I was right there to ease that burden.
Weaver's like that, except completely gigantic and usually immune from physical consequences.
And to be fair, Seager was being a little annoying. Derek Jeter would know to keep one foot at a 40º angle so the pitcher wouldn't think he was ready and start his windup. Jeter would also have done the beans grab in a way that made you feel appreciated, too.
This was an unwritten rules violation of routine. Weaver has a surly focus when he pitches. That's his routine. Seager calls for time by holding his arm up, not by stepping out, which would be easier for a pitcher to see with his peripheral vision. That's his routine. And on the wrong night, when things are working for one person or the other, there's a kerfuffle.
No one wins. Except us. We win. I can't get enough of the ask-for-time sass. Never grow up, baseball players. Never grow up.
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SB Nation video archives: Baseball's unwritten rules (2013)