The unwritten rules of baseball have been cited numerous times already this year. Baseball legal scholars such as Brian Dozier have called out hitters for bunting against a shift in a blowout game. Astros pitcher Justin Verlander took issue with White Sox infielder Tim Anderson stealing a base when down by five runs.
Now Anderson is considered a repeat offender of the unwritten rules after being issued a citation by Sheriff Sal. Royals catcher Salvador Perez took issue with the young White Sox hitter after he drilled a home run in the first inning of the night contest of Saturday’s doubleheader. Those issues came to a boil in the bottom of the inning once Perez was a runner at second base, leading to a face-to-face confrontation and benches momentarily clearing, although no punches were thrown.
According to Salvy, Anderson is guilty of supposedly disrespecting the Royals when he yelled a profanity during his trot around the bases.
Salvy had shared some thoughts on Tim Anderson. Perez thought Anderson disrespected the Royals as he rounded the bases shouting "f– let's go." Here's a highlight: pic.twitter.com/vgtm6dk1GR— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) April 29, 2018
You can listen to Salvy’s full comments here (warning NSFW comments). Keep in mind, Anderson didn’t bat-flip, didn’t showboat, didn’t run around the bases with his arms wide like he was pretending to be an airplane. He said the f-word, and “let’s go”, almost certainly as a way to rally himself and his teammates in a season where they have already lost a lot of games. Salvy says that while he too enjoys fun, and that Anderson can have fun, he felt like being loud on the bases was disrespectful, particularly in a non-playoff game.
"If you don't like it, pick another location," Tim Anderson said. "They're taking the fun out of baseball. I'm doing it for the boys."— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) April 29, 2018
So to have Salvy of all people get upset at a player being animated....well it seems a bit hypocritical, right? Salvy’s excitement at playing the game of baseball is a feature, not a bug. It is one of the most endearing things about him. I mean, I don’t think you can call out a guy for being excited about a home run in a non-playoff game, then douse a teammate in Gatorade following your sixth win in 26 tries.
Being excited about baseball is what kept the Royals in the hunt, even in times it seemed you could count them out. This is a team that had goofy hand gestures after every single hit in a .500 season. A team that had a combative young pitcher known for running his mouth and getting into dust-ups. A team that got into confrontations with all comers during the 2015 season. This team thrived on emotion and intensity.
Sure, the White Sox aren’t in that kind of pennant hunt. But they’re still trying to win games, aren’t they? And if that’s how they pump themselves up, how they maintain their intensity, why is that Salvy’s place to corral them?
This is probably just the frustration of a 6-20 start boiling over. And the Royals did respond to the confrontation, as Eric Skoglund pitched a gem and the offense came alive enough to score five runs in just the second home victory of the season. I get that Salvy wants to protect his team, particularly after a poor start. But this makes the Royals seem petty. If you don’t like guys yelling after home runs, then don’t give up so many home runs.
To his credit, Salvy doesn’t seem interested in pursuing the matter any further.
Salvador Perez says the beef is over. Tim Anderson said "I don't know. Obviously I don't care. We're going to keep playing and when we hit home runs, we gonna keep celebrating and having fun."— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) April 29, 2018
But stay tuned. Being aggrieved by a violation of the unwritten rules is a wound that seems to fester until some sort of vengeance is achieved. We love ya, Salvy, but the Fun Police uniform doesn’t suit you.