By Ken Reed
The Texas Rangers’ Colby Lewis made a fool of himself this past weekend and in the process shined a flashlight on just how absurd the unwritten baseball “code” is.
With two outs in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rangers went into one of the exaggerated defensive shifts popular in baseball today against outfielder Colby Rasmus. Rasmus saw the shift toward the first base line and decided to lay down a bunt along the third base line. Lewis was the only Ranger with a chance to field the ball and throw out Rasmus but he was unable to make the play and Rasmus had a bunt single.
Afterwards, Lewis in effect said Rasmus broke baseball’s sacred code with his bunt.
“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said, according to MLB.com. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”
Hey, Colby Lewis, your team decided to implement a strategy designed to decrease the chances of Rasmus getting a hit. Rasmus decided to implement a counterattack, basically “Hit ’em where they ain’t.” Your team’s strategy didn’t work. Rasmus’ strategy did.
Instead of accepting that fact as part of competitive athletics, Lewis decided to rip Rasmus for his bunt. Rasmus took the high road, which was also the rational road in this case.
“I’m just trying to help my team and he didn’t like it — so sorry about it,” Rasmus said, according to MLB.com. “I’m not here to try to please the other side, I’m here to help my team, and I had an opportunity where I could, and I took advantage of it.”
For the most part, baseball’s “Code” is archaic and needs to be scrapped.
I’ll enter the Lewis-Rasmus case as Exhibit 1 towards that end.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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