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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Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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