Don Mattingly gives us another example of how dumb 'unwritten rules' are

Frustration of the season boiling over, or just a really silly complaint? It's only one of those two when it comes to Marlins manager Don Mattingly and his complaint after Friday's game against the Dodgers (LAD 7, MIA 2), the team he previously managed. 

Let's set the scene. 

  • The Marlins are in the running for the worst record in baseball. They entered Friday with four straight losses and had lost 18 of their last 22. 
  • With a 5-0 Dodgers lead in the bottom of the seventh, Corey Seager swung at a 3-0 pitch, fouling it off. That might not have seemed to matter much at the time, but file it away. 
  • After a Cody Bellinger home run in the bottom of the eighth made it 7-0 Dodgers, Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos hit Brett Eibner with the next pitch. 
  • Leading off the top of the ninth for the Marlins was Giancarlo Stanton. Ross Stripling's first pitch sailed behind Stanton. Benches cleared, but eventually order was restored without much of a fight. 

Now that we've got all that, let's hear what Mattingly had to say: 

He mentioned the 3-0 swing four times. Four! 

This is intense competition. Players, coaches and managers get upset about perceived slights all the time. As mentioned, the Marlins are going through an incredibly rough patch of baseball right now. I say this to point out that I'm not necessarily blaming Mattingly, personally, as much as the collective baseball mindset here. Because ...

For the love of all that is holy, are we really getting worked up about a 3-0 swing in professional baseball? 

There's no reason to say something like "these unwritten rules are getting out of control," because they've always been out of control. It's all kinds of dumb to get mad about whether or not a player swings on a certain count. This is professional baseball, not Little League.

Get it together, guys. You're adults being paid handsomely to play/manage a game. A modicum of mental toughness is required. Use it. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered ever World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the north... Full Bio

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