Unwritten rules and old-school baseball locallyAug 8, 2017 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer
"Hello, Siri. Tell me a bit more about these unwritten rules of baseball."
"Here's what I found," Siri said, as she listed a slew of webpages including Bleacher Report's analysis of baseballs 25 biggest unwritten rules. Siri also highlighted an exclusive interview, conducted in Spanish, with Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contares who said he forgets many of baseball's unwritten rules and doesn't follow others.
It makes one ponder, how can rules be forgotten, or not followed, if that rule has never been written?
But wait. What does Apple's Siri know anyway? She's only been around since Oct. 4, 2011. Baseball's history dates back to 1839.
Let me be more direct in who I question. Hey, Reds outfield prospect Jose Siri. Mr. Siri, what have you learned about baseball's unwritten rules?
I'm guessing he may have not known that if he were walked late in a game, that four balls would cause benches to empty.
But that is what happened last week when his Midwest League record 39-game hitting streak ended in a baseball field full of controversy, as Great Lakes Loons right-hander Ryan Moseley tried to hit Siri, who plays for the Dayton Dragons and then walked him in his final at-bat of the Loons' 4-2 victory.
The apparent intentional walk angered the home Dayton crowd and Siri's teammates, who surmised the walk was to prevent him from extending the streak.
Of course, there is more to the story. There was an incident they day before when Dragons reliever Jesse Adams hit the Loons' Cody Thomas in the seventh inning after Thomas had already hit three home runs in the eventual 16-5 Loons victory.
Retaliation? Certainly. Appropriate? That is up for debate.
This weekend, the Lander Elks, Riverton Dirty Sox, Hudson Osprey and Milford Kings will continue a multi-decade, late-summer tradition of the Old Timers Baseball Tournament at Lander City Park.
The amateur baseball tournament is nothing like the North Dakota Amateur Baseball League, where adult town teams still battle for state championships in three separate classes, much like town-team baseball was organized in Wyoming more than a half-century ago.
Travis and Jared Foutz have, over the last several years, taken on the challenges of keeping the Lander tournament alive, altering formats, eligibility rules and age ranges to keep enough interest so that the tournament can live on.
The point is to get people in the community out playing ball, and it's worked.
This year, new pitching rules will limit hurlers to throwing six innings in the Thursday through Sunday tournament.
Baseball lives on, at least for one more week, in Fremont County.
Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!