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George Hale Talks Baseball Fights and Feuds 

AS A GENERAL RULE I FIND THAT FIGHTS AND FEUDS IN SPORTS ARE NON PRODUCTIVE AND GENERALLY BORDERLINE DUMB.

THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF SPORTS,  PARTICULARLY BASEBALL, IS WE PROTECT EACH EACH OTHER AND THAT’S OK.

HOCKEY HAS MADE IT PART AND PARCEL OF THE GAME BUT IT’S A LESSER BATTLE ZONE IN FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL.

BASEBALL SEEMS TO BE A MUCH DIFFERENT SCENARIO.

FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS THE RED SOX AND THE ORIOLES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A BATTLE THAT GOT WORSE DAY BY DAY.

WE ALL KNOW HOW THINGS GOT STARTED.

MANNY MACHADO SLID INTO SECOND BASE AND SPIKED DUSTIN PEDROIA WHO ENDED UP SITTING OUT SOME GAMES.

THEN 48 HOURS LATER SOX PITCHER MATT BARNES THREW BEHIND THE HEAD OF MACHADO AND SO THE PLOT THICKENED.

BARNES WAS SUSPENDED.

ON MONDAY ORIOLES HURLER DYLAN BUNDY DRILLED RED SOX STAR MOOKIE BETTS ON THE HIP.

TUESDAY ACE CHRIS SALE THREW AT MACHADO’S LEGS AND THE UMPIRES ISSUED THEIR CUSTOMARY WARNINGS TO BOTH BENCHES.

BASEBALL FOLKS HAVE BEEN WATCHING THIS TYPE OF FRONTIER JUSTICE FOR YEARS.

THE MAJOR LEAGUE OFFICE DECIDED TO JUMP INTO THE FRAY INTRUCTED THE TEAMS TO COOL IT AND UMPIRES TO ENFORCE DISCIPLINE.

SO WHEN ORIOLE PITCHER KEVIN GAUSMAN MISSED WITH A CURVE BALL IN THE SECOND INNING WEDNESDAY AND HIT XANDER BOGAERTS HE WAS TOSSED FROM THE GAME.

DID HE DO IT ON PURPOSE?

WHO KNOWS BUT IT WAS A CURVEBALL.

THIS SORT OF TIT FOR TAT RETRIBUTION IS AS OLD AS THE GAME ITSELF.

BUT IN THIS MODERN ERA WITH HUGE SALARIES AND TELEVISION COVERAGE FOR ALL TO SEE MAYBE THERE IS A BETTER WAY.

LAST NIGHT WAS QUIET AND BOTH TEAMS LEFT TOWN WITH A SPLIT IN THE SERIES.

PLAYERS AND SOME MANAGERS THINK THAT SELF POLICING IS THE WAY TO GO AND THINGS WILL WORK OUT.

BUT WHEN CAREERS ARE ON THE LINE IT MAY NOT MAKE VERY MUCH SENSE ANYMORE.

THAT’S WHY BASEBALL COMMISSIONER ROB MANFRED AND HIS CHIEF OFFICER JOE TORRE DID WHAT THEY DID BEFORE THE WEDNESDAY GAME.

ONLY PROBLEM IS THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE SAM HOLBROOK PROBABLY OVERREACTED IN THROWING GAUSMAN OUT OF THE GAME.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE PLAYERS UNION REALLY NEED TO COME TO GRIPS THAT THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF THE GAME ARE ANTIQUATED.

BOTH CATCHERS AND MIDDLE INFIELDERS ARE PROTECTED BY NEW RULES.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT UMPIRES WILL HAVE SHOW A WILLINGNESS TO MAKE CALLS SO PLAYERS KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

THIS WHOLE CRAZY THING LIKELY WOULD NEVER HAVE STARTED IF THE MACHADO SLIDEHAD BEEN CALLED CORRECTLY BY THE UMP CREW.

ONCE THESE THINGS ARE SET IN MOTION IT’S VERY HARD TO STOP I HIT YOU THEN YOU HIT ME AND ON AND ON.

JUST AS FOOTBALL HAS COME TO GRIPS WITH THE CONCUSSION SYNDROME MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEEDS TO TAKE A LOOK AT ” OLD SCHOOL” ANTICS ON THE FIELD.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IN A DAY AND AGE WHEN SPORTS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE THE LEAGUES MAY HAVE TO MAKE PLAYERS LOOK OUT FOR THEIR HEALTH.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR BASEBALL TO SAY THEY ARE TRYING TO IMPROVE PLAYER SAFETY WHEN THE MAJOR MEANS OF RETALIATION IS A 100 MPH FASTBALL TO THE RIBS, LEGSOR GOD FORBID THE HEAD.

AS LONG AS THE PLAYERS, WRITERS AND ANALYSTS MAKE LIGHT OF THESE SITUATIONS NOTHING MUCH WILL CHANGE.

WHAT WENT ON THESE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS BETWEEN BOSTON AND BALTIMORE MIGHT HAVE BEEN FUN FOR SOME BUT IT WAS DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE.

IN A PURE ECONOMIC SENSE WE HAVE PLAYERS, MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, BEING PUT AT RISK BECAUSE OF SOME TYPE OF ANTIQUATED UNWRITTEN RULE OF HONOR.

I LIKE THE MACHO THING AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GUY BUT UNTIL MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PUTS SOME REAL TEETH IN THE PENALTIES SITUATIONS LIKE THIS WILL ESCALATE.

MUCH OF THE TIME RETALIATION WAS CAUSED BY A COMPLETE ACCIDENT.

MOST OF THE TIME THE PLAYER WHO GETS HIT WASN’T INVOLVED IN THE PLAY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

UNWRITTEN BASEBALL RULES WERE PROBABLY OK IN ANOTHER GENERATION BUT SHOULD A FIGHT START BECAUSE A PLAYER CROSSED THE MOUND, OR BUNTED WHEN HIS TEAM WAS UP BY TEN RUNS OR FLIPPED A BAT AFTER A HOME RUN?

BASEBALL NEEDS TO AT THE LEAST GET RID OF ITS OLD HABITS.

BEING OLD IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING WISE.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS