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Giants, A's react to viral Mercedes homer, unwritten rules

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Giants starter Alex Wood offered his support for White Sox designated hitter Yermín Mercedes. 

The rookie hit a home run on Monday off of Minnesota Twins’ infielder Willians Astudillo on a 3-0 pitch with the White Sox up 15-4 in the ninth inning, which caused a ruckus due to the "unwritten rules" of swinging 3-0 during a blowout.

Wood tweeted if a position player is pitching in an MLB game, “All ‘rules’ are out the window.”

“Do y’all realize how hard that is to launch a 49 mph pitch 400 feet lol? Give the people what they want,” Wood added.

The unwritten rules always will be a part of baseball, and in this case, that rule apparently involves not swinging for the fences when the team has such a strong lead -- and especially off of a position player.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked about the play Tuesday, and while he didn’t see it fully, it sparked a conversation of unwritten rules.

“I didn’t see it, I was told about it coming up here,” Melvin said on Tuesday. “Unwritten rules, I don’t know if there’s such a thing anymore. There used to be a line and that line really seems to be, not much of a line anymore. So I think there are certain people that are going to look at it certain ways and others not.”

Melvin considers himself an old-school guy, but did embrace the experimental MLB rules of 2020. 

White Sox manager Tony La Russa was upset with Mercedes’ actions, despite the fact that his own player hit a home run.

 

“He made a mistake,” La Russa told reporters on Tuesday. “There will be a consequence he has to endure here within our family."

Melvin chalked that up to a possible miscommunication of signs but did say it could be understood as to why there was a commotion about it. 

“My understanding is maybe that the White Sox weren’t happy about it, but maybe missed the sign,” Melvin explained. “I mean, a homer always helps in the stats for you if you’re facing a position player, so. If I was on the other side it would probably bother you because you’re getting beat that bad more than anything else.”

Fernando Tatís Jr. did something similar last season against the Texas Rangers. It also was on a 3-0 count, this time with a seven-run lead. Many were on the side of Tatís Jr., but naturally, there were those who felt the opposite about it.

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Los Angeles Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer was the victim of a Tatís Jr. home run and bat flip recently and continues to be an advocate for making the game fun. He doubled down on his thoughts also. 

“I’ve tempered my thoughts on what are unwritten rules and where the line is drawn because I don’t think that lines really there anymore,” Melvin said.

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