If you’re a baseball fan like me, you know there’s a lot of “unwritten rules”. You know, the common sense plays that you just don’t do. Well, we have a little bit of a situation on our hands. The San Diego Padres played the Texas Rangers last night. Fernando Tatis Jr. was up with the bases loaded in the eighth inning with one out and a 3-0 count. A lot of people might think that Tatis was given the take sign in that situation. Well…
Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a grand slam on a 3-0 count with a big lead, leading to criticism from both managers.
What do you think about this unwritten rule in baseball?
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 18, 2020
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Tatis swung on 3-0 and hit a grand slam to right center field. This didn’t bode well with the Rangers as Manny Machado was thrown behind the very next pitch.
Rangers pitcher Ian Gibaut threw behind Manny Machado right after Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch with the Padres leading by seven runs last night. pic.twitter.com/2eajDXt3UK
— ESPN (@espn) August 18, 2020
So now I pose the question: what do you all think about what Tatis did last night? Was it right? Was it wrong?
Other People’s Thoughts
So you take a pitch…now you're 3-1. Then the pitcher comes back with a great setup pitch…3-2. Now you're ready to groundout into a double play. Everyone should hit 3-0. Grand Slams are a huge stat. @tatis_jr https://t.co/4D3ilsD9Sh
— Johnny Bench (@JohnnyBench_5) August 18, 2020
Hey @tatis_jr listen up:
1) Keep swinging 3-0 if you want to, no matter what the game situation is
2) Keep hitting homers, no matter what the situation is
3) Keep bringing energy and flash to baseball and making it fun
4) The only thing you did wrong was apologize. Stop that.
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) August 18, 2020
3-0 counts rule 😒😒 you just have to pitch better if you don’t want that to happen I never see that rule and I take my self as an example because I’m the king🤴🏽🤴🏽of 3-0 counts 🤷🏻♂️🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/TkMDDOCIkX
— Eduardo Rodriguez (@eduardorod5) August 18, 2020
So the consensus is pretty clear here. If you have a 3-0 count with a pitch right down the middle, swing away. All of these guys have valid points. The pitchers need to pitch better to not get into that situation. 3-0, the pitcher is throwing it right down the middle to get a strike in the count. Obviously, that’s going to be a pitch most hitters would love to swing at. So in that sense, those guys are right. Let the hitters swing away.
From a Coaching Perspective
The Major Leagues are different obviously. Do what you want. At the youth leagues, I’d be furious. I had a guy last week straight steal when he was up 12 runs. There are certain things you just don’t do. As a coach personally, I tell my hitters to take a strike and then look for the same pitch again. The few times I’ve let them swing 3-0? Popouts. Not even kidding, popouts almost every time. Again, the youth level and MLB level are completely different. MLB, do what you want when you want. Younger levels, maybe not necessary. But that’s a decision every individual coach can decide for themselves.
It’s not that big of a deal. Obviously, the manager is going to be upset when he’s on the losing end of it. But when you have a lot of former and current players backing you up, you know you’ve done something right. Keep being exciting Fernando Tatis Jr.! The world needs more exciting baseball players/plays!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
Feat. Image courtesy of usatoday.com