Fair or foul?

After Wednesday night’s game and the Alex Rodriguez incident, I pored through the MLB rulebook to see if there were any specific rules about a baserunner verbally interfering with a play. The search comes up dry. There’s some rules about runners purposely confusing fielders by running improperly around the bases, and rules about interferring by making contact with a fielder, but there doesn’t seem to be a guideline about a runner shouting in an infielder’s ear to distract him.

Since there isn’t a rule that forbids A-Rod’s antics, does that make it OK? Inside the Jays’ clubhouse, there wasn’t a single player who said they had ever seen — from Little Leagues to the big leagues — a baserunner yell "Mine!" while passing a fielder who was about to make a catch. (Granted, A-Rod swears he said something like "Ha!," but I tend to lean toward what third baseman Howie Clark heard, which was "Mine!").

Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus said it’s not "proper" and he wouldn’t hesitate to pull a teammate aside who pulled such a stunt to inform him of why such an act wasn’t "appropriate." Jays manager John Gibbons went as far as calling A-Rod’s antics "bush league," and said it strayed away from all the reasons the Yankees organization is respected around the league.

So, rulebook or not, the Jays seem to think what Rodriguez did was one of the unwritten rules in the game — you just don’t do it. I tend to agree. Some will say it was a smart play, making Clark think shortstop John McDonald was calling him off on a crucial ninth-inning pop up. It was Clark’s first day with the Jays and he’s still learning the voices of his teammates. So of course he’s going to back off if he hears someone yelling "Mine!"

The main issue that I had was that A-Rod insists he didn’t shout anything until he rounded third base, when on the replay you can clearly see him yell as he’s running directly between Clark and McDonald. For Rodriguez to then stand on third base and smirk while the Jays argued the play with the umpires also didn’t seem appropriate in the least.

Still, what A-Rod did wasn’t illegal. Does that make it right, though? There were certainly other aspects of Wednesday’s game that led to Toronto’s loss, but that play certainly came at an important juncture for the Jays. A two-run deficit entering the ninth is a whole different story than a five-run hole, especially when the heart of the order is due up.

Weigh in on this one Jays fans…


  1. robertlee13@rogers.com

    Call Him what you want.
    – A-Rod

    – Alex Rodriguez

    – E-Rod

    – April-Rod

    – The best player of his generation

    – Adulterer-Rod

    But I’ll always remember him as Mr. Bush League.

    Someone from the beer company should call him up and try to get an endorsement deal in place.

  2. enigma_d17@hotmail.com

    I personally didn’t mind the play. In fact I thought it was an intillegent one. A-rod likely recognized that Howie Clarke was just called up and knew that he might not recognize Alex’s voice over Mcdonald’s so he did what he did. If it were Glaus over at third nothing happens. In my mind it’s no different then an opposing hockey player tapping his stick on the ice calling for a pass, or a basketball player shouting “over here”.

    People were talking about

    “winning with honour” and so on; well as far as i’m concerned the amount of major leagures supposedly on steroids should look in the mirror.

    What I didn’t like though was the smirk afterwards and from my lip-reading the thought that he said F**k them.

    This isn’t any worse then a pitcher trying to gain a mental edge by throwing at a guy.

  3. tothdenny@yahoo.ca

    Just goes to show what kind of person A-Rod is. He will get his next time the jays play the Yanks, cant wait to see Burnett bounce a 95 MPH fastball off his bucket

  4. indigo_t@hotmail.com

    Its called INTEGRITY and A-Rod has none . Win or lose all you ask for is a good, fair played game . A-Rod has no concept of sportsmanship or fair play

  5. harrypotter229@gmail.com

    certainly can’t wait till the next time yanks face the jays especially if burnett or mcgowan is pitching
    like tothdenny said

    i hope burnett or mcgowan hits a-rod hard with that 95-98 mph fastball

  6. mcdannymartin@gmail.com

    It wasn’t an illegal play or unfair, if Howie was under it, why did he back off?? He shoulda made the catch regardless. What is wrong is A Hole denying what he did. I’m not a professional lip reader, but it’s clear he said mine. Smirking at Gibbons. Pretty childish for a grown man to act. Burnett even admitted he threw at Jay Gibbons. If your caught, fess up. You have nothing to lose. Denying it, you just lose respect.

  7. mcdannymartin@gmail.com

    I shoulda read more into the antics. It appears A Hole is comparing his yell, to Aaron Hill stealing home the previous game. Wow A Hole is a class act. Why is he worth 140 million?

  8. torgen@gmail.com

    The same week that Ryan Freel goes on the disabled list after colliding with a teammate, people think Clark should have continued moving backwards to field a ball when he thought he’d been called off. Hard to believe.

  9. torgen@gmail.com

    Also, 7.08b says a baserunner is out if he hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball. There’s also the definition of offensive interference from rule 2.00, “Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play,” but 7.09 spells out the specific kinds of interference that count and this type of confusion isn’t among them.

  10. ukgocats3@netscape.net

    sounds to me like a-rod’s move may have been illegal. we’ll see what the commish decides

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