Unwritten law. Unwritten rules. Secret code. Who gives a shit?

This topic has been expertly tweeted about by so many in the last 18 hours – even Johnny Bench of all people. Not that he’s an “old tymey mustache twirler who hates young people”, but having a hall of famer who played in one of the most raw eras of the game support you is really all that matters.

Or you could consider the thoughts of no-time all-star Jayce Tingler and whoever the manager of the Rangers is this season?

I’ll go with the former. I also think it’s time to erase the unwritten rules. Or, I guess, write them down somewhere and then erase them. Because guess what – NOTHING ACTUALLY MATTERS ANYMORE ANYWAY!!

We’re playing in a season that’s half real, with cardboard cut outs in the stands, three teams haven’t even played all their games, AND NO BUSTER POSEY?! 2020 is basically Spring Training for 2021, and we all know it. So, who cares if Tatis bunts on that 3-0 pitch? Who cares if the pitcher throws underhanded for a batter, or Glenn Hoffman trips some dude running around 3rd, or Jayce Tingler stops dying his beard?

Speaking of Jayce Tingler – how quickly can one person lose an entire fanbase? Who does he the think he is Yuli Gurriel? I just can’t fathom being Tingler and thinking it’s okay to even mention something like this in a press conference. Especially being a new manager in a city that he has yet to win over, while also speaking about every person’s favorite player on the team?

This ain’t Andy Green and James Shields. This is an actual superstar and face-of-the-franchise against a first time manager who so far has been average at best.

Also, if he’s trying to enforce unwritten rules, why would he feel okay speaking plainly about it to the public? Aren’t the unwritten rules of baseball enforced and followed in secret by the underground lords of all things right and wrong about the game? A dark courtroom with no jury, but judges Peter Gammons and Ken Burns in robes and crowns made out of Pete Rose’s tears.

The problem with unwritten rules is they’re almost always ridiculous, referenced only when it’s convenient for people who can’t play anymore to feel superior.

Don’t throw at a guy, don’t hit a pitch, don’t steal a base, don’t score runs, don’t rush the mound, don’t have fun, don’t have passion. NO BAT FLIPS!

These unwritten rules are made up as you go by people who just didn’t want to get hit by a pitch. It’s like saying, don’t use batting gloves cause we didn’t have them when I played. Don’t use helmets, don’t eat healthy, etc. They’re all respected by people the game has long forgotten.

My biggest disappointment is that I was starting to like Tingler. Seemed like he had these guys in the right frame of mind. I also don’t get what Padres leadership does from here. There is no win. Either they back Tingler, which pisses of fans, and players, or they back Tatis, which undercuts Tingler as a new manager and sends the message that the players can disrespect him when they see fit.

This is why Tingler, of all people, is to blame. He made a rookie mistake of airing invisible grievances to a public who had just witnessed his team get pummeled over the last week. I feel like he could be worrying about bullpen issues, or catching issues, or anything other than the most exciting player in the game scoring more runs for a team that can’t hold a lead.

My biggest fear as a lifelong Padres fan is that this whole debacle ends with Tatis not wanting to play for Tingler, not signing an extension if he’s here, and the team siding with Tingler in the long run. Sounds ridiculous, but not to Padres fans.

In this day and age there is no more unwritten rules. We know everything, read everything, we have total access. Baseball tries to do everything it can to ruin itself, and it’s nice to know that a pandemic didn’t slow that down one bit.

Let the kids play.

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Dallas McLaughlin is a writer and performer for the Emmy-winning Yo! Gabba Gabba! and The Aquabats! Super Show! He's also worked as a consultant for Disney Television Animation, Nickelodeon, and Fox Sports. A diehard San Diego sports fan, Dallas has written passionately against the DH and in favor of Padre Brown for SI.com, The Sports Minute, Fox Sports, Voice of San Diego, San Diego Magazine, and is one of the founding members of The Kept Faith. A professional standup comedian who's performed with Norm McDonald, Chris Hardwick, Dave Attell, Jeff Garlin, and many more. He recently won San Diego's Funniest Person Contest, and has been featured on FoxRox, Tonight in San Diego, and was a DJ on FM94/9 for over seven years. Dallas has spent over two decades on stage as an actor, award-winning playwright and director. In his spare time, Dallas likes to eat burritos, drink beer, and talk to his wife about her dislike for Harry Connick, Jr.

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