After a game on the 1st April 2018, the Minnesota Twins are making a big deal of the fact that Baltimore Orioles catcher bunted in the 9th inning to get on base when his team was down 7-0. I'm having some difficulty understanding why.

Here is the ESPN article: "Chance Sisco's bunt vs. shift in 9th upsets Twins"

From what I understand, the Orioles were down 7-0. Sisco gets up to bat in the 9th inning, and the Twins shift their defenders toward the right side of the field. Seeing a gap in the defense, he bunted up the third base line and got on base.

Can someone explain to me why this is a problem and why there are numerous articles and tweets about how bent out of shape the Twins are about this? It seems like a sound offensive strategy -- put the ball where the defenders are not. It's what I was coached to do in little league baseball and high school softball, so I'm quite puzzled why this is a "bad" thing to have done.

  • 1
    Good question. I know of no possible reason other than an "unwritten rule", which if it exists is so unwritten that I can't find any trace of it. Apr 6, 2018 at 3:51
  • 2
    The closest I could find was an unwritten rule about no hitters, but this was a one hit game by this point so I discarded that theory. Apr 6, 2018 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


Baseball is weird in that unwritten rules are all over the place, and a lot of the time they don't make much sense at all when you think about it. There's really no good reason to be upset about the play you described. If the Orioles were up 7-0 in the 9th inning and this happened, then some may take exception to it as they could argue a player is attempting to run up the score. But there's really not a great reason to be upset over the situation you mentioned

  • If they're not in the rulebook, they're not rules - it would be clear if you described them as customs or traditions, that being what they are.
    – Nij
    Nov 12, 2018 at 22:52
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    Well sure, if you're going by the dictionary definitions, they are "traditions" or "customs". But things like that are very, very commonly known and referred to as "unwritten rules" in baseball
    – Hollywood
    Nov 13, 2018 at 1:21

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