Grading the unwritten-rule violations: Bryce Harper

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper got hit for violating some unwritten rules on Tuesday night. On a scale of one to 10, how bad was the violation?

One thing we're fascinated with here at Baseball Nation is the unwritten book of unwritten rules. The unwriter who unwrote them sure left a lot of room for debate. How high of a bat flip is too high? How long of a home-run trot is too long? Apparently, it's a judgment call every single time, which seems fishy.

So this is the start of what should be a regular series: Grading the Unwritten-Rule Violations. When someone gets a plunkin' for violating the unwritten rules, let's take a look and see just how egregious the unwritten violation was.

First up: A 20-year-old manchild who wasn't even alive when the first version of the unwritten rules was unuploaded to Listserv in the early '90s.

The defendant: Bryce Harper

I can't even imagine what I'd do if I could hit home runs like this when I was 20. I'd probably grab the catcher's mask and do a Bane impression the entire way around the bases. I wouldn't stay in too many games. That's probably why nature decided I didn't need that sort of raw power.

But Bryce Harper has it, and here's what he did with it:


That's … wait, what? I don't think even Old Hoss Radbourn would have plunked him for that.

Though if you go to the stats, maybe there's a case …

Counterpoint: Harper usually has a pretty quick home-run trot, which was a surprise at first, considering his reputation coming out of the minors, but pretty well-established by now.

Julio Teheran took offense, though, which led to this:


Harper was less than pleased, and I don't blame him. A fastball off the kneecap could screw up his career, let alone his season. If you don't believe me, read his lips on this GIF from the mothership:


Lots of "fuzzy pineapples" and "dirty cooties" being tossed around there. But before we can rate this, let's take a quick gander at how the Braves won the game Monday night, just one night before.


Huh. Not that what Upton did was a plunkable offense, either. But if I had to choose which one seemed more egregious, I'm not sure that I'd need more than a second to deliberate. Unless you watched Harper's trot with a stopwatch and a spreadsheet of his past trots, I'm not sure what the problem was.

If the seasons were reversed, I could almost see it. That is, if the Nationals were the ones winning 12 straight and running away with the division, and the Braves were mired in disappointment, I could almost chalk this up to simple frustration. As is, what gives?

Unwritten-Rules-Violation Rating

On a scale of Adam Rosales (1) ...


... to Alfredo Despaigne (10) ...


... this ranks a solid 2. This is an unwritten rule that doesn't need to be unwritten down. "Don't slow down your normally quick home-run trot to normal levels ... or else." Pretty lame, Milhouse.

Really, if there was anything offensive on the night, it was the tweet from the official Braves Twitter account.

Cool joke, Braves Twitter account. Do you have any other jokes from different nights?

Clown-move jokes deserve plunkings. It is the opinion of this court that Harper's home-run trot did not.

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