Gregg Olson Writes Down Baseball’s “Unwritten Rules”

Gregg Olson baseball card.

The Otter’s Dozen

One of the earliest controversies of this baseball season involved the Orioles, when Twins second baseman Brian Dozier accused Baltimore’s Chance Sisco of breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules by bunting in the ninth inning of an April 1 game that was seemingly already decided, with the Twins holding a 7-0 lead.

Never mind that, fittingly on April Fool’s Day, there was no no-htter or perfect game on the line, and the Twins had employed a defensive shift that afforded the rookie catcher a wide-open left side of the infield to drop a bunt to try to spark a rally.

The claim universally outraged fans, at least here in Baltimore (and, for the most part, around MLB). Dozier figured that Sisco’s overstep was so egregious was that he was confident that the Orioles clubhouse leaders would surely agree with him and set Sisco on the right path.

Outside of a small segment of the Minnesota Twins fan base, all of baseball appeared to disagree with Dozier — even a good number of Twins faithful even showed disagreement — but it dusted off the generations-old debate on what baseball’s “unwritten rules” really are, and if they’re still valid.

One respected member of the baseball community who spoke out on social media after Dozier’s accusations was former closer Gregg Olson. The first six years of his 14-season career were with the Orioles, including his 27-save effort in the legendary “Why Not” season in 1989. By the time he moved on away from the home bullpen at Camden Yards, he had compiled 160 saves, which still is the most in team history. One of those saves capped a shared no-hitter in which “Otter” made history with Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan and Mark Williamson against the A’s in Oakland on July 13, 1991. Olson struck out Jose Canseco and Harold Baines on six pitches to tie a bow on the 2-0 victory.

By the time he retired after the 2001 season, he had also suited up for the Indians, Royals, Tigers, Astros, Twins, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.

That’s a lot of clubhouses in a decade and a half. He was exposed to a lot of philosophies and ideals within baseball at that time.

That’s why he felt compelled by the occasion to offer an unwritten rule for his followers every few days over the last couple weeks. Some had some sarcasm involved and most are understandably from a pitcher’s perspective, but, hey, at least someone has finally thought to write ’em down. Once again, Olson gets the save.

Olson graciously allowed Eutaw Street Report to publish his “Closer’s Dozen,” which he admits could grow to more entries, when so inspired, on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. His (first?) 12 follow below.
* * *

Be sure to follow Gregg @GreggOlson30 for more unwritten rules…it doesn’t seem like he’s quite finished yet.

He has also been engaging with fans who express disagreement with the rules, explaining them and himself in more detail. It’s been a great conversation to watch for any fan of baseball.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Kevin George. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kevin George

Kevin George
Kevin George was a sports writer for daily newspaper in Easton, Md., The Star Democrat. Besides local high school action, he also made the occasional trek across the bridge to cover Orioles, Ravens and Terrapins games. He wrote for 12 years at The Star Democrat, and was on the sports...more

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