During the Padres-Rangers game on Monday night (box score), San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam. In the eighth inning, Tatis came up to face Juan Nicasio with the bases loaded and sent a 3-0 pitch over the right field wall at Globe Life Field. The homer put the Padres up 14-3.
At the 3-0 count, Padres manager Jayce Tingler said that he gave Tatis the sign to take the pitch and not swing. “It’s a learning opportunity … he’ll grow from it,” Tingler said after the game. Rangers manager Chris Woodward expressed disdain with Tatis’ home run and claimed that it “challenged the unwritten rules in today’s game.” Tingler worked under Woodward last year, so there’s an added layer to their reactions.
Tatis’ grand slam and both managers’ postgame comments have — unfortunately — reignited a futile debate over baseball’s “unwritten rules.” We’ve rounded up reactions from both current and former players on the issue for your reading pleasure.
Hall of Famer Johnny Bench thinks everyone should swing on a 3-0 count.
Right-hander Collin McHugh was pretty straight forward with his viewpoint.
Former Mets utility player Ty Kelly reminded us all that there are bigger priorities than debating swinging on a 3-0 pitch.
Mr. October himself, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, expressed his support for Tatis and the energy he brings to the game.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo proved the 3-0 no swing “rule” is a contradiction in itself.
Before Tuesday’s game, Padres manager Jayce Tingler reflected on Monday’s events, including walking back on his “teachable moment” comment. Tingler said he was referencing the concept of picking up signs, not unwritten rules.
Tingler also said this of his 3-0 take sign:
Former MLB third baseman and CBS Sports HQ’s Will Middlebrooks gave his reasoning why he’s siding with Tatis.
Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty broke down Tatis’ at-bat in simple terms.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton advocated for baseball players having fun, especially in this fan-less 2020 season.
“It’s a fun game. I think we have to encourage kids to have fun and enjoy the game,” Shelton said on MLB Network Radio Tuesday. “I think we need to let kids play. The unwritten rules of the game have gone bygones. There is respect … but in terms of letting guys play, I think you have to let them do that.”