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Monday, July 30, 2012

Calcaterra: Ned Yost bans fraternizing on the basepaths because it angers Rex Hudler

I’m sure cause and effect will be denied by Yost if he’s asked, but the story about all of this from Jeffrey Flanagan of Fox Sports Kansas City lays it out thusly:

  - Royals infielders have been friendly with opposing baserunners, even after some big hits by the opposition.
  - Royals announcers Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre have gone on-and-on about it on the air and on recent radio spots, saying it’s disrespectful and not old school and whatnot, and that Ned Yost should do something about it.
  - Ned Yost held a closed door meeting and has instructed his players to no longer fraternize with the opposition.

This despite the fact that Royals GM Dayton Moore said when asked about it all that he doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

This all seems so silly. Players on every team chat up players on the opposing teams. It’s a state of affairs that has existed for a long time. Probably longer than most of the old timers who claim that it was unheard of back in their day will admit.  Why this is bothersome to anyone now is a mystery.

What’s worse, though, is this bit from Hudler:

  Hudler commented on Kansas City radio station WHB: “You can stand 10 feet away from a player and smooth out the dirt and still talk to a player without giving the appearance that you’re in his back pocket. When you’re in uniform out there, respect the game of baseball and respect your teammates. And stay out of the back pockets of opponents when people are watching. It makes me want to vomit.”

Thanks to Buff.

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:14 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4196329)
"Back pockets" is code, right? Code for "Rex Hudler is a dick." Right?
   2. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4196331)
Isn't it actually against the rules?

Not enforced, obviously, but there's no reason an ump couldn't (assuming I'm correct). I'd ban it too.
   3. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4196332)
And stay out of the back pockets of opponents


Where is Mike Piazza when you need him?

Or even Admiral Ackbar?
   4. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4196335)
Isn't it actually against the rules?


What, talking to the opposition when they reach base? Do you have a citation?

Would that also apply to catchers, so they can't needle the hitter?
   5. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4196337)
Rule 3.09:

Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.

   6. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4196342)
Damn that written rulebook.
   7. Perry Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4196345)
I read a book about umpires once, probably 30 years ago now, where they mentioned that one of the umps actually had to be out on the field enforcing the fraternization rules before the game. IIRC, it was something assigned to the junior man on the crew, because they all hated it, but it was part of the job. Not sure if they still do it.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4196352)
Not enforced, obviously, but there's no reason an ump couldn't (assuming I'm correct). I'd ban it too.


LOL. Baseball is pretty much the sport with the dumbest rules and management, and this is just example 142.

If I was a KC player, I'd tell Yost to stuff Hudler up his ass, and do whatever I pleased. What are they going to do, threaten to trade me to a real MLB team?
   9. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4196353)
No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game.


Would that include acknowledging the bleacher creature role call?
   10. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4196354)
Ron Luciano wrote about this in his "Umpire Strikes Back" book. He said Reggie Jackson was the guy that ended it.

The umps would look around before games, catch guys talking to opposing players, write them up and send it like they were supposed to and the players would be fined. Then Reggie started talking to opposing players all the time. Umps would tell him - Reg, we're writing you up for this, you're gonna keep getting fined. Jackson responded by telling them to write him up then. He said he was looking for ideas and advice on hitting in general and approaching specific pitchers, too. He figured the best hitters on other teams would be the best people to talk to in order to improve his game.

Luciano said that after that, others started talking and the league just said "screw it" and didn't enforce it. Luciano recalled a time he caught two opposing players talking dead to rights and wrote them up. A month later he ran into one of them and asked if he'd gotten his fine, and he said no. The league wasn't enforcing it and so the umpires decided there was no reason to keep writing guys up. And so the rule ceased to be enforced outright.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4196357)
He said Reggie Jackson was the guy that ended it.


Meaning it was over before Rex Hudler had ever played a game.
   12. tshipman Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4196362)
Wouldn't the easier solution be banning Rex Hudler?

He's like the worst color guy in the sport.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4196364)
The umps would look around before games, catch guys talking to opposing players, write them up and send it like they were supposed to and the players would be fined. Then Reggie started talking to opposing players all the time. Umps would tell him - Reg, we're writing you up for this, you're gonna keep getting fined. Jackson responded by telling them to write him up then. He said he was looking for ideas and advice on hitting in general and approaching specific pitchers, too. He figured the best hitters on other teams would be the best people to talk to in order to improve his game.

Luciano said that after that, others started talking and the league just said "screw it" and didn't enforce it. Luciano recalled a time he caught two opposing players talking dead to rights and wrote them up. A month later he ran into one of them and asked if he'd gotten his fine, and he said no. The league wasn't enforcing it and so the umpires decided there was no reason to keep writing guys up. And so the rule ceased to be enforced outright.


Yes, when I was a kid the rule was enforced. Before games, during batting/infield practice, players would clearly and obviously avoid talking with or even walking/standing near any opposing players. But by the 1980s or so, that behavior was gone.
   14. Monty Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4196368)
No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game.


That is a crazy rule.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4196373)
Would that include acknowledging the bleacher creature role call?


I was thinking about this yesterday. Has any player just clearly not been ready for a batted ball hit to them during this? The roll call happens every game; the odds say that at some point someone was waving at them while a pitch was thrown.
   16. Steve Treder Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4196374)
No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game.


That is a crazy rule.


It seems crazy now, but these rules came into being in response to the Black Sox and the related gambling scandals of the 1910s/20s. The idea was to ensure that players/coaches/managers didn't present the appearance of taking the game less than seriously, or of making any deals with opponents and/or gamblers in the stands.

EDIT: I'm reminded of Jim Bouton's great anecdote he relates in Ball Four. Bouton is a kid, 12 or 13 years old or something, at the Giants game at the Polo Grounds. Before the game, there's star Giants shortstop Alvin Dark standing around near the stands. Bouton goes down to the first row, within earshot of Dark, and starts telling Dark was a great player he is, how when Bouton grows up he'd like him, he's so excited that Dark plays for the Giants, etc. etc.

And Dark calmly turns his head toward Bouton, gives him a withering look and says, "Take a hike, son. Take a hike."
   17. phredbird Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4196392)
not only a reaction to the gambling, i think. the incident of cobb going in the stands after the heckler was a giant headache for the image of the game back in the day.

i see opposing players talking all the time, and i do think they ought to tone it down, esp. in a close game. i find it a little unseemly, but maybe i'm just a bit old fashioned. its been a long time since i was 12.

   18. Bob Evans Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4196396)
the incident of cobb going in the stands after the heckler was a giant headache for the image of the game back in the day.

That comes under mingling, I would imagine.
   19. Curse of the Andino Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4196397)
Ron Luciano wrote about this in his "Umpire Strikes Back" book. He said Reggie Jackson was the guy that ended it.


Came in here to say this...

... leaving satisfied.

   20. hee came hee seop'd he choi'd Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4196436)
Hudler is probably still furious the weed isn't nearly as good in KC than it is in Orange County
   21. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4196440)
Should've never taken his pipe away...
   22.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4196450)
REx Hudler is the worst anything that ever anythinged. That he's employed at all makes me want to vomit.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4196458)
. Baseball is pretty much the sport with the dumbest rules and management, and this is just example 142.


In a world that has the NFL, that pretty much makes this comment pretty much void and null.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4196460)
Players not fraternizing? They have no respect for history. The only thing worse than breaking the unwritten rules is failing to break the non-unwritten guidelines.
   25. Downtown Bookie Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4196469)
Ned Yost held a closed door meeting and has instructed his players to no longer fraternize with the opposition.

This despite the fact that Royals GM Dayton Moore said when asked about it all that he doesn’t think it’s a big deal.


When the manager feels compelled to run the team based upon what the team's announcers are saying, in direct contradiction to what the GM is saying, it's time for a change.

DB
   26. Dave Spiwak Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4196474)
Hey it's another chance to beat up on everyone's favorite punching bag, Rex Hudler! I guess I get that part -- but I still don't know why the author is pinning this all on Rex. There's really nothing other than thin circumstantial evidence that Hudler has anything to do with anything.

This is from the article:
Royals announcers Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre have gone on-and-on about it on the air and on recent radio spots, saying it’s disrespectful and not old school and whatnot, and that Ned Yost should do something about it.

Seems like this might be something that others in the organization have been talking about for one reason or another. And it's their right to tell their players to stop fraternizing with the competition. Maybe they feel like there's not enough fire in the clubhouse, or some other such institutional ill that needs remedy. Maybe they want to nip this thing in the bud before the beer and chicken flows too freely.

Does Calcaterra have some weird ax to grind with Hudler? (Other than Rex is so terrible as an announcer and he's an idiot that gets too excited about this serious game of baseball.) Something tells me the KC Royals organization isn't being secretly run by puppet-master Rex Hudler, so I'm not sure why Calcaterra thinks this whole thing is mean old Cap'n buzzkill Rex's fault.
   27. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4196522)
Lot of vomit talk on baseball radio recently.
   28.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4196525)
[26] Whether or not Hudler "had anything to do with it" is immaterial; Hudler deserves to be ripped for being an unbearable and saying things like:

And stay out of the back pockets of opponents when people are watching. It makes me want to vomit

   29. spike Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4196531)
Apropos of nothing, may I just say that I find the entry of the phrase "makes me want to vomit" into the regular public discourse of broadcasters and politicians a very sad event?
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4196533)
the royals are what, 6-19 in the month of july? yost felt compelled to do something to shake things up.
   31. Dale Sams Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4196535)
nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game.


?? I've seen Clay sign in the stands before a game (admittedly not sitting and was on the DL...) in uniform.

In KC...ironiclly.
   32. Champions Table Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4196538)
Rex Hudler darn near puked.
   33. Bhaakon Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4196594)
Apropos of nothing, may I just say that I find the entry of the phrase "makes me want to vomit" into the regular public discourse of broadcasters and politicians a very sad event?


Why? Vomitoria are a key aspect of ballpark architecture. You just can't get away from them at the game.
   34. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4196605)
I was going to comment, but my comment turned out to be pretty much equal to #22. Hudler's a freaking wart on baseball.
   35. Dan Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4196612)
I was thinking about this yesterday. Has any player just clearly not been ready for a batted ball hit to them during this? The roll call happens every game; the odds say that at some point someone was waving at them while a pitch was thrown.


I once saw Melky Cabrera turn to the bleachers and doff his cap in the middle of trying to make a play. I don't recall if he made the play or not, but I think he muffed it.

edit: Google helped me find the thread on this very website about it! Coincidentally, TVerik made the 2nd post in that thread.
   36. Dan Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4196620)
And stay out of the back pockets of opponents when people are watching. It makes me want to vomit


Adrian Gonzalez messed with someone's back pocket while they were standing at first at some point this season. The first base umpire was not amused.
   37. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4196659)
It's been more than five hours since this article was posted, and no one has yet dug up footage of Hudler chatting up an opposing first baseman after one of the rare occasions when he reached safely?

Also, has any manager ever held an open door team meeting to address something like this? And what's the point of closing the doors if you're just going to tell the press what the meeting was about anyway?
   38. Bob Tufts Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4196663)
Rex Hudler must have been high when he said that.
   39. toratoratora Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4196683)
There's a great Gabby Hartnett story about this:

It was about this time that Gabby got into trouble with the Commissioner of Baseball, his one such reprimand, and it could only have happened in Chicago. Al Capone, by the early `30s, felt secure enough in his "position" to try to acquire some respectability. One reasonable way to do this was to appear in public at popular sporting events, like any legitimate celebrity; and he and his considerable entourage became regulars at Wrigley Field. Even after Al's imprisonment, the north side gang continued to attend. Bill Veeck Jr: "Whenever I saw a $100 bill (in the box office till) I knew Ralph Capone and his boys were at the game."

Al Capone would arrive in company with several bodyguards, and occasionally a young teen identified, then and later, as his son Albert Francis ("Sonny"). Capone never appeared in public with with his immediate family, the boy was Sam Pontarelli, one of an extended surrogate family Capone cultivated. (Albert Francis, as of this writing, is very much alive). Hartnett onc
   40. Dale Sams Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4196684)
Adrian Gonzalez


Today he playingly tried to keep a runner from getting back to the bag after a single.

cur.
   41. silhouetted by the sea Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4196685)
Notice that Hudler did not say that it was wrong to talk to opposing players. He just said it was wrong to let fans see that you are doing it.
   42. toratoratora Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4196688)
There's a great Gabby Hartnett story about this:

It was about this time that Gabby got into trouble with the Commissioner of Baseball, his one such reprimand, and it could only have happened in Chicago. Al Capone, by the early `30s, felt secure enough in his "position" to try to acquire some respectability. One reasonable way to do this was to appear in public at popular sporting events, like any legitimate celebrity; and he and his considerable entourage became regulars at Wrigley Field. Even after Al's imprisonment, the north side gang continued to attend. Bill Veeck Jr: "Whenever I saw a $100 bill (in the box office till) I knew Ralph Capone and his boys were at the game."

Al Capone would arrive in company with several bodyguards, and occasionally a young teen identified, then and later, as his son Albert Francis ("Sonny"). Capone never appeared in public with with his immediate family, the boy was Sam Pontarelli, one of an extended surrogate family Capone cultivated. (Albert Francis, as of this writing, is very much alive). Hartnett once obligingly signed a ball for Pontarelli at Capone's request, the moment immortalized by a newspaper photographer. When the photo circulated, an edict came down from Commissioner Landis' office forbidding fraternization between players and fans. Hartnett's reply to Landis' admonishments became legendary: "If you don't want anybody to talk to the Big Guy, Judge, you tell him."

The photo can be found here:
http://www.earlyerabaseballphotos.com/haoffagahawm.html

Article source:
http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2007/2/13/11032/8768
   43. Walt Davis Posted: July 31, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4196739)
Apropos of nothing, may I just say that I find the entry of the phrase "makes me want to vomit" into the regular public discourse of broadcasters and politicians a very sad event?

We'd have given you credit for "the regular discourse of Albert Belle and broadcasters and politicians."

Rex Hudler must have been high when he said that.

There are several references to this in this thread so (a) I musta missed a story and (b) really? Hudler seems much too tense to be a pothead. Is he way into the paranoia stage at this point or something?
   44. cv2002 Posted: July 31, 2012 at 07:06 AM (#4196754)
Rex Hudler is dumber than 10 (wonder) dogs.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: July 31, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4196757)
It doesn't matter what Hudler thinks, but blatant fraternizing no matter what the game circumstance does seem to annoy some fans - many of whom have more emotional investment in the outcome than the players themselves, it seems.

Ticking off a portion of your customer base seems... counterproductive.

The Rex Hudler-bashing can now resume unabated.

   46. bobm Posted: July 31, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4196798)
[33]
Apropos of nothing, may I just say that I find the entry of the phrase "makes me want to vomit" into the regular public discourse of broadcasters and politicians a very sad event?

Why? Vomitoria are a key aspect of ballpark architecture. You just can't get away from them at the game.


This Way to the Egress!
   47. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: July 31, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4196800)
Before the season, I was willing to give Hudler a chance. But he is just so bad. He knows nothing about the team's history, his answer to any question about a player is to prattle on about body language, and his grasp on the language is tenuous at best. He makes it almost impossible to sit through a game. Much like the Royals' starting pitchers. Although they have the good taste to leave the game after four innings.
   48. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4196855)
Now Mark Langston- he knew how to respect a teammate.
   49. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4196862)
Rex Hudler must have been high when he said that.

Come to think of it, Rex Hudler is kind of the Reese Bobby of baseball.
   50. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4196863)
The highlight of my Angel fandom was the day I woke up to learn that Physioc and Hudler we fired.
   51. zack Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4196877)
I'm usually in the "who gives a ####\" camp about pretty much every unwritten rule, but in the case of this particular written rule, I do think the players should tone it down a notch, it has gotten out of hand.
   52. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4196879)
I really thought this would be the Royals were going to see light at the end of the tunnel. Any hope this is the darkness before the dawn?
   53. Sunday silence Posted: July 31, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4197545)
It's not clear to me; is the warm ups before the game or actually talking to the 1Bmen when you they get on first? Talking to the 1B seems sort of traditional, or maybe it just seems these guys are so good at what they do they can afford to talk a bit before the next ball comes flying at them.
   54. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 31, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4197647)

There are several references to this in this thread so (a) I musta missed a story and (b) really? Hudler seems much too tense to be a pothead. Is he way into the paranoia stage at this point or something?


Really? He got fired from the Angels after getting caught in an airport with a pipe and some pot, IIRC. About, oh, 5-6 years ago now....lemme see if I can find it...

Edit: And, there ya go.

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