If you’re a consumer, you’ve seen a warning label on a product that made you laugh out loud. Like “CAUTION: COFFEE IS HOT”(1) or “DO NOT EAT IPOD SHUFFLE.” But, as any lawyer can tell you, the reason a warning label is on a product is because someone, somewhere, did it or tried to do it.
Which brings us to Rule 5.06(a)(4)(A-E)…
(A) To home base, scoring a run, if a fair ball goes out of the playing field in flight and he touched all bases legally; or if a fair ball which, in the umpire’s judgment, would have gone out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by the act of a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or any article of his apparel;
Yeah, that’s a lot of rules about not throwing stuff for a game in which most of action involves throwing stuff. This is the type of rule that makes me laugh, because you know that it came about as a result of some players trying this shit. And you know this is how it went down:
Player: [throws glove at fly ball, knocking it down]
Umpire: Hey! No throwing your glove at a fly ball!
Player: [throws hat at fly ball knocking it down]
Umpire: Goddammit, no throwing anything at a fly ball!
Player: What about if it’s a ground ball?
Other Player: Or what if I throw my shoe at it?
Other Other Player: What if I take off my shirt and catch it in the sleeve?(2)
Umpire: Oh, for fuck’s sake!
I can’t help but picture a field full of players throwing their gear up in the air like kids at graduation, the outfield littered with socks and hats and gloves.
Do I have anything important or smart to say about this rule? No, I do not. But it makes me giggle.
1. People talk a lot of smack about that McDonald’s coffee case, but that was actually a serious case and not a frivolous lawsuit like some people think it was, for a couple of reasons. Check out the wikipedia entry on it or the documentary Hot Coffee if you want to hear how it really went down.
2. This reminds me of one of my favorite parts of A League of Their Own, namely this one:
“You think that there are men out there that ain’t seen your bosoms?”