The San Diego Padres were up 10-3 over the Texas Rangers on Monday night with the bases loaded as Fernando Tatis Jr. got up to the plate. With a 3-0 count he ignored the sign from manager Jayce Tingler to take a pitch and instead launched the ball into the stands for a grand slam, unaware of the controversy and debates that would ensue. 

David Samson sat down on his podcast “Nothing Personal with David Samson” to give his thoughts on the matter.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward was not happy after the game.

“I didn’t like it, personally,” he said of Tatis Jr. swinging on the 3-0 count. “You’re up by seven in the eighth inning; it’s typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right. I don’t think we liked it as a group.”

This is what confused Samson, who stressed just how crucial these games are in a shortened season:

“I really don’t like that you didn’t like it Chris, because forget the norms being changed, it’s a 60-game season… It’s a juiced ball era where people are hitting home runs, pitchers have no command because their arms are falling out of their sockets, runners are on base at all times, people are scoring runs… Run up the score, score as many as you can because your pitching stinks and you can just as easily give up a 10 spot. I’ve seen it.”

People were upset afterwards because an “unwritten rule” was broken that used to be this norm Woodward was talking about.

Here is that unwritten rules, in the words of Samson:

“The [unwritten rule] that got violated last night is the following rule: when you have a substantial lead of five runs or more in the eighth inning or later, and the bases are loaded, or there’s two men on, or there’s one man on, when you have a three ball and zero strike count, the unwritten rule says you take a strike.”

While Samson is fine with the grand slam on a 3-0 count, he does have one question on his mind.

“When your manager gives you the take sign you take. How come no one’s talking about how Fernando Tatis Jr. got the take sign?” he asked. “It is the managers job, period, hard stop, it is the managers job to give signs to players playing the game.

According to Samson, no matter what, the hierarchy needs to be respected — especially one that involves the manager.

Ultimately, the podcast host feels that MLB needs to let the kids — like Tatis Jr. — play. It’s what makes the game fun.

“[They’re] Trying to bring baseball into the 21st century because all we hear, and I’m tired of it, ‘baseball is for old people, baseball is boring, baseball needs to change,'” Samson said. “Baseball needs to stop and let the kids play. Baseball needs to be fun, needs to let players express themselves, needs to develop personalities, needs to allow personalities to shine through.”

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