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The Unwritten Book of Rules
2008-05-17 08:43
by Bob Timmermann

Jerry Crasnick of wrote a piece on showmanship or just plain showing up in baseball. It's nothing that most of us don't remember with stories of Barry Bonds, Al Hrabosky, and Lastings Milledge (something new, you know, for kids).

But I loved the Dave Parker anecdote:

Parker took a wide turn toward the opposing dugout that one Pittsburgh columnist labeled "The Detour" and ran with a finger-wagging motion that others likened to a dance step. A West Coast writer said "tumbleweeds roll uphill faster'' than Parker covered 360 feet. And columnist Mike Littwin said the trot was so slow, "should it rain, Parker would be rusted solid by the time he reached third base.''

During the 1989 American League Championship Series, Toronto third baseman Kelly Gruber judged Parker, then playing for Oakland, guilty of violating baseball etiquette and showing up the Blue Jays by making such a show of things. Parker, never one to shy away from verbal repartee, didn't appear to place much stock in Gruber's opinion. "Is there some kind of school of baseball etiquette, or is Kelly Gruber starting one?" Parker said. "And if there is one, have there been any graduates?"

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