There was once an unwritten rule in the MLB that a player shouldn't celebrate much regardless of what they achieved on the field. After a home run, even a game-changing one, players would drop their bat and jog around the bases with barely a smile on their faces.
That has changed quite a bit in recent years. Nearly every home run, whether it's game-changing or not, is celebrated with a bat drop, bat flip or some other antic.
It does make the game a bit more fun to watch, but it probably doesn't make the pitcher feel nice.
MLB has leaned into this new phase of the game, running a "Let the kids play" ad campaign to showcase the electric talents and fun celebrations that happen during games.
In a recent baseball game, a hitter sent a home run into the stands and proceeded to bat flip and celebrate on his way to first.
As he rounded first base, the opposing pitcher, who was very unhappy, yelled at him. His first baseman ran over and knocked him over with a punch. The benches cleared from there and a brawl ensued.
Bat flipping has become commonplace in baseball, but MLB fans are still divided on whether or not there's a line hitters shouldn't cross and whether or not the unwritten rules still apply.
Things have certainly been interesting down in the Venezuelan winter league thus far.
Does the MLB need unwritten rules?
There are a lot of unwritten rules in the MLB, perhaps more so than in any other major sports league. Players usually don't steal bases with a huge lead. They try not to run up the score and they try not to show up opposing players.
However, in recent years, those trends are slowly going away. Players care less about whether or not the pitcher is upset with a celebration. Pitchers care less about hitting them the next at-bat so they don't give up a free base runner.
Everything about the unwritten rules is changing and it's not necessarily impacting the game in a negative way. Some players and managers aren't happy when it happens, but it's over quickly.
Perhaps they don't need all of the unwritten rules and perhaps someday they won't exist.