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The Code: Baseball's Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 1, 2008
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From the Publisher
"If my manager tells me to take out the second baseman on a hard slide and I don't do it, then I should get punished accordingly. I had at least better try to do it and make it look good, or I am going to be in the doghouse.... It's not personal, it's just business. That is just the way it goes down sometimes. Hey, that's the code." --Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder
"I remember once during a lopsided game with the Cubs, Doug Dascenzo laid down a suicide squeeze on me in like the eighth inning.... So while he was running to first base, I drilled him right in the back. It had to hurt. As far as I was concerned, they were trying to embarrass me and my teammates, so I did what I thought was necessary to retaliate and send a message." --Baseball analyst and former "Nasty Boy" Rob Dibble
"Steroids are definitely a violation of the code. Players are looking for any way to enhance their performance, though, which ultimately enhances their paychecks. There are people out there who are willing to break the law if they think that they can get away with it, and some of them are compensated handsomely for cheating, which is really sad in my opinion." --Hall of Famer Dave Winfield
From the Inside Flap
No sport is more steeped in tradition than our national pastime. For generations, fans have pored over game stories, anecdotes, biographies, and statistics, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit to know everything there is to know about the game of baseball. One dimension of the game, however, has forever remained hidden from the public eye, known only to those within the sport itself. Until now...
Ross Bernstein, author of The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL, has pulled back the curtain on baseball's tacit rules regarding retaliation, sportsmanship, and intimidation. The result of dozens of interviews with some of the biggest names in the game, The Code is a systematic description of every major "unwritten rule" in the game today--from brushback pitches, bunting during a no-hitter, and running up the score, to home-run celebrations, stealing signs, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Along the way, you'll read about some of the most memorable violations of the code in baseball history, including the home-plate collision between Pete Rose and Ray Fosse, as well as recent incidents such as Alex Rodriguez "distracting" the Toronto Blue Jays infield and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen ordering his rookie pitcher to hit a batter, then demoting the player when he failed to do so.
For the first time, get the complete, no-holds-barred truth about the unwritten rules of baseball directly from the players, managers, and umpires who live their professional lives by the code.
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Top customer reviews
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Bernstein's "The Code" reads a lot like a documentary. You will find the pages splashed with gray boxes containing dialog from past and present players and coaches on such topics as retaliation, running hard into second base and beanballs (just to name a few).
As you read the book, you begin to understand some of hidden agenda and etiquette in baseball -- they call this "The Code" and it colors the way the game is played. You'll begin to watch your favorite team (for me, the Boston Red Sox) and understand why a player might run stone-faced around the bags after a home run with very little celebration. It's all part of the code. You'll understand why "pussy pads" can be frowned upon and how The Code has evolved throughout the history of the game.
I loved the book. I watch each BoSox game with a little bit more intrigue and understanding on why a certain action that looks retaliatory is done. It's all part of The Code.
If you love baseball and enjoy learning some of the inner workings regarding behaviors and etiquette, I think you'll enjoy this book just like I have.