"I'm with Alex on this one," Baker says. "I'm going to have to use pretzel logic to defend Dallas, a friend. That was just Dallas showing that he grew up on the mean streets of Stockton, the whole '209' thing. He has been wildly competitive his whole life. Until that, I had never heard of it. I had never even thought about it. That was all in Dallas' mind."
Wilson says, "I always stay on the mound after a pitch, so it would be pretty awkward if a hitter ran across it while I was still standing on it. It's not a sanctimonious thing with me. Alex has had some instances where he's done some stuff -- like, a few years ago, yelling at the Toronto third baseman [Howie Clark] while he was trying to catch a popup. That's just lame."
The Orioles' Chris Davis says, "I'd never run across the mound. I'm afraid I might trip and fall."
The Marlins' Casey McGehee says, "I'd never do that. I don't want to get anywhere near the pitcher that just got me out."
And Dunn says, "I'd never heard of it. I do it all the time. I hate to run. The fastest way to any point is a straight line."
Another unwritten rule is gaining steam these days, too: too much bling.
"The guy with the eye-wash, wearing nine wristbands, and shin guards, and eye black, with seven chains around his neck," says Baker. "When you bring attention to yourself, that's when they throw at you."
And there must be a million unwritten rules that govern the clubhouse.
"With Arizona, we had a bathroom stall, a handicapped stall, which was bigger than the rest of the stalls," says Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds. "There was a sign on the door of the stall that said it was only to be used by guys with four years of major league service. Really stupid stuff."
There are so many unwritten rules, according to Baker, that, "We need to write them down."
And yet, if they are written down, Reynolds says, "The game would be chaos. Things happen in a game, behind the scenes, that people don't even know is going on. We keep them in-house."
Chaos? Several years ago, Joe Horn, a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, scored a touchdown, pulled out a cell phone that he had taped inside the goal post, and made a call, or at least pretended to.
"And no one in football cared!" Baker says. "If that had happened in baseball ... if someone had hit a home run, reached home plate, took a cell phone out of his stirrup and called someone, he wouldn't finish the phone call. There would be balls flying into both dugouts. It would be like a Cuban winter-ball game, with guys running around with bats in their hands. Oh my God, the world would stop spinning on its axis. The ice caps would melt."
McCarthy laughs and says, "Oh my God, he would never get to home plate. Bats would be tomahawking out of both dugouts. Where would a player hide a cell phone, under a base?"
McGehee says, "The game would never get to the next hitter. It would be so ugly."
Says the Tigers' Torii Hunter, "That would start the greatest brawl in major league history. I would drop my glove, chase the guy down, and beat the s--- out of him. And I'd do the same thing if he was on my team. The camera shot would be of his entire team, piled on top of him, pummeling him. I hope that never happens in baseball."