What If Baseball's Unwritten Rules Applied To Real Life?

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Drew Magary is on summer vacation with his family, because he's basically John Candy. My name is A.J. Daulerio, substitute funbaggot. Today we're offering pithy, sometimes thoughtful responses about life's rich pageantry, including ridiculous Michael Sam sack celebrations, wedding-gift etiquette, and the usual grossout fodder.

No time for charming intros, so let's get right to it.

Daniel:

What would happen if baseball's stupid unwritten code of conduct applied to real life? Would I get beat up after admiring that crumpled-paper-into-the-wastepaper-basket shot for two tenths of a second?

Fantastic question. So fantastic I've decided to lead with it and send it along to Jim Cooke to provide an interesting image to accompany it.

First, let's just establish that the following list of unwritten life-code violations will all result in the perpetrators being pegged. I'm always carrying around half a dozen baseballs in a messenger bag in order to deliver vigilante justice without any legal consequences, but knowing full well that anyone I plunk could charge the mound, figuratively speaking, at any point. So anyone guilty of the following actions in my presence will get a 72-mph fastball to the ribs.

* Littering in plain sight.

* Yelling at a child in front of large group of strangers.

* Obnoxiously summoning the waitstaff at a restaurant.

* Using a credit/debit card at a convenience store for purchases less than $10.

* Holding open subway doors for more than two seconds.

* Cutting a line.

* Talking during a movie.

* Trying to cross six lanes during rush hour to get over to the EZ Pass tollbooth.

* Walking while looking at your phone at an unacceptably slow pace and/or walking across the street without noticing oncoming traffic.

* Half-heartedly offering $1 to bum a smoke.

* Walking more than six dogs at one time.

* Quoting The Simpsons.

* #RIP Twitter obits.

* Riding a Citibike.

* Placing your ATM receipt on top of the ATM machine and not throwing it away.

Feel free to add more in that Kinja keg party below.

Jason:

What would a typical American's diet look like if they could only eat what they beat in a fistfight?

I'd say fish, mainly, because I feel like most American animal-lovers would have a tough time punching any land-roving animal to death, even chickens, since they'd probably require the person to have some pretty adept stomping techniques in addition to properly executed death-punches. I'm sure over time, as the fistfight-for-food principle becomes more commonplace and PETA-approved, people will slowly build up the nerve to start training themselves to wallop pigs and baby lambs if they crave more variety. But those first years of fish-brawling will be amazing, especially during spawning season, as I'm picturing Royal-Rumble-meets-Cash-Cube-level melodrama and excitement as thousands of hungry folks from far and wide make their way to riverbeds across the USA just to knock as many fish the fuck out as they can to feed their families.

Scott:

My college professor has a prosthetic right arm with a hook at the end. I see him often around town, and each time I see him, he extends his left hand at the same time I extend my right, and we end up doing the awkward shake, hands and arms all twisted up. Should I shake his hand with my left? I just can't think about it quick enough.

People with lazy eyes always rattle me like that. "Do I look at the normal one, or do I focus on the googly one and not show fear?" Oftentimes I found myself trying too hard to act like both eyes I'm looking at are normal, which results in me glaring right through the eyes, as if there's a tiny person in charge of this face seated at a small desk behind the bridge of the nose taking notes on the conversation. Good news is, everyone adjusts. I'm sure your professor's used to navigating these situations all the time, unless he's recently handless and this is his first semester rocking the hook. So next time, if he extends his left hand, then go left-handed, or else just start practicing a fluid sideways clasp with your right hand if you want to add your own little flourish to your greeting. Just keep at it, and I'm sure you'll be dapping that thing like a pro in no time.

Jon:

What is the best dried fruit?

Oh man, I always wanted to rank something on a Gawker Media blog, but just my luck, I get this. Seriously, Jon? Dried fruit? Dried fucking fruit?

Okay ... hold on to your hats!

Dried Fruits, Ranked:

1. Apricot.

2. Raisins.

3. Bananas.

4. Um, pineapple?

5. Pears? Can you dry pears? If so, move pears to the No. 2 slot and kick raisins down here.

6. Coconut.

7. Prunes.

8. Goddammit, Jon.

I guess the short answer for me is "apricot," but I know you wanted more from me on this answer. We both lose.

I HEAR THAT WHISTLE BLOWING SO THAT MUST MEAN IT IS HALFTIME OR A TRAFFIC COP SEES SOMEONE BLOCKING THE BOX BUT LET'S WATCH THIS MUSIC VIDEO ANYWAY

Michael:

What happens if Michael Sam starts humping quarterbacks after he sacks them? Is that sexual assault? Does ESPN explode?

Hi, Michael. If it's a home game for the Rams, then under Missouri state jurisdiction, sexual assault happens when "any act involving the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person or a sexual act involving the penetration, however slight, of the male or female sex organ or the anus by a finger, instrument or object done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim," so it appears there'd be a pretty strong case against him. In fact, a quick look at the Rams away games this year shows that Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, Washington, and Maryland all include laws wherein Michael Sam's post-sack hump attempts would fall well short of consent. (Sure, in an even more Albee-esque twist to this preposterous scenario, a Strahan-Favre gentleman's agreement may create some ethical ambiguity to consent, but then Sam and his willing gunslinger would most likely face indecent-exposure charges.)

And yes, most of ESPN's programs devoted to sports-shouting will definitely find this issue thorny, even if there is no sexual assault, especially if the quarterback somehow provoked it. In fact, the situation could be so dire that ESPN and all its affiliates would basically switch to the Emergency Broadcast System until it's handled by the proper authorities. Because those Around the Horn-ers and First Takers whose job involves loudmouth exasperation over helmet-to-helmet crackdowns and excessive unsportsmanlike penalties would have a tough time arguing that Michael Sam's post-sack air-sex celebration is not the big ol' honking FUN the NFL's been missing during Roger Goodell's reign.

Todd:

What do you think would happen if it was enacted into law that men and women were no longer able to have separate bathrooms because it was seen as discriminatory? Would they have to remake all women's bathrooms to have urinals or just leave them as-is? What would happen in these bathrooms?

Oh, come on, Todd, you know exactly what would happen if this law was enacted: just one giant blumpkin orgy, all day, every day.

Plus, extremely long lines.

Ian:

It's 4:45 on a Friday. Is it okay to take a dump to run out the clock? Keep in mind, this is far from an emergency.

Absolutely okay to do that. Take your shirt off, even, and stretch those calves. Get a headstart on ME TIME as soon as you can, because that's priceless. The last time I had an office job requiring me to feign productivity, I had all sorts of clock-killing moves to make the day go faster. My go-to was always office laps, especially if you work in a huge, overstaffed airplane-hangar-sized place with plenty of alcoves and closed-door work spaces. I used to count how many laps I'd be able to do before people would notice I'm gone. (Personal record at Thomson Financial: 13.) Just make sure you pick up the pace and look harried on the way back to your desk, and no one will be suspicious, even if you've spent the last 20 minutes strolling around looking for new objects to count, i.e., 17 desktops with family photos attached to the monitor. Just LIVE, man.

Adam:

I recently got invited to a wedding for a friend I've had since kindergarten. It'll require about a six-hour drive to where she lives now and is in a beach town during the summer, so I'm looking at roughly $400 for two nights in a hotel, because I'm going stag (even if I had a girlfriend, I didn't get a +1).

This is all fine, because I enjoy fancy occasions. However, this is my friend's second wedding. Her first was a few years ago, and I got her something off the registry for close to $100. My financial situation is stable, but I live in NY like a big idiot, so most of my money goes to rent. Nothing I spend will break me, but I might be a little lean the month of the wedding.

What do you think is an appropriate amount (or gift) to give considering all my sunk costs already?

Well, first thing you need to do is remember to pack a baseball for your trip and drill this so-called friend in the ribs as she gets halfway down the aisle. Other than that, I think she should know this is your (and I'm assuming, others') second blessed occasion you've born witness to in under a decade, and that your attendance is more than enough. So your presence, plus a thoughtful handwritten note on fancy paper, should suffice. But if you want to throw in something extra to avoid being (unfairly) labeled a cheapskate, then I think a $50 gift card should suffice. Especially if that gift card is to TGI Friday's, where, as we now know, $50 could net her close to 160 mozzarella sticks.

Dan:

Went over to a friend's house the other day and found out my friend's roommate has one leg. He was walking with one of those cool bouncy prosthetics, so I couldn't help but notice it. Anyway, being a reasonable adult, I decided to try my hardest not to stare and ask the obvious question, which is, "HOW'D YOU LOSE YOUR LEG?"

Anyway, after he left, I asked my friend immediately how his roommate lost his leg and got the most disappointing answer ever: "He was born like that." Is it so wrong of me to wish for an exciting amputee story—SHARK BITE, FROSTBITE, any kind of BITE, really?

Nope, Dan, you're completely in the right. My thinking is probably similar to yours in that "Just being born without a leg doesn't automatically qualify you for a cool bouncy prosthetic one, hotshot." In fact, I think the only people who get to wear cool bouncy prosthetic legs should have to have suffered some sort of traumatizing leg-loss experience like frostbite, animal attack, axe fight, land mine, or train accident. Otherwise, duct-tape a bowling pin to that stump and stop pretending you're a hero, because the truth will eventually come out, and this way you'll save us all from embarrassment.


A.J. Daulerio is the founder of Ratter. Follow him on Twitter @ajdaulerio.

Art by Jim Cooke.