Baseball's rulebook is filled with obscure rules

Thu, Jul 22

Batting coach Don Mattingly had just wrapped up a visit to the mound and was heading back to the dugout when first baseman James Loney called him back to ask him a question, and San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy pounced.

Even though the umpires hadn't seen it initially, Bochy claimed Mattingly's journey was in violation of baseball's rulebook. Instant replay showed Bochy was right.

Rule 8.06: "A manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber."

As soon as Mattingly's foot hit the dirt surrounding pitcher Jonathan Broxton, he was obligated to take his All-Star closer out with his team up by one and the bases loaded.

His replacement, the recently-waived George Sherrill did exactly what you'd expect a player who was just deemed expendable would do: He gave up the lead, surrending a two-run double that would eventually propel the Giants to a remarkable come-from-behind win.

Baseball's rulebook is filled with obscure and unusual rules. Here's a look at some others:

Rule 8.04(b): The 12-Second Rule

This rarely enforced rule states that when the pitcher receives the ball back from the catcher and the bases are empty, a pitcher has 12 seconds to get rid of it. If he's not quick, it can prove costly. If a pitcher violates the rule, a ball is added to the pitch count.

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