The unwritten, secret clubhouse rules
By Jim Armstrong
Special to Page 2

So Mike Stanton reportedly, allegedly and reputedly saw Rey Sanchez getting a haircut from a clubbie during a recent Mets' game. Reportedly? Allegedly? Reputedly? What, like Stanton might be making it up?

Don't ask me what Sanchez was thinking. From the sounds of things, he wasn't. All I can figure is that he lost a bet with a teammate who didn't think Sanchez could be hitting a buck-80 five weeks into the season.

Or maybe he spent too much time in the American League, where DHs do everything but get mud wraps and salt-rub treatments between at-bats. Or maybe he wanted to get rich selling his shorn locks on eBay. Or maybe he had a, you know, important engagement in the eighth inning.

Lou Piniella
Kicking your hat is fine; kicking the clubhouse spread will get you fined.

In any event, he should have known better. We're talking about a baseball clubhouse, not Cost Cutters. They've got rules about these kinds of things. Time-honored, unwritten codes of conduct that every ballplayer must follow if he wants to make it in the big leagues.

There are so many of these rules, clubhouse historians have quit counting. Instead, they've come to be known by the names of the ballplayers who made them famous. Or, in some cases, infamous. Now, for the first time anywhere, Page 2 is happy to provide baseball's unofficial, unwritten code of clubhouse conduct. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

The Dave Parker Rule. No cousins visiting from Colombia allowed in the clubhouse at any time.

The Terry Forster Rule. No left-handers who weigh closer to three bills than two shall wear Spandex within a 100-mile radius of the clubhouse.

The Jose Canseco Rule. No taking notes for your tell-all book-in-progress when a teammate walks out of the latrine with a syringe sticking out of his buttocks.

The Wade Boggs Rule. Cell-phone calls may only be taken in the clubhouse if they're from girlfriends, groupies or irate wives.

Albert Belle
Remember, protect the big slugger who corks his bat at all costs.

The Billy Bean Rule. No openly-gay ballplayer shall be permitted to pass through the clubhouse door. Period. Wife-beaters and drug addicts are more than welcome, however, provided they can hit a hard slider or get a tough left-handed hitter out in the late innings.

The Joey Belle Rule. No changing your name just because you like one of your other personalities better.

The Albert Belle Rule. If the cleanup hitter gets caught with a corked bat, the starting pitcher who worked the previous day shall crawl through the ventilation system and swipe it out of the umps' room. If apprehended, the pitcher shall say he thought he heard a chick talking dirty to a dog and wanted to get a closer look.

The Fritz Peterson-Mike Kekich Rule. No swapping spit with other players' wives. At least not until you get traded.

The David Wells Rule. No claiming the deposit on the clubhouse empties, even if you're a Rule 5 wannabe making the minimum and driving an '84 Impala to the yard.

The Steve Howe Rule. No sneaking out of the clubhouse and snorting the foul lines after the grounds crew has gone home for the night.

Dibble: Stay on the bench
Should a player be spending time in the clubhouse during a game? ESPN's Rob Dibble weighs in:

"Certainly, there are circumstances when it's reasonable for a guy to leave the bench. I've actually had first-hand experience.

When I was playing with the Reds, we were at the old Houston Astrodome and I had gone in to pitch a couple of relief innings. In the top of the ninth we broke the score wide open. We were not in a save situation and there was no need for a closer. I thought they would pinch-hit for me, so I went to the clubhouse and did what I would normally do -- strip down to my skivvies, grab a beer and put my arm on ice.

Just as I was getting comfortable, our pitching coach called, "Hey Dibs, you're on deck."

Click here for complete column

The Billy Martin Rule. No mentioning the owner's convictions. You might have one yourself some day.

The Derrel Thomas Rule. No washing your sports car in the parking lot during a game. What do you think posses are for, anyway?

The Ken Griffey Jr. Rule. Smiling is allowed in the clubhouse only during 14-game winning streaks.

The Barry Bonds Rule. No raiding the locker of your team's resident superstar so you can open your own La-Z-Boy store.

The Vince Coleman Rule. Any player caught throwing firecrackers at kids shall be outrighted to Triple-A Havana, where he'll receive four pesos a month and free use of a used '58 Caddy.

The David Cone Rule. Stretching is allowed in the bullpen, as long as it involves only four limbs.

The Jim Bouton Rule. No dating chicks who remotely resemble Joe Torre with cleavage.

The Lou Piniella Rule. No flipping the postgame spread because the umps cost you the game in that 16-2 loss to the Brewers.

The Bret Saberhagen Rule. No spraying writers with bleach, even if those lousy, no-good sumbitches really were the real reason the Brewers lit you up for 11 earnies.

Jose Canseco
Ask Jose Canseco what happens to you when you break the secret code of conduct.

The Ken Caminiti Rule. Drug dealers will be allowed in the clubhouse only if they've just returned from a successful 'roid run in Tijuana.

The Cliff Johnson Rule. Any player who fights in the shower with his team's star closer shall be banished to the white sandy beaches of Lake Erie.

The Juan Gonzalez Rule. Any ballplayer with almost as many marriages as Antonio Alfonseca has fingers shall be known as Zsa Zsa.

The Joe DiMaggio Rule. Stiffing clubbies out of their tips is allowed only if you're the MVP, you're married to the hottest babe in America and you play for the Yankees. Exceptions are made only if your name is Barry Bonds.

The Bo Belinsky Rule. When in Montreal, no flirting from the bullpen with both women in the stands.

The Rickey Henderson-Bobby Bonilla Rule. Playoff games and other such trivial matters shall not interfere with the clubhouse canasta championship.

The Leo Mazzone Rule. During off-day golf outings, no laughing at a teammate when he gets the yips over a six-foot putt.

The Fred Lynn Rule. Every left-handed hitter is permitted up to three pulled hammies a year and a day in the clubhouse when scheduled to face Randy Johnson.

Jim Armstrong, a sports columnist for the Denver Post, is a regular contributor to Page 2.





RULES OF THE GAME

ALSO SEE:


Jim Armstrong Archive

Being ... Mr. Met

Vote: Most infamous Mets moment

Armstrong: Oh, what coulda been ...





ESPN TOOLS
 
Email story
 
Most sent
 
Print story
 





espn Page 2 index