So what if Alex Rodriguez stepped on the pitcher's mound? What's the big deal?

         This is what my 6-year-old son wanted to know at breakfast as we were reviewing the coverage of last night's Yankee game. My son is in his first year of Little League, and I know that his plate is full just learning the written rules of baseball, so I found the prospect daunting of explaining to him that there are some unwritten ones.

          "It's about being polite," I told him. "Some things are not against the law, but they're not considered nice"

         After getting a blank look, I tried another tactic.

         "It's sort of like how you get upset when your sister comes in your room and plays with your Lego without asking," I said. "It's not against the law, but you feel like your privacy has been invaded. That's how Dallas Braden felt."

          "So," he countered.  "Alex Rodriguez should have just asked him if he could step on it?"

          "Not really," I said. "He supposed to know not to do it, though I'm not sure that he did."  We then talked about  all the unwritten rules of baseball, about not stopping and staring after you hit a home run, about sticking up for your teammates when they get hit by a pitch, about how you aren't supposed to steal second when you are up by 10 runs.

          And then I got the question that I couldn't answer.  'Why doesn't someone just write all the rules down and give them to Alex?"

         Maybe we can. If you want to post your list of unwritten rules, or email them to barbara.barker@newsday.com, I'll post the good ones.

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Barbara Barker, aka meanbarb on twitter