By Seth McClung Special to Published Oct 10, 2011 at 2:43 PM Photography: Eron Laber

With the bad blood already boiling over between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, I thought it would be appropriate to rehash the unwritten rules of throwing at and or hitting a batter.

First, it can never be for any reason outside of baseball. If two guys happen to be sleeping with the same baseball Annie you can not take it out on each other in the field. Doing this would put your teammates at risk of getting hurt for selfish reasons.

Hittable offenses:

If a player goes way out of his way to slide or take out another player in an aggressive fashion. Example, in 2008 Shane Victorino went out of his way and took out Craig Counsell during a double-play attempt. Craig was off the bag and Shane slide in hard, cleats up and off the bag. We never retaliated, but according to the unwritten rules we could have.

Showing up a pitcher when hitting a home run (unless player is of established and elite status, they then are above the rule.) Not your typical walk and toss the bat stuff, if the hitter goes out of their way to so called "PIMP" the home run he could get hit later in the series.

Team pitches inside a lot. If one team is constantly pitching inside and has hit a couple hitters, the other team may then hit the opposing team's best hitter. This is a sketchy rule that tends to start a bench-clearing incident.

Stealing a base or bunting when up more than five runs after the seventh inning.

Stealing signs at second base. I remember a situation when I was in AAA and a guy on second was blatantly stealing signs. I stepped off the rubber and told him, "If you keep telling him what is coming, I will put this baseball through his ribs." He stopped stealing signs and I didn't have to hit the batter. Situation taken care of.

Bunting off a pitcher who is throwing a no-hitter late in the game when the game is not close. With close defined as a game with in three runs or less.

If a team follows these rules and hits a batter in the head. Then the team who follows the rules forfeits the "in the right position" and is subject to retaliation.

Not hittable offenses:

Trash talking. You can't just hit someone if you don't like them or that they talked trash. That starts more players getting hit more fines and more suspensions.

Good hitting. You can not hit someone if they just happen to be good off of you. (It happens but you have to do it in a non-suspicious manner.)

Beast Mode. Not a hittable offense.

This is just a little insight to the rules. Problems are that managers and umpires and the league office try to control. What this does is close the book on open problems. You then have no closure to the issue. This just prolongs the plunking and continues the problem. Get the heck out of the way and the players will take care of it.

End of story.

Seth McClung Special to

Seth McClung pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2007-2009, but broke into the Major Leagues with Tampa Bay in 2003. The West Virginia native is now a pitcher in Taiwan.

McClung, a popular player during his time in Milwaukee, remains connected to Brewers fans through this blog on

"Big Red" will cover baseball in a way only a player can, but he'll talk about other sports, too. The 6 foot, 6 inch flamethrower will write about life outside the game, too.