The SB Nation MLB Awards voting ends on a cliffhanger, as the final category is for the best violation of baseball's unwritten rules.
It's paradoxical to try to write guidelines for voting on unwritten rules. Those rules come about because highly competitive high-strung athletes react first, then try to codify the circumstances to explain just how their sensibilities were violated.
So let's do the same. I could say, "Vote for the most flagrant offense," or, "Vote for the silliest offense." Instead, just let raw emotion guide you to the polls, and then try to justify it afterward.
Chris Sale tries the Royals clubhouse
The most White Sox violation of the unwritten rules.
Ah yes, the brawl with the Royals. It could've been a team-building exercise akin to a trust fall. Instead, it was the last time the White Sox really challenged Kansas City, which is problematic since this happened in April.
There were a few breaches of etiquette. Yordano Ventura cursing at Adam Eaton. Adam Eaton cursing at Yordano Ventura. Samardzija bowling over coach. But the strangest one came after the fracas:
Numerous sources confirmed to me that White Sox starter Chris Sale tried to get in Kansas City locker room after the fight. (Turned away)— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) April 24, 2015
We can laugh at this now, because Sale's attempted siege was ultimately denied without incident or injury. Maybe the goal was to be denied, similar to the way most participants in a basebrawl do everything but fight. Then again, to Samardzija's credit(?), he actually threw punches in plain sight, so perhaps Shark's tag-team partner had every intent of launching a surprise attack on the Royals.
Considering Matt Albers broke his finger in the original fight, the Sox didn't need further casualties to two of their three best pitchers. Goodness, what an awful idea.
Kyle Seager and Jered Weaver debate calling time
Here we have Kyle Seager calling for time in a fashion that annoyed Jered Weaver, which prompts Weaver to chirp at Seager, which inspires Seager to call time in an extra-sassy fashion ...
... which compelled Weaver to plunk Seager.
I'm afraid this one will be forgotten to history, but it should not be. It's unbelievably juvenile in an ultimately harmless way, unlike the ones surrounding it.
Bryce Harper choked by teammate
Especially since it was between members of the same team.
Bryce Harper, who just won the MVP, pouted briefly after a pop-up, delaying the start of his trip to first base. Jonathan Papelbon did not care for Harper's lack of hustle, and let him hear it from the dugout. When Harper returned to the dugout, he challenged Papelbon to a fight, and was surprised at just how ready Papelbon was to accept.
It was the perfect button on the Nationals' miserable season, and the kind of thing that made Matt Williams make every other manager feel better about himself. Robin Ventura might be on the clock now.
Jose Bautista's bat toss
The most transcendental violation of the unwritten rules.
There's not much that needs to be said.