BEANBALLS AND REVENGE CODES (COMMENT). “Anonymous” commented on my recent post on retaliation for beanballs that: “Outside the baseball field and, now, states like Florida, the consequences for even negligent conduct are supposed to be provided through government procedures. The position of baseball officials, and of the players and managers, is a muddle.” I agree. In most situations, governments are supposed to provide deterrence for negligent conduct which causes harm. Baseball is a muddle because there is little enforcement against negligent pitches which cause harm- and what enforcement there is is erratic–the rules are unclear, a “muddle”. Tony La Russa announced many years ago that his team would automatically retaliate in the case of a beanball, creating adverse consequences for the pitcher’s team.

As I write, it occurs to me that this is a possible explanation for revenge codes in remote areas without an effective government. I usually think of revenge and feuds in terms of retribution, but the deterrence effect of an automatic retaliation is an alternative explanation of the codes.

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