the unwritten rules get amended. The threshold for 'call off the dogs' has changed considerably over the past 20 years or so... and, I think the change is good. Part of the reason for that is the advent of the 7th inning specialist, the 8th inning specialist, and the closer.... The whole notion of 'shortening the game' is fairly new. (you could look it up) which is to say, that scratching for a run to get things going can happen with greater score disparity than in years past and padding a lead is less 'bush' than it used to be because offenses tend to be more explosive now. Another causal factor (I suspect) is the structuring of bonuses and contracts for all players... for relievers the stats are their paycheck and for hitters, picking up that extra hit and improving stats that the casual fan would not easily grasp contributes to how they are paid... Most guys have figured out that an extra hit a week can mean millions. syf, I have absolutely taken advantage of the situation like you did... and I have turned the majority of double plays in my life without ever touching the bag... I like that things have changed. Sometime I will tell the story of breaking up Bill Bordley's almost perfect game as a college freshman... I paid the price for it, but I did help my guys avoid total humiliation.