Thursday, December 15, 2016


Important issues like revenue sharing, the formation of an international draft and draft pick compensation were hot topics in the new collective bargaining agreement. Now an overlooked addition of the new agreement has everyone talking.

As a baseball fan I care a lot about preserving baseball, it is "America's favorite pastime" after all. Issues like an international draft or a reform to the draft pick process are important because it directly impacts a team's ability to form the best team and be competitive. However, issues like anti-hazing and anti-bullying are based around a team's culture and in my opinion, should be up to each organization to regulate. If it is a distraction, let the team address it rather than make this a rule for the entire league. It just seems like too much regulation.

Baseball is full of tradition and one of the many traditions includes dressing up the rookies on the team. There have been several memorable pictures over the years, one of my favorites was last September when the New York Mets had their rookies dress up as the female baseball players from the 1992 film "A League of Their Own" mainly because I love that movie, and you could tell the players found it humorous. Back in 2008, rookies from the San Diego Padres had to dress up as Hooters girls. It's all in good fun.

Well starting next season, the rules have changed. Any rookie hazing will no longer include dressing as women, so at least the tradition isn't completely banned but we will not see pictures like Bryce Harper dressed up as a woman's US gymnast or Mike Trout as Lady Gaga all because MLB says "times have changed. There is a certain conduct that we have to be conscious of," read that HERE.

At least we can still see pictures of rookies dressed up as superheros or as a ketchup bottle like Madison Bumgarner did. At least part of the tradition can carry on.

I understand what MLB is trying to accomplish here. No one should be subject to anything they are uncomfortable with but does MLB really need to step in and regulate that? There are definite concerns with social media and publicity but is the only way to address it by writing it into the new CBA? 

Maybe I am making too much of it, but then again if this policy was written in part to potentially avoid offending women like myself it is worth discussing. As a woman, I don't find any of this offensive. It's a game, it's meant to be fun and it's all about bonding.

Maybe I have thick skin or maybe I just don't feel the need to be so "politically correct" as some of these baseball executives do. 

Can't we just keep all of the rules focused on the game itself?

 --Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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