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The MLB Just Laid Out Some New Anti-Rookie Hazing Rules That, Thankfully, Won’t Actually Prevent Hazing

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Finally, something concrete I can blame every high level prospect’s bust on.

“This little bitch is hanging all his sliders because he NEVER LEARNED RESPECT FOR THE GAME!” – Me, forever now.

From the ESPN:

Major League Baseball created an Anti-Hazing and Anti-Bullying Policy that covers the practice. As part of the sport’s new labor deal, set to be ratified by both sides on Tuesday, the players’ union agreed to not contest it.

The policy, obtained by The Associated Press, prohibits teams from “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players to engage in activities that include “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”

MLB vice president Paul Mifsud said Monday that the new rules resulted partly “in light of social media, which in our view sort of unfortunately publicized a lot of the dressing up of the players … those kind of things which in our view were insensitive and potentially offensive to a number of groups.”

“There’s lots of pictures of baseball players dressed up as Disney princesses,” he said.

So basically the rule is pretty firm on the “no dressing up like girls or princesses anymore” thing (which is honestly whatever), but I wonder what other costumes could be deemed offensive. Obviously the real goal of dressing a player up like a woman isn’t to be transphobic or misogynistic, it’s to make them uncomfortable by putting them in clothes they aren’t used to wearing, and then making them go out in public.

What I would be thinking were I made to wear a (probably wrongly sized) miniskirt and tube top in public, for example, isn’t, “Haha I’m dressed like a dumb woman this is so embarrassing for me to look like a dumb woman in front of all these people who obviously also realize how dumb women are.” No, I’d actually be thinking something like, “Oh my God my balls are gonna drop out of this at any second. I look like a fat idiot and I’m about to become a registered sex offender. All I want in this world right now is to be wrapped in a blanket.” And, conversely, were I making someone else dress like that, the latter is exactly what I’d be going for.

Any of the other stuff, like wearing a Cinderella costume or dressing up like a cheerleader or a character from “A League of Their Own” is, like I said, whatever. It’s entertaining but not that great. But what other costumes are offensive? Because were I told I couldn’t dress a rookie up in uncomfortable women’s clothing my obvious choice would be to toss some man cutoffs his way. There’d be about ten Jim Dangles in the locker room. Is that offensive? Is a unisex leotard offensive? I’d have to say no. In fact it’s actually offensive to imply that those sorts of things are inherently gay, which is what I assume would happen. Borat thongs for everyone!

Also, in terms of costumes, half the reason they make the rookies wear any at all is to embarrass them at the airport. That can easily be accomplished without the female/princess outfits. In fact, I’m looking forward to the new and creative ways rookies are fucked with. I think the vets have been leaning a little too hard on the girl stuff, to be honest. Make them all wear those toddler leashes and lead them around or something. Sometimes it’s limits that truly open up the depths of human creativity. A brilliant new day in rookie hazing may be dawning.

There were some other provisions to the no hazing clause as well.

requiring players “to consume alcoholic beverages or any other kind of drug, or requiring the ingestion of an undesirable or unwanted substance (food, drink, concoction)” is banned under the new collective bargaining agreement.

Notice that “leaving the rookie with a $20K check at the end of the night” is conspicuously not included. Interesting. Call me crazy but I’d rather take a Matt Damon shot than drop $20K on my asshole teammates.

Thankfully some of the other good stuff, like bullpen rookies lugging snacks out to the bullpen every game, and teams sending their rookies in full uniform to go to the Starbucks across the street from Wrigley are still fine. In fact, the MLB doesn’t want to do away with all rookie hazing.

“The purpose of this policy is not to prohibit all traditions regarding rookies or players,” the new policy states, “but rather to prohibit conduct that may cause players physical anguish or harm, may be offensive to some players, club staff or fans, or are distracting to the operation of the club or MLB.”

Meanwhile, a lot of current and former players voiced their annoyance with the new rules.

Yeah I don’t think this was ever about the rookies minding all that much, though apparently there were some famous refusals.

Not everyone saw these things as fun. After he was traded to the Mets in 1992, Jeff Kent threw his pimp costume to the floor in the visitors clubhouse in Montreal and demanded that his regular clothes — which contained the ID he needed to go through customs — be returned.

Possibly relevant: Jeff Kent was a noted asshole who his teammates hated.

At the end of the day, as easy as it would be to shout “PUSSIFICATION OF ‘MERICA” at this, that wouldn’t be correct. Rookies are still going to get fucked with, just more creatively. I wasn’t really attached to seeing them dress up like girls, I just want to see them messed with, because it’s funny, and that’s undeniable.

Well, as long as it’s not a group of players pinning down another player and jacking him off (sort of?) against his will.

[via ESPN]

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