ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd often blasts Major League Baseball for being a backwards, slow-to-progress institution that fails to relate to the youth.
Well, he was certainly proven wrong Monday as Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was forbidden from wearing his trademark hooded sweatshirt in the dugout during games.
I only have one thing to say: it’s about time.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at Maddon’s classless, ragged hooded sweatshirt and gotten sick to my stomach. It’s bad enough that he parades around in those Buddy Holly glasses. I mean, who does he think he is? No wonder baseball ratings are down. People turn on the television, see a guy like Joe Maddon and think, “who is this clown? what else is on?” Click.
Baseball is a gentleman’s game. There’s no place for this sloppy, casual dress in the dugout. I would much rather look in the dugout and see a 70-year-old man wearing a full baseball uniform. There’s no way you look at that guy and think anything but, “Now there’s a man I want my son to play for.”
Eliminating hoodies (I can’t even type the word without getting angry) from the dugouts is an important first step, but we can’t stop there. Here is a list of rules that need to be implemented if we want baseball to regain the title of “America’s Pastime.”
- Ban all facial hair except for a neatly-groomed mustache. The darkest day in baseball history came in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series with the likes of Jesus look-a-like Johnny Damon and five o’clock shadow-sporting Kevin Millar. Not to mention the orange dreadlocks of Manny Ramirez. From now on, ban all facial hair in the dugout except for a classy Tom Selleck mustache.
- Eliminate revealing short-sleeved jerseys. I’m sick of seeing roided-out circus freaks parading their “guns” for everyone to see in those skin-tight X-tra medium jerseys. You think the great Ty Cobb ever let anyone see his arms? Forget about it. Long sleeve, woolen jerseys are the only way to make this game great again.
- Require players to wear ties during games. I don’t know how this tradition slipped out of the game, but we need to bring back mandatory neckties for all players and managers. Look at this respectable ball player. Is he going to a ball game or a function at the Plaza Hotel? I can’t tell. And that’s the way it should be.
I’m glad the MLB has taken this all-important first step by banning the hoodie, but these next measures need to be taken in order to ensure the sanctity of the game.
Once that’s taken care of, we can start working on the music at stadiums. It’s like we’ve forgotten how inspiring a great John Philip Sousa march can be for a team.