Can I tell you my least favorite “story” — and I use that term very loosely — of the baseball season? The late September story about how the rookies on some team were forced to dress up like Devo or Sailor Moon or strippers or something on a road trip. The rookie hazing, you know.
We usually get a couple pics of these guys and a bunch of guffaws from the writers who cover the team all year, but I just think it’s all kind of stupid.
For one thing, it’s not really hazing. True hazing should not just be stupid but should be dangerously stupid in order to earn the term. And no, that’s not an endorsement of hazing. It’s just an acknowledgment that society’s views of such things have changed over the years and “hazing” as such is stuff that we think to ban, often for good reason. The dress up games played by baseball teams are just boring quasi-humiliations. And I say quasi, because if a rookie really owns the outfit and offers some attitude, he can make that stuff work, thus negating the humiliation. What kind of hazing is that?
Anyway, there’s a story on the AP wire this afternoon noting how even the minor dress up games are fading away. Partially because people are bored with it, but mostly because baseball teams are smart enough to realize that, more and more, rookies are key parts of the team, not just dumb kids who need to be put in their place.
All of which is a good thing. Especially if it means that I don’t feel obligated to note the lame dress up stories next month.