It seems Louisville Slugger has a monopoly on the pink labels for Mother’s Day bats permitted by MLB.
The Orioles’ Nick Markakis, the Nationals’ Jayson Werth and the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe were among the players informed by the league Friday that they won’t be able to use their custom label MaxBats on Sunday.
Of course, this isn’t going over particularly well.
Markakis on not being able to use his MaxBat w pink label Sunday: “it would mean a little more to me w myMom being a breast cancer survivor
— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) May 10, 2013
Plouffe, likewise, has a mother who is a cancer survivor.
Sorry Mom. I can’t use my Breast Cancer Awareness bat on Sunday because @sluggernation “owns the rights”. Because that’s what it’s about…
— Trevor Plouffe (@TPlouffe24) May 10, 2013
Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says the Diamondbacks’ Jason Kubel, the Mariners’ Kendrys Morales and the Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes were also planning on using specially designed MaxBats on Sunday.
While Louisville Slugger has no exclusive deal with MLB in regards to the pink bats, they do own the rights to pink labels, which seems to be the problem here.
Update: Passan clarifies the matter in his article for Yahoo! Sports, saying Louisville Slugger bought its exclusive rights by making a charitable donation to an MLB partner. According to the agreement, other companies can make pink bats for use on Mother’s Day, but those bats must not include any “ribbons, corporate logos, distinguishing marks or names of charities.”