San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves

The Braves hazed their rookies after losing 4-0 to the Padres

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Padres starter Burch Smith proved to be too much for the Braves’ offense this afternoon as the right-hander shut them out over seven innings, logging ten strikeouts. Behind Chase Headley’s two-run home run in the sixth and Tommy Medica’s solo shot in the seventh, the Padres had more than enough offense to topple the NL East-leading Braves.

After the game, the Braves had their rookies dress up in a “tennis theme” as Kevin Faigle of WRDW Augusta described on Facebook.

Kevin McAlpin posted this photo:

I know the Braves were just doing this to innocently have fun, but these rookie hazing antics need to stop. They are often homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic in nature. In the photo above, the Braves are embarrassing their rookies by making them dress up in women’s clothing. Other forms of hazing involve rookies donning pink backpacks, ones that a six-year-old girl would wear to school.

There’s a way to have fun innocently, and then there’s having fun at the expense of an often-discriminated-against group of people, reinforcing to others that such behavior is acceptable. This looks even worse considering Major League Baseball has been a part of the “It Gets Better” campaign.

We’ve had plenty of incidents at colleges in recent years where students have been hazed, some even killed. Rookie hazing isn’t harmless when it’s seen by millions of people.

I forget who said it, and I’m just paraphrasing, but when it comes to humor, your jokes should always be aiming up at somebody — or at least moving laterally — rather than striking down at disadvantaged people from a position of power.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.