The Associated Press reported this evening that Major League Baseball has outlawed “offensive” hazing. Specifically, teams are no longer allowed to dress rookies as women or female characters in those end-of-year hazing rituals that pop up on social media each September.
Good. We’ve been criticizing this practice for some time around these parts. Hazing is, by definition, an act of humiliation. Which, fine, if players want to haze rookies, let them. But the notion that dressing them as women or feminine characters is inherently humiliating is itself inherently degrading to women. And besides, it’s dumb. I mean, how bad a hazer are you if you can’t do better than “hahaha, you’re a girl!”
So bully for MLB for outlawing this juvenile and retrograde practice.
Now, if the league would only extend its ban on “offensive” apparel to the uniforms currently worn by the reigning American League champions . . .
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.