Chicago White Sox

Why do managers wear uniforms anyway?

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This, from the PostGame, is a good read. And it addresses a topic that, I’d guess, more non-baseball fans ask me than any other question: why do managers wear uniforms?

I always answer “tradition,” and “the rules,” but it seems that’s only half-right. Baseball went on a little fining jag a couple of years ago when guys like Terry Francona and Joe Maddon didn’t wear uniform tops under their little workout shirts and hoodies, but it seems that there is no rule at all specifying that managers wear uniforms.

The idea of a manager not having to wear a uniform seemed more important a few years ago when guys like Tommy Lasorda were squeezing into duds meant for guys 40 years younger and a hundred pounds lighter. But these days the managers are far more handsome and fit than they used to be, so I guess it’s not a thing.

Still: today’s managers need to show that they are truly committed the uniform. Because, compared to one Hall of Fame manager, these guys are dilettantes:

Some managers dress like their players — down to the very last detail. Showalter wears stirrups. Bobby Cox wore a cup and spikes for every game.

“You never see a manager wearing actual cleats … It was hilarious,” says Adam LaRoche who played for Cox while with the Braves from 2004-2006. “It’s just his style. He went from playing right into coaching and managing and never took his cleats off.”

Why on Earth would a manager wear a cup?