Gregg Zaun apologizes, but not really, for pro-hazing comments

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Former major league catcher Gregg Zaun made some unfortunate comments on Friday, coming out very much in favor of hazing young ballplayers. The comments were made in reference to former Blue Jay Brett Lawrie, a younger player Zaun believes didn’t respect his elders. As Zaun was hazed by his Orioles teammates as a young player, the now 43-year-old thinks players should go through the same treatment.

In the aftermath, Zaun took a lot of heat for his comments. What he came out in support of isn’t fun-and-games; it’s hazing, and in some cases, torture. In isolation, horseplay among 20- and 30-year-old adults isn’t that much of a big deal, but they’re in a position in which they influence millions of young wannabe baseball players across the continent. Bullying and hazing are serious issues which have led to physical and mental trauma as well as death in the most unfortunate of incidents.

Zaun apologized, sort of, on Twitter.

“Apparently there are some people upset”, as if it’s a surprise that physical and mental abuse are frowned upon. He then goes with the non-apology, “Sorry if you were offended,” before defending what he said.

Zaun cites the common hazing ritual among rookies in which they must adorn pink, often traditionally “girly” backpacks on their early-season treks to the bullpens, as well as dressing up in costumes after games, often feminine in nature. While they seem like harmless fun, as public figures who reach millions of young kids, they shouldn’t be engaging in and defending behavior which is often misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic. Lastly, note that Zaun never apologized for being involved with or supporting the behavior; he apologized merely for choosing the words “physical abuse” and “hazing”.

Zaun is likely headed to another round of public flogging.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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