Great: it’s rookie hazing season again

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Per baseball’s longstanding tradition of hazing rookies, the Los Angeles Dodgers veterans made their rookies dress up in cheerleader uniforms for their flight from Miami to New York. They were later marched down the street in Manhattan wearing them.

I hate this sort of thing. Hazing is dumb no matter how much the perpetrators of it hide behind “tradition” to justify it (and “tradition” usually boils down to “well, we had to do it”). But this particular sort of hazing — requiring rookies to dress in wigs, dresses, bikinis, costumes and other items that those doing the hazing consider to be feminine — sends the message that being feminine in this particular way is something to be mocked. Maybe they don’t mean it that way, but when these hazing rituals moved from the privacy of the clubhouse and the relative anonymity of a ballclub’s travel to social media postings boosted to millions, that marginalizing message is inevitably sent, even if it’s unwitting. “Haha, he’s wearing a dress,” is about the lowest form of “humor.”

All of that said, if these players were to don a cheerleader outfit of their own volition, as opposed to some sort of mandatory hazing ritual, it’d be another matter. Then it’s just someone having fun or whatever. So I guess Yasiel Puig putting on one of the cheerleader’s uniform and rooting for the Rams is cool:

All in all, though: I’d prefer to forego the fun of Puig doing this if it meant that this sort of retrograde hazing didn’t take place anymore. Make the rookies get you coffee or sing their high school fight song if you must do this, but enough with the cross-dressing nonsense.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).