COMMENTARY: MLB allows its players a chance to show off their personalities
If you find yourself watching a Major League Baseball game later this month, I won’t blame you for doing a double take.
The league and MLB Players Association have unveiled plans for a so-called “Players Weekend.” On Aug. 25, 26 and 27, players will wear jerseys that can have their nicknames on the back nameplate to allow them to show off their personalities.
So, instead of seeing the name Bautista on the back of Jose Bautista’s jersey when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Minnesota Twins that weekend, you’ll see “Joey Bats.”
You will also see “Bringer of Rain,” “Stro-Show” and “Pill,” worn by Josh Donaldson, Marcus Stroman and Kevin Pillar, respectively.
And for the first time ever, we will see names on the back of Yankees jerseys.
It’s not a unique idea. The NBA first did it in 2014. But there are a couple of twists.
MLB players will also be allowed to wear flashy equipment, such as batting gloves, bats, shoes and catcher’s masks, and the right sleeve of each player’s jersey will feature a patch with a blank space for him to write the name of a person or organization that was instrumental to his development.
I’m sure a lot of the players will get a kick out of this, otherwise, they wouldn’t have signed off on it. And this not only plays well with young baseball fans, but I’m sure there will be older fans who become enamoured with it.
The only downfall I see, apart from the tacky uniforms, is that nicknames nowadays are weak in comparison to those from yesteryear. Miggy, Longo, Tulo, Thor and Goldy pale in comparison to Babe, the Iron Horse, the Commerce Comet and the Splendid Splinter.
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