Baseball bans rookie hazing

Baseball is done with rookie hazing, the Associated Press reports today.

No more of this stuff.

Arizona Diamondback rookies dressed in costumes deplane at the general aviation terminal at Denver International Airport in east Denver on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. The Diamondbacks arrived in Denver from Pittsburgh to play in the teams' final regualr-season series. The rookies dressed in costume as part of a hazing ritual. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Or this, all part of the rookie hazing “tradition” in which young players are required on a late-season road trip to travel while wearing outrageous costumes.

Cleveland Indians rookies mill about outside the club house at Fenway Park as part of a hazing event after their 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox in an MLB baseball game in Boston, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

The Associated Press says the new collective bargaining agreement prohibits “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”

Some superhero costumes — Batman, Superman, or Nick Punto, for example — will still be allowed.

But this sort of thing? Out.


“Times have changed. There is certain conduct that we have to be conscious of,” union general counsel Dave Prouty said.

“The important thing for us was to recognize there was a policy but to preserve the players’ rights to challenge the level of discipline and the imposition of discipline,” he said.

Not all outfits are banned — superheroes such as Batman and Spider-Man are OK.

Other past costumes that would be allowed include San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner as a giant ketchup bottle, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the U.S. Olympic men’s water polo team and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig as Gumby.

The issue of locker room bullying erupted a few years ago when an NFL investigation found that Richie Incognito and two other Miami Dolphins engaged in persistent harassment toward teammate Jonathan Martin.

MLB looked at several college anti-hazing policies while developing these new rules.

The new baseball labor deal will be ratified today.