Bud Selig Interprets the Word 'Uniform' a Bit Too Literally

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We discussed this briefly on our Furious Five radio show last night, but if you were too busy to listen and/or can't stand getting a severe case of the douche chills from listening to my girlish voice, Bud Selig is taking this whole Jackie Robinson tribute a little bit too far this year:

By request of Commissioner Bud Selig, as Major League Baseball celebrates the 62nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking its color barrier on Wednesday, all big league players and uniformed personnel have been asked to wear the late Hall of Famer's famous No. 42 on the field when the 30 teams celebrate the occasion.

The past two years, as the momentum to wear Robinson's number steamrolled through Major League clubhouses, Selig asked, but the act of wearing it was voluntary. Not so this year.

NOT SO THIS YEAR, says MLB.com staff writer Barry Bloom. NOT SO. Bud Selig has decided that his employees were not showing enough fervor for baseball hero Jackie Robinson and has issued a stern order that all players, coaches, and peanut vendors must wear the number 42. This is both a tribute to the most important athlete of the 20th century and an effort to confuse any fan who attempts to score the game, especially in Tampa where you won't be able to tell that, yes, it's Nick Swisher warming up in the bullpen.

I think this is overkill. Honoring Jackie should be a privilege and a voluntary act. It could even be restricted to one or two players per team which would make it an honor in and of itself. You'd head out to the ballpark in April every year and say, "Hey, remember last year when Curtis Granderson wore number 42 to honor Jackie? I wonder who it's gonna be this year." With every player wearing the number, it seems more like overkill.

Retiring the number across baseball was a great and bold move that showed the game's commitment to forward-thinking ideas while admitting its past missteps. When Ken Griffey Jr. petitioned Selig to allow players to wear #42 once a year, it was a conscientious action by one of the sport's most accomplished players. But making this honor wash over the entirety of baseball only serves to cheapen the respect and reverence that we all have for Jackie. It just seems forced.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Cavalier92)


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10 Comments

Making everyone wear it--that's forced, yes. I don't mind letting as many people as want to wear 42 do so, though. The casual fan is not even going to notice one or two guys wearing it; I'd rather have it over-the-top than so subtle that it makes no impact.

Plus, it makes it easy to spot the raging racists.

Can't we just draft more Negro League players?

Mariano Rivera said he doesn't have a problem with this

Admitting you have a girlish voice is the first step, Rob. Good for you.

My favorite quote from last night's Furious Five? Kris: "Where are they playing? I didn't do any research."

The Blue Jays will actually wear the number 50.967 in order to honour Jackie as well as adhere to the conversion rate.

Last night was more like the Frenzied Four.

Bud has to stick his grimy hands into everything. 42's probably the last age Selig got a boner.

No kidding, that's my nephew in the picture. He's from Jersey, but that pic is of him down in ATL for a game with my brother. Kid has seen a lot of baseball up and down the east coast already, and he's only 8.

He's gonna love this.

That's my boy in that photo! And I am sure he agrees with the sentiment in the post, since he never likes to be told what to do, no matter how lofty the goal.

That's my boy in that photo! And I am sure he agrees with the sentiment in the post, since he never likes to be told what to do, no matter how lofty the goal.

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