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Old 06-10-2019, 12:27 PM
Helmut Doork is offline
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Time to ditch the player uniforms for baseball managers and coaches?


MAYBE these served a purpose a century ago when there were more player-managers, which unless I am forgetting someone, there have only been two since the 70's (Rose & Robinson).

Nothing to me looks more ridiculous than a way-past middle-age manager wearing a full outfit, complete with jersey with number, and cleats. I see some like Maddon and Boone and Counsell usually covering up the jersey with another team shirt or hoodie, but many don't. I know baseball is a game of tradition and history and all, but not all traditions are good ones. Pedro throwing Zimmer down by his head was a hoot, made even funnier because he was an out of shape, little old man wearing a full baseball uniform. Isnt it time to change to a team shirt/hoodie, track pants and tennis shoes?

Imagine how ridiculous this would seem in other sports- Gregg Popovich on the bench in a tank top, shorts and high-tops, or Belichik sporting not the torn hoodie, but instead a number 70 Pats jersey, pads and cleats? They simply wouldn't do it- why not the same in baseball?
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:56 PM
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Some coaches, and at least one manager (Terry Francona) don't wear the jersey tops anymore, in favor of warmup jackets or pullovers with the team logos on them.

And, apparently, there's disagreement as to whether the MLB rules, which require "coaches" who are on the field to wear player uniforms, actually include managers or not (and whether they actually include any coaches other than the first base and third base coaches).

Of all of the major American sports, baseball is probably the one which has the highest amount of tradition rolled into its rules, and the one where fans scream the loudest if that tradition is being flouted. I'm in a Facebook group dedicated to discussions of old sports uniforms, and there are a *lot* of grumpy old baseball fans who still hate the fact that players wear their pants down to their shoetops now, and who bemoan the loss of the stirrups.

For that matter, I miss the days when NFL coaches wore suits on the sidelines. A few years back, when a couple of NFL head coaches (Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio) wanted to wear suits, it was a big deal, because the league's contract with its clothing supplier (at that point, Reebok) mandated that all team personnel would wear team-issued clothing on the sidelines. They wound up coming up with a compromise, with Reebok supplying custom suits to Nolan and Del Rio.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 06-10-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
And, apparently, there's disagreement as to whether the MLB rules, which require "coaches" who are on the field to wear player uniforms, actually include managers or not (and whether they actually include any coaches other than the first base and third base coaches).
Rule 4.07(a) [Security] is pretty unambiguous.
Quote:
No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game except players and coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers authorized by the home team, umpires, officers of the law in uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home club.
Note Rule 4.02(a) has already designated the manager to the League President or Chief Umpire so the idea (I believe) is "Hey if we don't know who they are then they need to be in uniform to be on the field." So your pitching coach does not need to be in uniform, but if he's not then he cannot go on the field to talk to the pitcher.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
Rule 4.07(a) [Security] is pretty unambiguous.


Note Rule 4.02(a) has already designated the manager to the League President or Chief Umpire so the idea (I believe) is "Hey if we don't know who they are then they need to be in uniform to be on the field." So your pitching coach does not need to be in uniform, but if he's not then he cannot go on the field to talk to the pitcher.
Thanks for finding and sharing that.

That said:
- It looks like at least some coaches have been at least bending the rule a bit in recent years, by not wearing a full uniform (i.e., wearing a warmup top or jacket instead of a jersey). In Francona's case, it sounds like he may have a medical waiver on the issue.
- When team trainers come onto the field, they aren't in uniform. The rule you quote seems to make exception for "employees of the home club," but what about trainers for the visitors?
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Thanks for finding and sharing that.

That said:
- It looks like at least some coaches have been at least bending the rule a bit in recent years, by not wearing a full uniform (i.e., wearing a warmup top or jacket instead of a jersey). In Francona's case, it sounds like he may have a medical waiver on the issue.
Francona is the manager and I have always interpreted the rule as that he doesn't need to wear the uniform (he's not a player-coach). He could do what Connie Mack did and wear a suit but then all of the baseball purists would lose their collective $#!^ over how he is "disrespecting" the game and "violating baseball's unwritten rules".
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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- When team trainers come onto the field, they aren't in uniform. The rule you quote seems to make exception for "employees of the home club," but what about trainers for the visitors?
Remember when Lou Pinella enforced the rule on fraternization and although he was correct still got a lot of blowback for it and so he never enforced it again? That's the real answer to the question.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:42 PM
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Anyone who steps onto any part of the field should be in uniform. I’d be fine with a manager sans uniform who agreed to be confined to the dugout.

And yes, I hate the long pants that cover the stockings.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:01 PM
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Remember when Lou Pinella enforced the rule on fraternization and although he was correct still got a lot of blowback for it and so he never enforced it again? That's the real answer to the question.
And as you probably know, that rule pertains to fraternization with fans as well as opponents!

Rule 3.09 Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:38 PM
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NO! It's like the managers are officers and the players are the enlisted men but they wear the same uniform. Other sports can do what they want, baseball is baseball.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:48 PM
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OK, so even if we stipulate that there's no benefit to the rule, where's the harm? And if there's neither benefit nor harm, well, why not just keep on doing it the way we've always done it?
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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OK, so even if we stipulate that there's no benefit to the rule, where's the harm? And if there's neither benefit nor harm, well, why not just keep on doing it the way we've always done it?
Because it looks silly, and it might be fun to allow variation on the "unwritten rule"?

I'd like to see an homage to Connie Mack*, at least in Throwback Jersey games.

*my other "revolutionary" idea would be to have a true old-time game with no loud scoreboard histrionics, amplified music or asinine games, with the only noise coming from the crowd and maybe vintage songs from bands of rooters before the game.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:13 PM
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Fix the other problems first. This one is bush league.

Last edited by TriPolar; 06-10-2019 at 03:14 PM.
  #13  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:26 PM
Helmut Doork is offline
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OK, so even if we stipulate that there's no benefit to the rule, where's the harm? And if there's neither benefit nor harm, well, why not just keep on doing it the way we've always done it?
Just on a personal level, you don't think it looks ridiculous for a near-eighty year old Don Zimmer roaming the bench (RIP) in full uniform? No harm, but since most of your younger (Boone, Counsell, Kapler) and hipper (Maddon, Francona) managers already try to cover it up to look less silly, and it serves no purpose, and is the only sport where the managers dress in player uniforms...
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:38 PM
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NFL requires all coaches to wear team logo clothes. A while back a coach asked to wear a suit to honor his father who coached in a suit and he was turned down. NBA and NHL still have the tradition of suit/tie for coaches but I don't think it's a rule.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:07 PM
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If not the uniform, what would they wear? Slacks and a polo? Doesn't seem to make much difference to me. Uniform pants these days are pretty comfortable and as noted above, they don't have to wear a uniform shirt.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
NFL requires all coaches to wear team logo clothes. A while back a coach asked to wear a suit to honor his father who coached in a suit and he was turned down.
See my post #2 above -- that was Mike Nolan of the 49ers, looking to honor his father, Dick Nolan. And, he and the NFL did reach an accord on that, and he did get to wear a suit on the sidelines.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:38 PM
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For four years I went to A's games managed by Connie Mack. He wore a suit and never left the dugout since he was not in uniform.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:03 PM
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There's no business suits in baseball!
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