Dress Code

utley slideThe manager of the Toronto Blue Jays faced a backlash on Wednesday after saying players might have to “wear dresses” because umpires in Tuesday’s game enforced a new slide rule designed to take deliberate contact out of baseball.

Complaining about a call that cost the Jays a win on Tuesday, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons implied a new rule that prohibits interference from a baserunner was an over-reaction that softens the game.

“Maybe we’ll come out and wear dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons told reporters after the Jays’ 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. “Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

Reaction on social media was swift, with some saying the comment was sexist. –NYTimes

They’re calling it the Chase Utley Rule, even though Utley was more or less exonerated of any wrongdoing for breaking Reuben Tejada’s leg last season while sliding hard into second base to break up a double play. You can look it up. Just another miserable chapter in the ongoing pussification of sports.

Upending fielders to break up DPs is as vital and intrinsic to the game as pitchers throwing at batters heads to back them off the damn plate, which, if fans are fortunate, precipitates said batter to charge mound to wring the pitcher’s neck, inspiring a bench-clearing brawl. After which a hockey game breaks out in the bleachers.

People who complain that Gibbons’ statement is offennnnnnsive can kiss his grass-stained ass. Not because it isn’t offennnnnnsive  but because (a) somebody always finds something offennnnnnsive  and (2) voicing complaints about this is part of the entire pussification problem. Just shut up. We know what he meant, you know what he meant, and everybody knows what he didn’t mean. Which has a whole lot more significance that your contribution to this issue, Ms I Find This Offennnnnnsive.

One of the joys of watching sports is the rudeness, wrath, violence, and vitriol — also the name of my attorney’s practice — inspired by highly skilled human beings overwrought with competitive adrenaline. When you remove the blood and guts, you water down the experience. That’s the impact of rules like this, and their discussion is well-served by strong language and pointed sarcasm. It should be offennnnnnsive. On many levels.

There’s a whole lot more to this business, so why don’t I shut up and I welcome your in-put.

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7 Responses to Dress Code

  1. Mumblety Peg says:

    Men are such pigs.

  2. Lu Senz says:

    There’s 3 issues here (not counting yours!). One is the rule itself — is it sensible or not. Another is the appropriateness of the manager’s remarks. Third is the how these remarks get reacted to in the Kingdom of Social Media.

    Regarding 1: the rule does more harm than good, if only because it’s redundant. There are already regs about hard slides and running out of baselines.

    Regarding 2: It’s an old-school guy using expressions that were fine for a hundred years. I’d say we grandfather him in. As you pointed out, everybody knows exactly what he means, and what he doesn’t.

    As for 3, who gives a damn. Certainly not baseball fans, and last I checked, that’s who is supposed to matter. Shaddup and enjoy the game.

  3. Lu Senz says:

    In other words, I guess I agree with you. As painful as that always is.

  4. Old Timer says:

    Hey, maybe broadcasters need to issue “trigger warnings” before games so little snowflakes sitting at home don’t have a meltdown when they hear something that might offend them.

  5. Caitlyn Jenner says:

    Well, I was an athlete. And I was offended.

  6. Barbara Ganouche says:

    A “new slide rule?” That primitive device went out with the calculator.

  7. Diesel Fitter says:

    The game was “pussified” from the get-go. Why can’t batters carry their bats when they run the bases?

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