- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
Rookie hazing changing in baseball, too
Question of the Day
CINCINNATI (AP) - Reds outfielder Chris Heisey wasn’t surprised to see the schoolgirl outfit hanging in his locker, his humbling attire for the start of a late-season road trip.
Welcome to the majors, rookie.
“I felt it would happen,” Heisey said. “As the season went on last year, I kind of heard talk that it would happen. All the rookies were talking about what we would be dressing up as.”
Making the rookies wear outlandish outfits for a road trip or fix a ham sandwich for a veteran is as much baseball tradition as batting practice and curtain calls, a time-honored way of reminding the newcomers where they rank in the clubhouse pecking order.
While other sports struggle with the question of when rookie hazing crosses the line, it remains part of baseball’s fabric _ though not nearly as outlandish as some of the stunts in other sports.
“I think it’s worse in football,” said Colorado’s Todd Helton, who played quarterback as a two-sport star at Tennessee. “When I was in college football, they shaved me bald _ the whole incoming freshman class. A bunch of big guys grabbed you and shaved your head.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars banned rookie hazing this year, saying it had gone too far. In recent years, rookies had been taped to goal posts, covered in baby powder, tossed in a cold tub and forced to accept ugly haircuts. The Jaguars can still hold their annual rookie talent competition and veterans are allowed to make the newcomers carry their equipment. But that’s the limit.
Last year, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant created a stir when he refused to carry a veteran’s pads, challenging the rookie hazing tradition.
In professional baseball, rookies get a much milder treatment _ no shaving, no forced haircuts, no taping to stationary objects.
“I don’t even know if hazing would be the proper term to use as far as baseball is concerned,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, whose rookie indoctrination involved wearing a gaudy suit.
Whatever it’s called in baseball, it’s changing, too.
With young players taking on more prominent roles, they’re getting treated more like equals in the clubhouse these days. Veterans say the latest rookie classes have been singled out far less than in the past.
“Because the game seems to be getting younger and younger, a lot of that stuff has totally changed,” said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who was forced to fetch drinks for veterans during the middle of the night at team hotels when he was a Pirates rookie. “There’s a lot less going on.”
And most welcome it.
“It’s changed,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “In fact, I’m kind of glad it changed. I’ve never been a big fan of the whole thing.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Democrats cite pope in call for minimum wage hike, jobless benefits
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow