Major League Baseball Is Potentially Loosening Both Their Sphincter And Their Restrictions On Cleats
Yahoo- Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing changes to the league’s footwear policy that would relax the restrictions on colors and designs players can use on their cleats, sources familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.
Multiple officials said they are optimistic that the sides will come to an agreement and modernize the types of shoes available in-game to players. After rules were loosened for last year’s successful Players Weekend – which, sources said, is expected to return this season – both sides saw the benefit to a more open policy.
The public censuring of the rules by the Chicago Cubs’ Ben Zobrist and Cleveland Indians’ Mike Clevinger expedited the urgency of the sides to move in a mutually beneficial direction, sources said.
The deal is far from done, as the involvement of two branches of each office – labor relations and business – complicates the talks. One source familiar with the negotiations expects at a minimum the relaxation of rules on shoe color and style, though just how relaxed is unclear.
I want to credit Major League Baseball for getting over their obsession with obsessive uniformity, but all it does is remind me that the bar for appearing open-minded is so, so, so low. Better late than never I suppose, but the fact that it's taken until 2018 for braintrust of baseball men to realize that there's almost no risk to what would be considered a huge reward to their players sheds light on a damn near disgraceful disconnect. In a "keep expectations low and it's easier to meet them" sort of way, it makes sense for the MLB to keep a dress code that's prep school strict, but giving guys in their early 20's to early 30's freedom of footwear is such a simple, simple way to ingratiate yourself to both them and the fleeting number of fans their age.
Now, I shouldn't expect a bunch of old, repressed white men that still can't see the fruitful forest of social media marketing beyond the primly-trimmed trees of their own arrogance to understand the interests of the relatively youthful. After all, even the much more personality friendly NFL (admittedly, that's not saying much) hasn't fully plucked the stick from their ass in regards to colorful cleats. Still, the idea that it's taken this long for a multi-billion dollar operation with struggling popularity to put in the half a second of "hipness" required to see multiple shoe options as a potential starting point is a painful reminder of how out-of-touch the top is from the bottom. Whatever kudos I would have been willing to offer MLB for relaxing on their re-kick-tions just got tossed in the trash, as a deal this risk adverse being "far from done" is proof positive that the allowance of bargain basement originality is just being used as another bargaining chip.