As pitchers and catchers report for spring training, young baseball players they are getting their first taste of baseball at the highest level.
When the rookies enter the clubhouse, a small initiation is usually held, and the younger players are occasionally required to carry the bags for the veterans, sing in front of the team, or take the coffee order for the entire roster.
But Mets manager Buck Showalter He doesn’t seem to be a fan of any of it, telling reporters Wednesday that he’s never been a fan of hazing.
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«That’s so stupid. ‘Oh, they did it to me.’ Well, it was stupid when they did it to you,» Showalter said. «I never understood rookie rookie bs. Come on man. The guy has your uni [uniform] on, he’s trying to help you, why don’t you make his way a little easier?
“It’s like when people say, ‘They did it to me.’ Well, then it was stupid, right? I’ve never been a big fan of hazing.»
Although Showalter did not go into details, major league Baseball created an Anti-Hazing and Bullying Policy in 2016 that prohibits teams from «requiring, compelling, or encouraging» players to «dress up as a woman or wear costumes that may be offensive to people based on their race, gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other characteristic”.
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The policy arose in response to the tradition of rookies dressing in various outfits.
For Showalter and the Mets, the big picture goes well beyond rookie hazing rituals as New York enters the new year with the World Series in mind.
Mets owner Steve Cohen. guaranteed nearly $500 million to free agents this offseason and will have the largest payroll in MLB in 2023.
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«I didn’t know I was going to have to spend like I did,» Cohen told ESPN last week. «I was actually a little naive in that regard. But once I got comfortable and realized, okay, what it takes to put a great team on the field, I still committed to the fans and to baseball, I was going to come in and trade this. I came in saying I’m all-in. And I’m as good as my word.»
The Mets’ first spring training game is on February 25 against the Houston Astros.
Associated Press contributed to this report