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MLB dress code, what would Oscar Madison think?

Major League Baseball is the first major pro sport in America to issue a dress code for credentialed media. What would the character Oscar Madison of “The Odd Couple” think?

He may have walked around with food stains on his clothes but he wasn’t in flip flops, tank tops or anything that bared his midriff, so he may have survived the cut regarding the new code.

Bare midriffs in the clubhouse, press box and on the field will be no more says MLB.

Senior VP Phyllis Merhige commented on mlb.com:

“We just thought it was time to get a little organized, to put it in place before there was an incident.”

An incident?

She may be referring to the few in the NFL with female reporters over the past year. Here are the items specifically mentioned as being unacceptable for media members who want to cover baseball this upcoming 2012-13 season.

Tank tops, halter tops, flip flops or what MLB called “shower shoes”, ripped jeans, shorts or skirts that are “more than three or four inches above the knees” are no longer acceptable. Bare midriffs are also on the no list as well as any attire that displays “visible undergarments.”

In a bit of an unexpected move, MLB included among the unacceptable articles of clothing, anything with a team or MLB logo on it, including shirts and ball caps.

One writer who suffers from male pattern baldness is going to miss his cap, he said on Yahoo! Looks like straw hats might be making a comeback.

It’s all the fault of those of us in smaller/newer media organizations, like this one.

Because we are freelance journalists, there are no corporate dress codes for us to follow, and it looks like common sense has not been the order of the day.

There is a particular emphasis on warm weather clothing. “The code is aimed at limiting provocative outfits during the hot summer months when clothes have a tendency to get skimpier,” MLB posted on their site.

MLB worked up the new dress code with the Baseball Writers Association of America, getting advice from one of the Association’s officers.

One question comes to mind: who will be measuring the length of skirts worn by ESPN, FOX Sports and other electronic media members when they cover baseball games?


Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

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