MESA, Ariz. — Will the Cubs need a compliance mime?
They seem confident that their countless sideshows, skits and dress-up trips won’t conflict with the new anti-hazing and anti-bullying policy under the new collective-bargaining agreement.
“This isn’t hazing. That’s the difference,” manager Joe Maddon said. “To me, hazing was back in the day at Hazleton High School when they made all the sophomores jump off the [10-foot] wall at the risk of breaking a leg. That’s hazing.
“To have people dress up in a different manner, to me it’s a little bit over the top to consider that hazing. Hazing, to me, indicates the situation where there might be some physical harm done to somebody.”
Baseball’s new policy doesn’t allow teams to require or even “encourage” players to engage in activities such as “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other characteristic.”
Cubs rookies were made by veterans to dress as cheerleaders for a road trip last September and as Disney princesses for an earlier rookie hazing day.
“Of course, there’d be the concerns for some psychological harm, and I’m aware of that,” Maddon said of the MLB policy. “But situations like this are purely based on fun among the group. I don’t think there’s a player out there that would be averse to any of that. We had to jump off a wall, man. It was scary.”