The Big League Stew blog at Yahoo Sports reported that “Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez recently forced all of his long-haired players, including Ramirez, into an impromptu date with the clubhouse hairdresser. He also banned any jewelry worn onfield by Ramirez or any of his teammates.” Apparently, Gonzalez wants his team to look more “professional.” Haircuts and the removal of jewaelry may or may not actually be necessary to ensure success on the field for the Marlins, but as the manager, Gonzalez certainly has the right to institute such a rule.
Unfortunately, the new rule did not sit well with shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who had a hissy fit over it. When the media entered the Marlins clubhouse on Thursday, Ramirez showed his displeasure with the new rule by wearing the phrase “Im sick of this ****” across his chest, written with a Sharpie. He informed the media that he’s angry about it and wants to be traded. “We’re big leaguers!” he told the media.
Ramirez didn’t exactly perform poorly last year with his not-really-all-that-long hair and his jewelry, so the sudden desire by Gonzalez to have his players look more clean-cut seems somewhat odd. (Maybe he figured that it worked for the Yankees for a long time, so he thought he’d give it a try in Florida?) But, as I said, it’s the manager’s prerogative to make rules such as this one. As Ramirez told the media, he and his teammates are big leaguers…perhaps he should act like one instead of acting like a big baby.
One of the commentors on this blog entry stated the following:
I hate all of this “cleaning up” the sports image stuff. Like basketball players having to dress a certain way before games. Times have changed old timers. Let people wear what they want. But then again pay me afew million and i’ll dress in whatever you ask me too.
I’ve got news for you, young’un…times may have changed, but class and professionalism never go out of style. Following the rules of the organization which employs these athletes proves that the athletes understand that concept and display both class and professionalism. And yes, as you stated, when you are being paid as much money as these guys are being paid, it’s a very good idea to follow your team’s rules and refrain from acting like a whiney, spoiled brat.
Another commentor said:
They’re professionals, not soldiers. Baseball is a very mental and emotional game. While letting a team be too unruly can damage focus, imposing too many rules will create unnecessary stress, which can have basically the same effect.
So…these guys are so fragile that a haircut will stress them out enough to throw off their game? Please. If that’s the case, then they don’t need to wear a cup under their uniform…they need a diaper!
There’s no question that Hanley Ramirez is an entremely talented athlete. And I understand why he felt this new rule was unfair and/or unnecessary. But having a one-on-one conversation with his manager about it would have been a far more mature way of dealing with it, instead of having a temper tantrum in front of the media.