Friday, August 9, 2013

Proof Reading: Editor Error

So You Think You Know Baseball? A Fan's Guide To The Official Rules by Peter E. Meltzer

More than 50 percent of Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Justin Miller's body (including most of his arms) is covered with body art. MLB thought that the tattoos were distracting and ordered him to wear long-sleeved shirts under his uniform when he pitched. Was the league within its rights?

The rulebook does not contain any specific reference to tattoos. Nevertheless, if MLB believes anything about Miller's overall appearance is distracting to opposing teams, it has discretion to take action. In 2004, Major League Baseball established a rule that forced Miller to wear long sleeves whenever he played. "I didn't want to stare him up and down, but we'll see during the course of his stay here how many tattoos he has," said Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on his first encounter with his newest pitcher. Miller said at the time of MLB's ruling that he was worried the sleeves would be uncomfortable, especially when it was hot. Three years later, though, he had grown accustomed to the extra clothing and said he actually liked it. How does it feel to tell people you've got a baseball rule named after you? "I don't know," he said, laughing. "They just said it's the 'Justin Miller Rule.'"

On July 27, 2010, the San Francisco Giants were playing the Florida Marlins. Giants pitcher Brian Wilson was wearing orange shoes, as he had done in the All-Star Game. Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez complained to the umpires about the bright color being a distraction for his team. Wilson was fined $1,000. Were Miller's [sic] shoes prohibited by the rules as being distracting?

Not by the rules but by the Major League Manual. Rule 1.11(a)(3) does prohibit a player from wearing a "uniform" that does not conform to that of his teammates. The only rule that specifically references shoes is 1.11(g), which provides in part that shoes with pointed spikes similar to golf or track shoes are prohibited. However, MLB does require that a player's cleats be at least 50 percent of the team's dominant color, which in the Giant's case would be black. Therefore, Wilson subsequently painted half of his cleats black and dubbed them "Nike Air Sharpies." Asked about the situation -- and Rodriguez calling the shoes "too flashy" -- Wilson gave a pretty amusing answer: "Too flashy. I didn't know that's in the rulebook. Oh, it's not in the rulebook. The fact that he thinks these shoes throw ninety-seven to one hundred with cut might be a little far-fetched. I guess we should have these checked as performance-enhancing shoes."

Chapter 1 - Equipment
pages 4-5
 Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (2013)
1st Edition