This week in “Please, MLB, Don’t Start Turning Into the NFL,” we have a brand new rule prohibiting the application of knob decals to players’ bats.
New MLB rule bans personalized bat knob decals (like Matt Duffy's). Standardized team design & player number = OK. pic.twitter.com/hZnVqLvfIo
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) March 25, 2016
Good thing, too, because I’m sure when Clayton Kershaw peers in at Matt Duffy, he loses focus when he sees a yellow “Duffman” sticker on the handle of the bat. Maybe that explains why the Giants’ third baseman is 2-for-2 in his career against the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
Give me a break.
Slowly but surely, teams are getting sucked into the trap of banning smokeless tobacco at their ballparks. Look, I understand the health risks, but who really gives a rat’s ass if a player wants to pack a hammer on the field or in the dugout? San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have all already approved bans to smokeless tobacco in their sports venues.
I already fondly refer to the NFL as “The No Fun League.” Please don’t make me come up with something comparable for you, MLB. Is a bat knob decal or a pinch of dip really going to hurt anybody?
Also, just so we’re clear, is writing “f*ck face” on the knob of your bat still acceptable? Asking for Billy Ri- um, a friend.
UPDATE (2:56 PM) – A source with insider knowledge of the decal company, called Pro Helmet Decals, told me that MLB made an effort to shut the Florida-based company down due to the fact that they are not officially licensed by Major League Baseball. An agreement has been made that will allow Pro Helmet Decals to continue providing high school, college, and professional athletes with decals provided they use only licensed material such as team logos and numbers.
This is far from the first time I have heard about the MLB cracking down on these types of regulations. Anything they feel takes money away from them is perceived as a threat, even if they are the only ones who feel it is a violation. The problem is, MLB has lawyers. You probably don’t, and, even if you did, they are not as good as MLB’s. They will always win, as is the case here.
It’s a shame, really. I have seen some great companies lose really cool, custom work because MLB took it away from them. Pro Helmet Decals seems to be the most recent victim.