MLB players are some of the most eccentric professional athletes, but I think that Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney may be taking the freedom a bit too far. The World Baseball Classic is a time for players to express the love for their country and Rodney is showing his love for a crooked cap.
Joe Maddon is the manager of one of the most laid back teams in the MLB in the Rays, as they’re not regimented to keep their facial hair tidy or their caps straight. In fact, David Price has said that he wont play for the New York Yankees because of their clean-cut nature and strict rules. Price is an epitome of the liberty that is unique to the Rays.
Rodney’s fashion statement has been in the works for some time as has been spread with two other teams since 2008. Skeptics believe that it all began in 2008 with the Detroit Tigers. The cap twist has gotten progressively worse and it hit a head on Thursday Night when Rodney was pitching in the WBC with a hat that’s bill was facing towards first-base. I’m all for players making their own legacy, but I think there is a difference between being different and defying the game.
While he is walking the line, I think Rodney has to be careful moving forward given the gang-relations that this image is connected with.
Like it or not, it is a factor and it’s something that I’m positive has gotten the attention of MLB commissioner Bud Selig who may be in a similar situation that NBA commissioner David Stern was in just a few seasons ago. For example, Allen Iverson was the reason that Stern decided to implement a dress code for players when they conducted post and pre-game interviews. I think this move has benefited the league tremendously, not to mention the impact dressing nice has had on the players.
I’m not calling Rodney a gang member, however the MLB has to step in on this matter before it gets taken to the extreme.