Major League Baseball provided a much-needed distraction from the prolonged drama of the Albert Pujols decision yesterday by issuing a dress code policy for media members, the first set of press dress guidelines in major American sports.
According to the AP, the policy bans both abstractions ("excessively short" skirts) and specifics (no ripped jeans, no see-through clothing, no midriff-revealing shirts, no flip-flops.) There's nothing in here about Hawaiian shirts, grease-speckled khakis, and windbreakers from the 1973 Greater Milwaukee Open—all of which articles of clothing constitute the unofficial uniform for male sportswriters.
The guidelines were drawn up by a committee of executives and media people:
The panel included female and Latin reporters and there was input from team trainers, who had health concerns about flip-flops in clubhouses and bare feet possibly spreading infections. Such footwear is no longer permitted.
As usual, bloggers are getting the blame. MLB senior vice president Phyllis Merhige:
There's no one who expects reporters to wear a suit and tie [...] But with the advent of different media, there are now individuals who are not part of a bigger organization that may have a dress code.
But really this is about baseball trying to avoid their own Ines Sainz incident, and I suppose not without cause. If you're unfortunate enough to be in the Marlins TV market you've been treated to the occasional shot of a female reporter wearing something perhaps better suited to a South Beach club than an empty ballpark. That sort of thing's just bad for baseball, you know.