Cubs second-baseman Ben Zobrist likes to wear all-black cleats to home games. To hear him tell it, that’s no random fashion statement—it’s done to commemorate a time in baseball’s past when all-black cleats were the norm. But baseball has collectively-bargained uniform standards, just like every other major professional sports league, and the all-black cleats are not permitted. So sayeth the killjoys of the office of the commissioner, who sent Zobrist a letter Friday threatening that he will “be subject to further discipline, including assessment of a fine” if he doesn’t knock it off:
This is the second time in a week that MLB has come down on a player for wearing shoes that do not conform to the uniform standard, after Mike Clevinger of the Indians was warned for wearing custom “bohemian elephant” cleats. The uniform standard says “at least 51% of the exterior of each Player’s shoes must be the Club’s designated primary shoe color,” so unless the Cubs change their designated primary shoe color to black, Zobrist’s homage to baseball’s past will itself soon become a thing of baseball’s past.
Baseball should decide to be more fun, I think.