In what seems like an endless round of blows to the White Sox, first base coach Daryl Boston can no longer use his whistle.
Of course, this should not affect whether the White Sox win or lose. But, it is just one more way the MLB is taking away uniqueness from individual teams and players.
Boston used the whistle to get the attention of outfielders due to the fact that he could not whistle on his own.
The whistle caused a small ruckus back in April when the Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays complained about Boston and his Fox 40. Boston supposedly knew that Donaldson disliked the whistle, so he blew it when Donaldson was up to bat.
Interpreting the rules
According to an article by Daryl Van Schouwen with the Chicago Sun-Times, the MLB told Boston the whistle can no longer be used. The whistle was questioned by an umpire and the MLB acted on the question. Rick Hahn said:
"“MLB recently informed us that in accordance with their interpretation of the rules, whistles are no longer permitted in the dugouts during games.”"
Removing fun from the MLB
This is one of the recent ways the MLB has been slowly and subtly making sure that the league is following the rules. And, it seems like players and front offices are just learning of these new rules.
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The White Sox aren’t the only team that has been affected by these new rules. The Cubs Ben Zobrist has been warned against about wearing black spikes on the field. The rule he happens to be breaking is one that players do not know. This story has been reported by several media outlets including the Chicago Sun-Times who documented Zobrist as saying:
"“I see all the points of our players who are frustrated, because no one’s been making a big deal out of it until now. I don’t see the point there of why you would try to make a big deal of a jersey or a pair of shoes.”"
Unique cleats bring young fans
According to a post on ABCNews.com, Zobrist is not the only player who has received a warning about cleats. Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians was also warned recently about wearing tie-dye cleats. Zobrist and Clevinger supposedly violated a rule that states cleats must have 51% of the team’s designated color.
Enforcing these rules seems to go against the wish of the MLB to draw a younger fan base. Letting a first-base coach use a whistle occasionally and allowing players to wear unique spikes seems to go against the idea that the MLB can be fun. Players have been wearing customized cleats for several seasons.
Both Boston’s whistle banning and the player cleats rule seem to have come from nowhere and have taken teams by surprise. What’s next? Will players no longer be able to wear necklaces because Yoenis Cespedes had a diamond necklace break while he was sliding into second?
Cleats, whistles, and chains are ways that players and coaches can separate themselves and build their identities. These are the best ways for young fans to get to know the individuals around the league. It is ridiculous for the MLB to remove these subtle. The MLB should be looking for more ways to add fun to the league rather than ways to take it away.