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Monday, December 12, 2011

Charles Pierce: The Stupidity (and Sexism) of Baseball’s Media Dress Codes

or…How to Make It in Idiot America (oh…and #### Luis Guzmán ~ I feel bitter/better)

“We just thought it was time to get a little organized, to put it in place before there was an incident,” committee member Phyllis Merhige, an MLB senior vice president, told the AP. “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.”

In other words, OMIGOD, BLOGGERS! RUN AND HIDE! THEY COULD BE NAKED!

It is an exercise of control, of course. The baseball press box is an odd beast. It is owned by the team, but regulated by the local BBWAA, which is why you get that announcement before every game to the effect that “This is a working press box. No laughing or cheering, etc.” Which is good as far as it goes, which is occasionally too far. (I was once nearly removed from the press box at Fenway for the capital offense of laughing too loudly at the Cleveland Indians.) Occasionally, MLB feels compelled to yank the leash so the BBWAA knows who’s really in charge. Generally, the BBWAA comes to heel. This is one of those times.

...You know who dressed really well? I mean, they dressed sharp and fine and in as professional a manner as it was possible to dress? All those people who stole the entire world economy between 2000 and 2008, that’s who. Anyone who presumes to judge sportswriters’ character or professionalism based on whatever Vietnamese-sweatshop-produced clothing their shrinking salaries allow them to be wearing that day is a half-wit. Anybody who codifies that thinking into policy really needs a cold shower.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:55 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fantasy baseball, media

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#4014436)
Wahhhh, wahhhh. Put on a button down shirt and some khakis and stop ########.
   2. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM (#4014446)
Charles Pierce is one of those guys that lefties think is brilliant because he's really sarcastic, despite the fact that what he says is really dumb most of the time. I mean, the logic in that above excerpt is one step above, "You know who liked puppies? Hitler."

Incidentally, according to the reports about the new policy, it was not prompted by bloggers, but by Ines Sainz.
   3. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#4014447)
Wahhhh, wahhhh. Put on a button down shirt and some khakis and stop ########.

"Think for yourself, and question authority."

Pierce is kind of a dope anyhow, but him being a dope doesn't make snapper's toadying any better.
   4. Bob Tufts Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#4014456)
Imagining Bill Conlin in the press box on a cold day would have definitely re-set Ryan Braun's testosterone level.
   5. . Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#4014465)
Incidentally, according to the reports about the new policy, it was not prompted by bloggers, but by Ines Sainz.

He mentioned her in his hitpiece, as part of his rant that, well, the policy must be sexist too.

Is there really anything wrong with not dressing like you're at the beach when you're at work? Baseball shouldn't have even needed to speak on the matter; it should never have been an issue.
   6. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#4014466)
Incidentally, according to the reports about the new policy, it was not prompted by bloggers, but by Ines Sainz.

TFA says as much. I read it because I was curious about the "sexist" claim, which essentially boils down to, "Who decides what skirt length is too short?"

A fairly dumb article, overall.

EDIT: Coke to SBB.
   7. Brian C Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#4014467)
Charles Pierce is one of those guys that lefties think is brilliant because he's really sarcastic, despite the fact that what he says is really dumb most of the time.

As a lefty myself, I'm sadly forced to agree. But this column isn't even coherent enough to rise to the level of badly reasoned.

Incidentally, according to the reports about the new policy, it was not prompted by bloggers, but by Ines Sainz.

Oops, caught you there not RTFA, David. Pierce actually talks about Sainz, and even acknowledges that she's one of the reasons given for the new policy. Which actually just makes his column all the less coherent.
   8. . Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#4014473)
I mean, they dressed sharp and fine and in as professional a manner as it was possible to dress? All those people who stole the entire world economy between 2000 and 2008, that’s who.

This isn't actually true; the suit-and-tie era was pretty much over by 2000 and what followed was less professional -- as he intends the term. The collapse of the world economy was the coda to the era that saw the appearance of more casual dress, the Internet, the Blackberry, the iPod and other "i"'s, and instant global communications generally.
   9. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#4014477)
This isn't actually true; the suit-and-tie era was pretty much over by 2000.

I don't know, man, Morgan Stanley went back to suits in 2001 and most of Wall Street was back in suits soon after excepting back offices of course. They couldn't have cared less what we looked like. Bush made a big deal of going back to suits after the Clinton administration's business casual and a lot of the business world took the lead. Tech companies, of course, have their own ethos. Does this mean anything? No. No it does not. The collapse of the world economy had nothing to do with anyone's ####### clothes.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#4014479)
I like Charles Pierce's writing, in the Molly Ivins sort of way, but it does seem odd that Esquire magazine's "Politics Blog" consists entirely of things designed to make Republicans angry. Is Esquire being re-branded as Rolling Stone Fashion Monthly?

Not sure about the idea that most of what he says is dumb. This, for example. Presumably the rejoinder would be either "Liberals in Congress do it too, in a fantasy world where liberals in Congress do it too. Also, there's nothing new about any of these unprecedented things." or "Moderation in the pursuit of deregulation is no virtue; extremism in defense of Wall Street is no vice."
   11. ray james Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM (#4014502)
Charles Pierce is one of those guys that lefties think is brilliant because he's really sarcastic...I mean, the logic in that above excerpt is one step above, "You know who liked puppies? Hitler."


Well, that rabid Communist Bill Gates feels the same way.
   12. Don Malcolm Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:34 PM (#4014507)
I like Charles Pierce's writing, in the Molly Ivins sort of way, but it does seem odd that Esquire magazine's "Politics Blog" consists entirely of things designed to make Republicans angry.

Well, in a world of increasing limitation and self-enclsoure (despite the ability to instantly connect), it's important to realize that only a precious few of us can write or say things that make EVERYONE angry.

In that regard, Pierce--and all of the chimps who take it out in trade for (G)RANTLAND--are merely chasing their tails for chump change.
   13. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#4014508)
I don't know, man, Morgan Stanley went back to suits in 2001 and most of Wall Street was back in suits soon after excepting back offices of course.

Maybe if the boys at Morgan Stanley had paid more attention to their finances as opposed to their stupid dress code, we wouldn't be in this mess.

(BTW, I own multiple suits. But I wear them out, non-monkey-grinder style.)
   14. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#4014521)
"You know who liked puppies? Hitler."


Hitler was a strange man as well as an eminently evil one. One of the oddest things he did was have all those dogs killed right before he killed himself. He has his beloved German Shepherd Blondi poisoned to test the potency of the cyanide he was going to use on himself. When he saw the stuff worked, he then broke down All that that stuff with the dogs seems really peculiar.
   15. McCoy Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#4014525)
I had the TV on the other day as background noise and the movie that was on was Lionheart starring Jean Claude Van Damme. I glanced up a scene when I guess he went shopping for clothes and the store clerk was wearing a suit. It was some godawful double-breasted thing and I remember that they were sort of in back then. I used to think that a suit was timeless but after catching that part of the movie I realized that "trendy" suits don't age well at all. What were you people thinking?
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM (#4014527)
"Think for yourself, and question authority."

Pierce is kind of a dope anyhow, but him being a dope doesn't make snapper's toadying any better.


Toadying??? Who am I being a toady to? I'm sneering and mocking, not toadying.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:01 AM (#4014528)
I dunno - I can see it. He didn't want them to have to live on without him, and probably worried about what kind of life they'd have in a destroyed and subjugated postwar Germany, even if nobody realized that they were his personal dogs. Kind of like the lady in the zombie movie who shoots her own kids so they won't get eaten by walking corpses.

Maybe he imagined them frolicking with him in the fields in Valhalla. Who knows?
   18. Lassus Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM (#4014532)
Toadying??? Who am I being a toady to? I'm sneering and mocking, not toadying.

Toadying was probably a little strong, but sneering so definitively at someone who doesn't want to wear a suit sounds a bit like toadying to our corporate overlords, I guess.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#4014535)
Toadying was probably a little strong, but sneering so definitively at someone who doesn't want to wear a suit sounds a bit like toadying to our corporate overlords, I guess.


Suit? They're talking about business casual; khakis and a tennis shirt.

I could see a complaint about wearing a suit to the ballpark in the summer, it's hot. But golf attire?
   20. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#4014536)
"Maybe he imagined them frolicking with him in the fields in Valhalla. Who knows?"

Yeah, I guess so. I guess, too, we tend to anthropomorphize dogs more than it was done in the past. Then, people may have not consider dogs some sort of "person" in their own right as we do now, but rather an inextricable extension themselves.
   21. Tippecanoe Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#4014542)
Pierce writes for Esquire, founded by William Randolph Hearst...In 1934, Hearst interviewed Adolf Hitler.

Coincidence?
   22. Lassus Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#4014545)
Suit? They're talking about business casual; khakis and a tennis shirt.

Derp. Well, I got the suit bit wrong, sorry, but having to wearing khakis is even worse, blech. If I'm not allowed to write a recap in decent Polo jeans without being sneered at, I'm sticking with "toadying". ;-)
   23. UCCF Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#4014556)
Suit? They're talking about business casual; khakis and a tennis shirt.

It didn't even seem that strict to me. No microskirts, no wife beaters, no tank tops, no flip-flops. I think even California business casual (which I've grown to love, as it permits me to wear jeans and a nice T-shirt to work most days) would suffice. You don't have to be a genius to understand what's acceptable and what's not. There are no nuns with rulers measuring the length of the hem on your skirt to make sure it's no more than 2 inches above the knee.

It amazes me that people get ruffled by this. When I was at the law firm, we had a summer associate come in one day wearing a Hawaiian print shirt tied up under her breasts (revealing her bare midsection) and a miniskirt. She was a lawyer-to-be at a buttoned down NY law firm, and they even let that slide as far as I know.
   24. Mike Webber Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#4014558)
Toots Was watching this movie today and they show a press box in black and white from the 50's or 60's and there is a reporter with no shirt on at all.
FWIW
Great movie right away, and with every New York movie, I looked for Repoz in the background of all the shots within the bar. Were you ever a bus boy for Toots Repoz?
   25. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:36 AM (#4014568)
Speaking of dogs and fashion, dogs in old family photos kind of creep me out, because they look exactly the same as they do today, whereas everything else in the photo - clothes, hairstyle, decorations, signage - is so dated. It's like the dog is capable of time travel!
   26. Bote Man Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#4014618)
The collapse of the world economy had nothing to do with anyone's ####### clothes.

Well, except for the Emperor's.
   27. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#4014640)
Not sure about the idea that most of what he says is dumb. This, for example. Presumably the rejoinder would be either "Liberals in Congress do it too, in a fantasy world where liberals in Congress do it too. Also, there's nothing new about any of these unprecedented things." or "Moderation in the pursuit of deregulation is no virtue; extremism in defense of Wall Street is no vice."
Actually, the rejoinder would be that Charles Pierce knows as much about the constitution as Bud Selig does about quantum physics. What Republicans are doing with respect to the CFPB is not "nullification." It's not remotely like nullification. It may be extremely aggressive. It may violate established norms. But it does not violate any oath of office, and it is not illegal. Pierce mocks Lindsay Graham for using the term "stalinist" to refer to the CFPB. Is that ridiculous hyperbole? Fine. But comparing it to the Civil War is just as stupid.

The rejoinder would also be that I'll bet Charles Pierce couldn't name a single thing the CFPB actually does; it's just regulation, so he likes it.

(By the way, "delegitimization" of one's opponent is, indeed, something that "liberals do it too." Bush was the "selected" president in 2000; in 2004, there was a nutty conspiracy theory about a stolen election in Ohio.)
   28. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4014657)
As an aside, Ines Sainz, is pretty good looking and any dress code works for me if she wants to visit.

Now back to your political rants.
   29. tshipman Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#4014685)
Actually, the rejoinder would be that Charles Pierce knows as much about the constitution as Bud Selig does about quantum physics. What Republicans are doing with respect to the CFPB is not "nullification." It's not remotely like nullification. It may be extremely aggressive. It may violate established norms. But it does not violate any oath of office, and it is not illegal. Pierce mocks Lindsay Graham for using the term "stalinist" to refer to the CFPB. Is that ridiculous hyperbole? Fine. But comparing it to the Civil War is just as stupid.


It's similar in spirit to nullification (except obviously not grounded in states rights). Republicans in congress have decided that they don't like the CPFB. Rather than oppose its creation (which they did, but could ultimately not avoid), or reduce its funding, they have decided to not confirm a qualified appointee--because some powers the agency has are contingent on it having a head. It's not nullification, obviously, as it doesn't have to do with the states ignoring federal laws. It shares the same spirit of disregard for legislation and process, though. In general, the Republican strategy of never confirming nominees, with very few exceptions, acts as a nullification of government in broader terms.

I don't know why you are defending it, David, as it is a poor practice for the purpose of government that will have potentially long-reaching consequences.
   30. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:44 AM (#4014712)
As an aside, Ines Sainz, is pretty good looking and any dress code works for me if she wants to visit.

Butterface
   31. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:10 AM (#4014732)
No principle is above being undermined by cleavage. Except this one.

EDIT: Sorry, I mean, particularly this one.
   32. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#4014733)
As an aside, Ines Sainz, is pretty good looking and any dress code works for me if she wants to visit.

Butterface


You should be so lucky.
   33. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#4014736)
Which still doesn't change the fact that she is a butterface.
   34. hokieneer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:57 AM (#4014765)
IDK McCoy, her face seems alright in this photo
   35. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:06 AM (#4014807)
All I can say is she's got one of the best documented wiki pages I've ever seen -- just look at that reference section!
   36. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:44 AM (#4014820)
This is a fun direction for an article about sexism to head in...
   37. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#4014940)
Charles Pierce is one of those guys that lefties think is brilliant because he's really sarcastic]


And of course, there is no greater expert on the way "lefties think" on this wide planet than David and his magic mind-reading crystal balls.
   38. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#4014943)
Well, in a world of increasing limitation and self-enclsoure (despite the ability to instantly connect), it's important to realize that only a precious few of us can write or say things that make EVERYONE angry.


I got your back, buddy. 'Til the zombies eat our brains. Or I get angry and chase a squirrel.
   39. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4014948)
Well, I got the suit bit wrong, sorry, but having to wearing khakis is even worse, blech. If I'm not allowed to write a recap in decent Polo jeans without being sneered at, I'm sticking with "toadying".


I only briefly scanned the original articles on the new dress code, because honestly, I could give a #### if Aaron Gleeman has to put on pants in order to leave the house. I'm pants-agnostic in general. But from what I did scan it certainly looked like the point of the entire thing was "OMG! That woman is showing boobies!!!" I suppose we can't trust the members of the BBWAA to not revert to lecherous rapists in the press box if some woman shows up showing her ankles or something. Who knew?
   40. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#4014954)
I don't know why you are defending it, David


Seriously? I mean, who could have predicted that David would jump through hoops to defend actions of the GOP? I know I am personally stunned and near comatose with my personal levels of disbelief that such a thing should ever have occurred.
   41. Zach Posted: December 14, 2011 at 10:11 PM (#4016610)
Republicans in congress have decided that they don't like the CPFB. Rather than oppose its creation (which they did, but could ultimately not avoid), or reduce its funding, they have decided to not confirm a qualified appointee--because some powers the agency has are contingent on it having a head.

The Constitution says that officers of the Executive Branch have to be confirmed by the Senate. The Senate is free to set whatever conditions it likes on confirmation. Insisting on reforming an overly broad grant of powers before confirming someone to exert those powers strikes me as a completely appropriate use of leverage that was written into the Constitution for this very purpose.

Honestly, this isn't even playing rough. It's one coequal branch of government insisting on its prerogatives in the face of overreaching by another branch.
   42. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#4016630)
Honestly, this isn't even playing rough. It's one coequal branch of government insisting on its prerogatives in the face of overreaching by another branch.

But the good team isn't getting what they want. Doesn't that prove that the other team is evil?

It's not nullification, obviously

Well yeah, that's sort of the point. Being uncomfortable with the failure to constructively engage the appointment process is a fair criticism. Or, at least, it can be. Couching that criticism in Civil War rhetoric that specifically references a Constitutional debate regarding the relationship between states and the federal government isn't even clever enough to be ridiculous. I get that people are unhappy with the appointment situation (now) and I get that the want to make a strong statement against it (this time.) But the nullification rhetoric is just a garden-variety Godwinning of the issue. It does not foster reasoned debate or intelligent discussion. In fact, it's designed specifically to preclude such.

I don't know why you are defending it

I don't believe he is, at least not in this thread. He's simply saying that the appointment concern (however important it may be) isn't comparable to nullification. And I don't see how anyone is going to be able to put together a decent counterargument. Was the refusal to confirm Miguel Estrada like nullification? Or just plain old-fashioned, Democratic party approved racism? It seems like the latter answer is the better one.

Honestly, this isn't even playing rough. It's one coequal branch of government insisting on its prerogatives in the face of overreaching by another branch.

I definitely agree with the first sentence. On the second one it's a bit different in that it's only one faction of a particular branch that's pushing their prerogatives and it's fair to criticize the approach of that faction. But, to your larger point, this is hardly unprecedented or any type of departure from previous norms. This is merely the road we are on.
   43. Smitty* Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:29 PM (#4016661)
Pants agnostic? You're not sure pants exist? Let me assure you, they are real and they are the enemy.

Oh, and I think everyone knew I'd show up in this eventually.

Oh, and don't you hate pants?

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