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MLB kicks Pirates legends off the bench

Jun 20, 2012, 6:28 PM EDT

Bill Mazeroski, Bill Virdon, Alex Presley AP

MLB wants no part of any feel good stories.

A couple of hours after I noted the presence of former Pirates stars Bill Mazeroski and Bill Virdon on the bench for this week’s series against the Twins, MLB has decided to put the kibosh on it.

I actually planned to write about Mazeroski and Verdon on Tuesday night, but I was looking for some word about how the arrangement materialized, given MLB’s limits on the number of coaches on the bench. Perhaps most notably, the league prevented the Red Sox from having 87-year-old Johnny Pesky in uniform as a seventh coach in the dugout in 2007.

MLB never chimed in then, though the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted how that the Pirates did seek and receive the Twins’ approval to have the two extra coaches in the dugout. Apparently, the league was willing to let it slide for one day, but not for any longer.

It’s silly to think the Pirates gained any meaningful advantage from this, and frankly, there’s no way the game could be harmed by teams occasionally bringing back players as honorary coaches. Still, MLB has decided a rule is a rule, even if it doesn’t benefit anyone.

  1. redguy12588 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Can’t let the Pirates have a competitive advantage. Now let’s go watch the Yankees spend $500M on Cole Hamels!

    • redguy12588 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Yankees fans can suck my balls.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:20 PM

        what balls?

      • badintent - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM

        to have balls , you have to have a penis, which you don’t have after Ms. Bobitt took a knife to yours. Or was it Man Ram and Bill Buckner. Come to think of it, Bill tried to stop the ball with his penis , not his glove,having no penis the ball rolled into left field and THE METS WON !.NY rules, Big Blue, Yankee Nation, Jermery Lin and Co, and Rangers.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      Yanks dont want players who quit in the middle of a world series, let the redsuks have em

      • CJ - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        yeah no team wants a quitting loser WS MVP who pitches in one of the toughest markets in sports.

  2. seeinred87 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    It makes the league kind of look like assholes, but I totally understand why they’re doing this.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      I agree with the first part, about how it makes MLB look, but please do explain the second part, about understanding.

      • seeinred87 - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        I didn’t say I agree with it, just that I understand. Allowing exceptions puts the league in a position where, instead of having to examine each case, they can just apply the rules as they’re written. They probably also run the risk of being accused of favoritism if they selectively enforce the rulebook.

        So what it comes down to, at the risk of sounding like my 3rd grade teacher, rules are rules and you have to follow them whether they make sense or not. Or something.

      • vanmorrissey - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:47 PM

        Because if you let one team do it, why can’t you let every team do it, then do it for every game, then it gets out of hand, then you have to lay the hammer down and not let any do it. That’s why there’s a rule in the first place. Sorry if that makes too much sense.

  3. dan1111 - Jun 20, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    They were afraid the Pirates were going to gain an advantage by putting them in the lineup to hit in place of some of their regulars.

    • madhatternalice - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM

      you do understand that the pirates are not only 4 games above 500, but also 4th in the league in OPS over the last 7 days and 11th in the month of june, right?

      • ditto65 - Jun 20, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        Let us not allow facts to interfere with our mindless attempts at kicking the Pirates in the groinal region while they are picking themselves off the ground.

  4. dremmel69 - Jun 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Seems silly in this case, yes. Looks like MLB is taking the safe, corporate approach here, though. Plenty of teams have their own legends who get paid to assist with coaching at the minor or major league level (i.e. former Twin Paul Molitor). I am sure MLB does not want to explain to one team why their legends can’t be on the bench but another team’s legends can.

    Safe? Yes. Chicken ? Yes.

  5. philliesblow - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I was hoping the Tigers would follow suit and put Al Kaline and Lou Whittaker in uniform. They would be a marked defensive improvement over Delmon Young and Ryan Raburn.

    • hoopmatch - Jun 21, 2012 at 5:38 AM

      How about Denny McLain?

  6. chill1184 - Jun 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    I understand the rule but this is really petty.

  7. makeham98 - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    Too fat to fit in a uniform.

  8. azvikefan - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    At least this post got back on the subject after the basement dwelling new yorkers tried to take over.

  9. ironcity6pak - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Dumb dumb dumb!! Go buccos, Keep it up after the Allstar break.

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