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MLB won’t approve pink-label MaxBats on Mother’s Day

May 10, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

from @MaxBatBaseball

It seems Louisville Slugger has a monopoly on the pink labels for Mother’s Day bats permitted by MLB.

The Orioles’ Nick Markakis, the Nationals’ Jayson Werth and the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe were among the players informed by the league Friday that they won’t be able to use their custom label MaxBats on Sunday.

Of course, this isn’t going over particularly well.

Plouffe, likewise, has a mother who is a cancer survivor.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says the Diamondbacks’ Jason Kubel, the Mariners’ Kendrys Morales and the Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes were also planning on using specially designed MaxBats on Sunday.

While Louisville Slugger has no exclusive deal with MLB in regards to the pink bats, they do own the rights to pink labels, which seems to be the problem here.

Update: Passan clarifies the matter in his article for Yahoo! Sports, saying Louisville Slugger bought its exclusive rights by making a charitable donation to an MLB partner. According to the agreement, other companies can make pink bats for use on Mother’s Day, but those bats must not include any “ribbons, corporate logos, distinguishing marks or names of charities.”

  1. dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I can’t see this holding up. Louisville Slugger is going to get destroyed in the court of public opinion.

    Just let them use the damn bats.

  2. duckthefodgers - May 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    How will people be aware of breast cancer now?

    • tuberippin - May 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      breast whatnow?

  3. stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    This is another case where reality gets thrown out the proverbial window.
    Right or wrong (in the court of public opinion)…if Louisville Slugger owns the rights to the pink labels they own the damn rights to the pink fucking labels.
    Do I think they should allow the ‘pink labeled’ Maxbats to be used? Hell yes.
    Make no mistake…they are going to take serious body blows for their stance.
    But it is their right to NOT allow it. Once again kids…THEY OWN THE RIGHTS.

    • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      But pink is synonymous to breast cancer awareness. And it’s Mother’s Day. Why begrudge an athlete, especially one who’s mother is a cancer survivor (or worse yet, a cancer victim) the chance to raise awareness?

      • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        I am not bedgrudging them Don. And I completely understand where you (and the players) are coming from. I just get tired of people living in fantasy land. Not you. Just in general.
        L-Ville Slugger is going to take it on the chin at the end of the day.
        But for me…the story ends with…L-Ville Slugger owns the rights.
        When they absorb the backlash…I will be one of the 1st to say…they probably should have allowed the pink labeled max bats to be used. But I will not begrudge them their right of refusal.

      • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Is it the label alone? Could these guys get pink bats with their standard black MaxBats logo?

      • tfbuckfutter - May 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        I don’t really blame Louisville.

        I’m assuming it was their idea, they came up with it, they put it into production, it became popular….so I don’t really have a problem with them saying other companies can’t do it.

        It doesn’t make them dicks.

        If Coke trademarked a pink breast cancer can, you think they wouldn’t be justified in suing Pepsi for putting one out years later?

      • indaburg - May 10, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        If the ultimate goal is to raise awareness, why block a competitor from also doing this for one day? This seems rather seem self-serving of Louisville, and in my view, makes them dicks.

      • deadeyedesign23 - May 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        Because the ultimate goal isnt to raise awareness it’s to make a buck. Were you or anyone else unaware of breast cancer before people started swinging around pink pieces of wood?

    • historiophiliac - May 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      Jimminy H. Crickets! This is a fucking spat over who owns the rights to promote breast cancer!!!! Can no one see how absolutely totally wrong that is??? This is not a promotion. It’s WOMEN’S HEALTH!!!!!! Neither of these companies or their freaking bats have anything to do with my damn breasts. >:( This is what’s wrong w/ breast cancer awareness programs.

      (And I’m not even getting started on freaking Mother’s Day!)

      • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM


      • anxovies - May 12, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Mother’s Day? You mean a day that was promoted by an individual to celebrate motherhood and was quickly adopted by retailers to promote sales? The pink bats/sports gear was a nice idea when it started but as this story illustrates, quickly evolved into a commercial farce. How about just donate what you can to breast cancer research and take mom to lunch or dinner and tell her you love her?

  4. tfbuckfutter - May 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM


    Couldn’t those guys just use Louisville Slugger bats for their game that day?

    • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Novel idea Buckfutter. Whoda’ thunk it?

    • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      I agree with you, buck. I can’t see MaxBats getting their panties bunched if one of their athletes wants to use a competing brand for a day.

    • manifunk - May 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Players are very specific with their bats, which is why they only use a certain grain/type/brand. Telling them to use a Louisville Slugger bat for just a game would be like telling Tiger Woods to use another set of clubs for a round in a tournament. It doesn’t really solve the problem here.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        But for the right money…Tiger switched to (at the time) shitty ass Nike Golf.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Aside from that..your point is taken Funk. Players are very particular with their bats and gloves.
        I am no different in my competive softball league. And it’s Softball!

      • tfbuckfutter - May 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Or it’d be like telling players “If showing your support for breast cancer is so important here is the approved way of doing it.”

        It’s one game.

        And most of the guys mentioned have barely been using their bats this season anyway.

      • duckthefodgers - May 10, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        Well then it couldn’t mean that much to them. “Sorry mom, they didn’t have the right pink for the brand I like.”

  5. hojo20 - May 10, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    This pink stuff is all about money.

    • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      It is the oldest profession, after all.

  6. bankboy2012 - May 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I guess we’ll know who hates boobs when we see what bat they’re using on Mother’s Day. Seriously though, stain them pink and use a black label, how difficult is that, unless there’s also a prohibition on pink bats.

  7. flavadave10 - May 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    I guess MLB only cares about breast cancer awareness if they can find a way to make money off it.

  8. padraighansen - May 10, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Buck – Komen licensed their IP for a percentage of revenue in some cases, a flat fee in others. No doubt Louisville Slugger could the same, and quickly.

  9. fredmerkle - May 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    What exactly does “own the rights to pink labels” mean? They have a patent on making bats with pink? Sounds pretty asinine to me.

  10. thebigtim2012 - May 10, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I would just use the bat I wanted and pay the fine if it was that important to me

  11. jelliot1978 - May 10, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Seems there is misinformation out there. Louisville Slugger tweets this

    .@TPlouffe24 I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed. All bat manufacturers are made aware by @MLB & allowed to make pink bats for Mother’s Day.

    • dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Oh, so it’s just the labels?

      Whatever, the black label on the pink bat looks better than pink on pink.

  12. dondada10 - May 10, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    All players can use pink bats Sunday with any bat company that makes a modest donation to @komenforthecure— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) May 11, 2013

    • historiophiliac - May 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      I really wish they wouldn’t fund Komen.

      • Kevin S. - May 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Seriously. So many better organizations that help with prevention and treatment.

      • historiophiliac - May 10, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        I think I might write Bud a letter. If they don’t hear negative stuff from fans, they’ll think it’s okay.

  13. stlunatik - May 10, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    what d-bags. use them anyway

  14. thebigtim2012 - May 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Is komen more a business now than an actual charity? I’m not really sure what the truth is but I’ve heard lots of stories about how the dont donate as much of their profits as people think. Full disclaimer that could be completely wrong perhaps someone with more time on their hands could look into it

    • Ben - May 10, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      They spend 15% of revenue on actual breast cancer research. The Komen foundation is pathetic.

  15. scamp516dp - May 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    It is Mother’s Day and without her we would not be here. Forget the profits, the rights, the licenses, the I must not give in, remember mom and what they have given all of us!

  16. bigtrav425 - May 11, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    MLB and the NFL powers that be really needs to get over this petty Nazi like BS they pull..let them use the bats!! The symbol it stands for ( especially with the moms being survivors) is far greater then baseball,there ego’s or advertisement agreements

  17. learysdisciples - May 11, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    If it’s red in the pink, put it in the stink.

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