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This Mother’s Day players can use pink bats by any manufacturer

May 7, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Remember Major League Baseball’s idiotic decision last season to prohibit players from using pink bats on Mother’s Day unless they were manufactured by Louisville Slugger? Thankfully, that has been reversed. Ken Rosenthal reports:

Players will be allowed to use pink bats with logos from any MLB-approved manufacturer on Mother’s Day, ending a controversy that arose last season and clouded baseball’s efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The decision reverses a stipulation from the past two years that required players to use only Mother’s Day bats with logos from Louisville Slugger, the baseball partner that helped create the breast-cancer initiative in 2006.

Good move. But I still smack my head every time some “exclusive rights” argument wins, even temporarily, with respect to a matter that is unconnected with regular profit-driven business. This is a charitable and awareness thing and the fact that anyone decided to get huffy over a player using another company’s pink bat apart from Louisville Slugger is the sort of thing that makes me lose faith in humanity.

  1. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 7, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    “This is a charitable and awareness thing and the fact that anyone decided to get huffy over a player using another company’s pink bat apart from Louisville Slugger is the sort of thing that makes me lose faith in humanity”

    When someone buy one of those pink bats (or pink cleats, or pink gloves, or pink whatever….), take a look at how much goes to Cancer Research, and how much goes to MLB. And prepare to re-lose your faith.

    • ditto65 - May 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      $0.01 is better than nothing. Pennies add up. 1% adds up.

      But yes, I agree. It is shameful how little goes to the charity that is purportedly benefitting.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Pennies add up – and something is better than nothing. But when people shell out big bucks, and are told “proceeds go to the Susan Komen Foundation”, I don’t think they are aware that about 5 – 10% goes to Komen, and about 40% goes to MLB. That is the issue I have.

        Newspaper editor: …And to protect Mother Earth, each copy contains a certain percentage of recycled paper.
        Lisa: And what percent is that?
        Newspaper editor: Zero.
        (Lisa frowns)
        Newspaper editor: Zero’s a percent

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        As a woman, it means nothing to me. I’d much rather they enforce their social media policy in regards to sexist tweets or take a stance against sexual assault. Oh, and quit insulting us with pink stuff.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        Historio, I regret to say that as long as there’s a market for it, there will still be pink merchandise. My wife loves the color pink so she’s all for a pink Phillies baseball cap (shudder).

        However I think this particular case should be an exception since the point is to raise breast cancer awareness (even if the lion’s share of the money goes to MLB) so we should allow pink bats for this occasion.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        I don’t object to pink stuff — I object to ONLY pink stuff on a day for women. Also, you should know, breasts aren’t pink, so it doesn’t make sense for breast cancer awareness either — except that it buys into an insulting industry that gets rich manipulating concern for women’s health. This does not make me feel better about MLB’s relationship with females — doing something about Tommy Lasorda’s comments and promoting some women into management positions and enforcing their anti-sexism policy, that would do it. I’m in favor of pink bats the day you gents get blue balls for prostate cancer on Father’s Day.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        I’m in favor of pink bats the day you gents get blue balls

        I usually refer to this as “days that end in y”.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Welcome to Blue Balls Wednesday!

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        that’s a whole new meaning to ‘hump day’

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 2:58 PM


    • maddog11896 - May 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      This kind of reminds me why I don’t give blood to the Red Cross. Why?

      Because they sell your blood to the highest bidder. They may be a non-profit business, but they’re a business nonetheless.

  2. ditto65 - May 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Faith in humanity restored.

  3. Carl Hancock - May 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    This is the sort of thing that makes you lose faith in humanity? I’d say in the grand scheme of things nothing baseball does would rank above plenty of other real atrocities that would cause one to lose faith in humanity. Not being able to use the pink bat you want? Boohoo. An extremist kidnap nearly 300 girls and threatens to sell them into slavery. Now that’s the type of stuff that makes you lose faith in humanity. Pink bats doesn’t rank.

    • wonkypenguin - May 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Thank you. Let’s pick a pretty color for 234 girls in Nigeria and raise some awareness there.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        I’m so tempted to say “black.”

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 7, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I hope some strange circumstance leads to Josh Leuke batting with one of those pink bats. You know, so MLB can keep patting itself on the back about how well they support women. Maybe have a speech from one of the female umpires or GMs or owners or assistant GMs or trainers or play-by-play announcers or …or something.

    • clydeserra - May 7, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Hey, we gots to save the tatas to…well, nevermind.

    • historiophiliac - May 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Thank you.

  5. bobulated - May 7, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    unconnected with regular profit-driven business.
    Fixed it.

  6. dillongeeescapeplan - May 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM


  7. sdelmonte - May 7, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    The whole pink thing is a well documented fraud. Beyond which, many question the whole idea of “awareness” and even the emphasis on curing cancer instead of preventing it (though I see no reason research can’t be done for both). If I were a pro athlete, I would make a donation to a cancer hospital instead, and skip the pink nonsense.

    • fearlessleader - May 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Thank you. There is so much wrong with the Susan Komen Foundation that I’d go out of my way NOT to support them even if I loved the color pink. Check out for an introduction to why so many of us (even/especially those of us with scary family histories of breast cancer and a strong motivation to see it prevented/cured) won’t give a dime to Komen.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 7, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Don’t forget that the Susan G Komen Foundation stopped (and then restarted after the backlash) giving grants to Planned Parenthood as well.

      • Reflex - May 7, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        In 2009 the founder of SGK, Nancy Goodman Brinker, was the speaker at my then significant other’s graduation ceremony at Michigan State (winter term). The basketball arena was packed, and almost everyone in there was either pre-med or some other form of biology (as was my gf at the time, a zoologist). After Ms. Brinker began speaking, the room soon became dead silent, obvious breaks for applause were quiet, and out of her spewed a stream of pseudoscientific garbage, a few random rants against Obama as being ‘anti-woman’ for using evidence based approaches for women’s health recommendations (such as reduced frequency of mammograms) and a diversion into claptrap like detoxification as a preventative measure. It was horrifying, especially when considering how much of the funding for breast cancer research is controlled by that organization.

        My gf and her friends left seriously shaken up, and she is now highly skeptical of cause driven charities on the basis that their motivations perhaps blind them to evidence in favor of irrational wishful thinking, noting the vaccine/autism takeover of autism charities and what she witnessed with SGK. Personally it just made me sad that were I a medical researcher I’d have a better chance getting money from SGK if I proposed colon cleansing and homeopathy than if I had a promising retroviral therapy.

        Things like this are why I feel private sector giving really isn’t a substitute for government directed medical research.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 7, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Not to sound curmudgeonly, but my awareness of breast cancer has been getting raised since Betty Ford was First Lady. I’m not sure how much higher it can get raised.

      • sdelmonte - May 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        I suppose there is some fear that our brains can only be aware of so many diseases at once. If we are aware of AIDS, maybe we’re less aware of cancer?

        Of course, what it really amounts to is “breast cancer fundraising awareness” in part of a rather savage game of both greedy and charitable efforts to take money from other causes. Sad that asking people to help fight this or that illness is a zero sum game.

  8. shanabartels - May 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    To give MLB very generous benefit of the doubt for a moment, I will say there is a possibility that they didn’t have a proper contract in place in time for Mother’s Day last year with the other bat manufacturers to ensure that whatever percentage of the profits really would go to legitimate organizations, whereas the contract with Louisville Slugger was already in place. But yeah, it’s probably more of a red tape issue than a genuine concern about charitable causes getting their due.

    I’m not a fan of all the pink-washing. As a woman and specifically a woman who has worked at non-profit organizations since the age of 15, it bothers me how misleading this pink stuff is. People think they are really helping by wearing pink and donating to Komen et al., but if you look at Komen’s financials, only about 10% of their operating budget goes toward actual medical research. That said, some of their budget goes toward grants for organizations like the place I worked last summer, which gives free legal aid to indigent people who are dying of cancer, and of course that is also extremely important. But that’s not the same as finding a cure, which is what a lot of people believe their money is going toward.

    Also, yeah, pink sports stuff. Vomit. All of my Yankees gear in my drawer is navy blue and all of my Giants gear is orange and black. I will not be wearing pink until my teams change their main color to pink. So, never.

  9. hojo20 - May 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Pink bats are so dumb.

  10. papalurchdxb - May 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Wait? MLB banned something that breached their exclusive rights? Surely not.

    Maybe we could hear more about this on a baseball podcast…..

    I get that a lot of the ‘pink’ stuff does not generate as much revenue as it could for cancer charities but it’s also about raising awareness, not just cash. If a pink sweat-band make one lady get a screening and saves a life, it’s done its job.

    • fearlessleader - May 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      I’m weary of “raising awareness.” Most of us are plenty “aware” of breast cancer, thanks to the reflexive linking of “mothers” with “women” and “women” with “breasts” and “breasts” with “pink.” I wonder how many people are aware that lung cancer kills far more women than breast cancer, though—probably far fewer, because it’s a less sexy and thus less commodified disease.

      Also, if Komen cared about getting women mammograms as much as they cared about selling pink crap, they’d never have cut off their funding to Planned Parenthood, which is one of the leading providers of low-cost mammography in the country.

      Not snapping at you, by the way, papalurchdxb; this topic gets me instantly grouchy.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - May 7, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        Fearless, the Komen misstep on Planned Parenthood was linked to a GOP politician named Handel becoming a Komen VP and doing what the GOP do, wage war on women’s right to control their reproduction. Komen quickly corrected their error and Handel is back to seeking elective office in Georgia, leaving Komen to try to recover from the harm she did.

      • fearlessleader - May 7, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Yes, good point—Karen Handel was a complete nightmare. But as the “thinkbeforeyoupink” site and Reflex’s story above attest, she was only one of the many problems with Komen.

  11. barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - May 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    SAM BAT!

  12. Minoring In Baseball - May 7, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous looking at the cost of pink jerseys, bats, cleats, gloves, and so on. All that wasted money could simply be donated straight up. Wearing a pink glove doesn’t mean you hate cancer more than anyone else. We all know it sucks.

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