MLB enforces dress code on reporters

Eric McErlain Sports Blogger
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The next time you show up in a baseball press box, be sure to leave your flip-flops behind. That’s just one of the new regulations handed down by Major League Baseball in the league’s first attempt at enforcing a dress code on members of the media who cover MLB games.

The sort of garments that will arouse the ire of the powers that be include …

Ripped jeans, visible undergarments, sheer clothing, one-shouldered and strapless shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs will be banned. Skirts, dresses or shorts cut more than three or four inches above the knee will be deemed to be in violation.

While a spokesman for Major League Baseball says that there wasn’t any single incident that inspired the league to huddle with members of the media to devise the guidelines, it’s impossible not to remember the ruckus that was kicked up in 2008 when Erin Andrews visited the Chicago Cubs locker room dressed in something that caught the eye of local columnist Mike Nadel:

Erin Andrews, the ESPN “it” babe who clearly isn’t afraid to flaunt it, sauntered around the visiting clubhouse, flitting from one Cubs player to another. Her skimpy outfit — designed to accentuate her, um, positives — had players leering at her. Some made lewd comments under their breath. Others giggled like 12-year-olds.

And let’s not forget the incident last season when Ines Sainz, a reporter for TV Azteca, was greeted with a storm of juvenile catcalls when she visited the New York Jets locker room to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. It ought to be completely clear who the dress code is really targeting.

Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.