Some find hazing young professional athletes to be disrespectful and unnecessary, but not former MLB catcher Gregg Zaun. The Blue Jays studio analyst officially joined Mike Ditka in the pro-hazing department on Thursday while discussing our favorite base-brah, Brett Lawrie.
Zaun told the Fan 950 (via Andrew Stoeten) that he thought the Jays coddled Lawrie and allowed him to be himself too much:
And when you allow a kid like Brett Lawrie to dictate what’s being played on the radio in years one or two, you’re creating a monster. You cannot allow these kids to go running amok. You allow them to be themselves, personality-wise, to some degree, but if their personality becomes a distraction or a detriment to the ballclub itself, nip it in the bud.
That’s some classic old timey baseball crap from Gregg. He went on to say that type of behavior would have not been allowed “on his watch.”
How did Zaun become this way? Well, it turns out that when he was a rookie on the Orioles, Cal Ripken and some other veterans decided to pound away on his ribcage one day:
I’ll never forget it: I was out in the stretch circle, I played catch with Chris Hoiles every single day, and I lobbed the ball to him — and he was paying attention, but he pretended like he wasn’t. He head-butted the ball and all of a sudden I had what was called “the posse” all over me. Cal Ripken, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson, Chris Hoiles, all of the above. They beat me on my ribcage, physically abused me on my way to the training table. They taped me spread-eagle to the training table, they wrote “rookie” on my forehead with pink methylate, and they shoved a bucket of ice down my shorts. I missed the entire batting practice, and you know what? Phil Regan, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, he did not care, because he knew that what those guys were doing was ‘educating me.’
Gee, I can’t believe we live in a world where veteran players don’t assault young 20-somethings to teach them a lesson anymore! Imagine if Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez had beaten up Yasiel Puig in his first season, then we wouldn’t have to deal with all his awful flare and personality. He’d respect the game way too much for that.
Zaun ended this wonderful chat by saying management needs to back this type of frat behavior to create the desired locker room atmosphere—because he’s a crazy person.