Over the past few days, you might have seen tweeted pictures of MLB stars holding a baseball bat with barbed wire wrapped around it. It’s a fairly brilliant tie-in for the AMC TV show The Walking Dead, which recently had its midseason premiere. A number of players were seen holding replicas of Lucille, the name of the bat that’s used by the supremely terrifying Negan. (Yes, the bat has a name.) The Dodgers tweeted a picture of Yasiel Puig wielding the spiky bat. J.D. Martinez tweeted a video of him unboxing his very own Lucille. And Salvador Perez joked about using his Lucille in a game.
And then, of course, there was a picture of Jose Reyes holding Lucille, tweeted by the Mets Twitter account. Reyes is apparently a Walking Dead superfan, and the Mets PR person thought it would be a great idea for the world to see a picture of him and the spiked bat. What no one seemed to consider, however, is that Reyes’ arrest for an alleged domestic violence incident in 2015 means that picture is in very poor taste. The tweet was deleted, but it’s insane that no one who works for the Mets thought this was a bad idea. But perhaps having baseball players take pictures with a spiked bat is also not the best idea.
This isn’t about being prudish about violence on TV. I don’t watch The Walking Dead, but I like plenty of other violent TV shows. (The Sopranos, anyone?) And there’s nothing wrong with MLB players getting their chance to take part in a pop culture phenomenon, especially since it happens so rarely. But the image of a baseball player holding the weapon of one of the most violent, merciless characters that’s ever been on TV? There’s something about it that just feels wrong. And when you add in MLB’s ongoing issues with domestic violence? Maybe everyone should have given this PR campaign a second thought.
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