The greatest reason that could explain this, is that it is rooted in baseball tradition that managers, coaches, and players alike share the same uniforms. It would be quite odd to see the coach of the Celtics pacing the sidelines in gym shorts and a sleeveless shirt, wouldn’t it? Or witnessing the head coach of the Patriots in protective pads and a helmet? It’s just not part of that tradition. No one ever said they couldn’t ever wear a uniform, it just isn’t required.
I believe John Madden once did, while coaching the Oakland Raiders; it was quite a shocking sight as I’ve heard. There are other sports in which their coaches also don’t dress in team attire, as in hockey, soccer, et cetera. Baseball is unique in its traditions, and I hope it stays that way. While I’m on the topic of managers and coaches, I believe that they’re very much the most under-appreciated, underrated members of a team, in any sport. A manager, or coach, that cannot effectively communicate with their players will often times see his team with a losing record. Also, in these days of big-time salaries and super star egos, I think some players have lost respect for their “bosses” and in baseball. Seeing that they wear the same uniform as them, it should serve as a reminder that they don’t just play for them, but also with them.
It’s no secret that managers and coaches are assessed for the performance of the players to which they’ve been assigned. For example, for a team with bad offense, the offensive coordinator or hitting coach goes. For a team with bad defense, often times in baseball, the pitching coach will face the music, or in other sports, defensive coordinators and/or assistant coaches, take the fire. Players should realize, and some already do, that the managers, coaches, and all their staff members aren’t just for them, but that they’re part of the team, too. In uniform or not, these crews on the sidelines and in the dugout, or wherever they may be, are there to make sure their players do their best. In baseball, these coaches sit with them on the same benches. And that’s why I think baseball is the greatest sport, the all-important aspect of teamwork. A lot of people, though, will claim that in baseball, one player can carry a whole team. But that's not true. You still need a team. It doesn't matter what sport you play. No teamwork, no championship.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (John Farrell, Red Sox manager in 2013 & 2014)