Gregg Zaun says he appreciates that Cal Ripken Jr. hazed him

Gregg Zaun is now a broadcaster in Toronto, but back in his playing days he suffered through some typical old-school hazing, courtesy of none other than Cal Ripken Jr. The hazing included beatings, getting taped to a training table and having ice shoved down his pants.In an interview with Sportsnet 590, Zaun explained the details: 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."MORE: Rookie hazing in sports | Anti-bullying advocates call Incognito signing a 'slap in the face' | Former FAMU band member sentenced in hazing death Zaun, who played his rookie season in 1995, also described a time that Ripken ripped his new suit to shreds on the team plane. UPDATE: Ripken responded Monday, telling reporters (via "There was no abuse, there was no hazing. It doesn't do anything for team unity. (Zaun) knows that and everybody who knows me knows that." Ripken also said he still considers Zaun a good friend.Zaun is adamant that the systemic embarrassment and physical and emotional assault is crucial to the process of, uh, playing baseball. Or something:...they need to happen with the backing of the management, all the way up to the front office, down to the field manager. You have to allow your veteran players to create the atmosphere that they want in the clubhouse, because at the end of the day, when guys get along and they know their pecking order, and they know the hierarchy, everything seems to work out just fine.It's hard to know where to even start with that. The obvious angle is that doing things because "everything seems to work out just fine" is a catch-all that often igno

res individuals, or, you know, maybe laws against getting pummeled at your place of business.If you need to have a good ol' beatin' to create a "pecking order," it's a sign of your stunted emotional growth and nothing more. Dogs create heirarchy through this sort of thing. Human beings shouldn't need to, especially under the pretext that it's required to play a game that's mostly about coordinating wearing sunglasses upside down while simultaneously eating sunflower seeds.We should also back up and point out that not only does this paint Zaun as a lumbering caveman, but it puts Ripken's clean image under scrutiny. Yes, Zaun is a weirdo for liking this stuff and promoting it, but if Ripken was the one orchestrating it all, it slots him as captain of the steam-powered ship of professional hazing.No, front offices should not promote the beating of their own players' ribcages. Sorry, Gregg Zaun.(Source: Yahoo! Sports)