Major League Baseball is experimenting with a number of changes in an attempt to make baseball a more enjoyable sport to watch for the casual fan. Speeding up the game is at the top of the priority list, as is how the game is adjudicated, with the minor leagues serving as a testing ground for everything from pitch clocks to robot umpires.
However, there is a new proposal for a change from the outside that has nothing to do with speeding up the game or improving play on the field. PETA issued a release on Thursday calling on MLB to stop calling the area where relievers warmup the “bullpen” and start calling it the “arm barn.”
“Words matter, and baseball ‘bullpens’ devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reima said. “PETA encourages Major League Baseball coaches, announcers, players and fans to ‘changeup’ their language and embrace the ‘arm barn’ instead.”
“Bullpen” refers to the area of a “bull’s pen” where bulls are held before they are slaughtered—it’s a word with speciesist roots & we can do better than that.
Switching to “arm barn” would be a home run for baseball fans, players, and animals pic.twitter.com/2FzSpDG9mQ
— Arm Barn (@peta) October 28, 2021
The reasoning given is that the bullpen is in reference to an area cattle is kept before it is slaughtered or where bulls are caged in at bull-riding competitions and are treated inhumanely. PETA can issue some odd requests, but I have to say, disregarding the actual reasoning, arm barn is an upgrade on bullpen. It is so to the point that it’s funny, which also would make it an easy switch in terms of the terminology because no one could really be confused by what it’s in reference to. I fully support the arm barn change, not for the reasons PETA offers, but simply because it’s a much better name for the bullpen and it would make me laugh sometimes when someone like Joe Buck very seriously talked about who’s getting loose in the arm barn.