Braves clarify Ronald Acuna hat ‘controversy’

Braves manager Brian Snitker was unaware of any controversy regarding how prized outfield prospect Ronald Acuna wears his hat before games.

Social media stirred recently over a report that the Braves asked Acuna to wear his hat straight-forward. The team requires the “A” be visible as part of uniform code, and is the only team in MLB to do so.

Speaking with reporters Friday before the Braves’ game against the Yankees, Snitker was puzzled when the topic came up.

“I haven’t seen that,” Snitker said. “I honestly don’t know. Nobody’s came to me about that.”

After an explanation, Snitker said any talk about Acuna’s hat is “blown out of proportion.” It was a one-time occurrence; not a recurring effort to regulate Acuna, as some critical of the rule have alluded to or suggested.

The moment of debate occurred Feb. 15 during one of Acuna’s first interviews of the spring.

“He did it in an interview early in camp,” Snitker said. “And he was told not to do that anymore.”

The team addressed it with Acuna then, according to a person familiar with the situation. Acuna was happily receptive and understood why the team instituted the rule. There have been no problems since.

Snitker clarified why the Braves have the unique policy, citing respect for the greats of the organization.

“It’s the look,” he said. “You do respect the game and the organization and the team on the front of it (the hat). I tell these guys, we don’t do things like everybody else. There’s a lot of Hall of Famers who spent a lot of time in this organization.

“We wear batting practice jerseys, and people don’t put glasses on over the “A,” things like that, out of respect for the Hall of Famers that put a lot into this organization and all those flags that are hanging.”