New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile, let’s turn our attention back to Pedro Martinez, who’s in the midst of quite a uni-centric period. First he’s ordered to change his undershirt and ends up missing a start as a result (full details here). And now he’s been fined $5000 because he had his pant cuffs stretched down under the heels of his spikes during his start last week in Boston.
Wearing your pants in this manner is indeed verboten, but this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone being fined because of it. Kudos to Major League Baseball for enforcing the rule. It would be nice if they’d also require players to wear their pants high enough to expose at least a modicum of sock, but that’s another issue.
Anyway, check out Pedro’s reaction to the fine: “Why are they going after me?” he said. “What about all the others who do it? And guys like [Boston manager Terry] Francona and [Toronto manager John] Gibbons, who just wear a sweatshirt or jacket and no jersey every night? Five thousand dollars? Like $5,000 is just nothing?”
Couldn’t agree more regarding Francona and Gibbons. If they’re going to wear baseball pants, they should get reacquainted with the concept of a jersey. Otherwise, let them wear blue jeans or Dockers (there’s no rule against it — managers can wear street clothes if they want, although it’s been about 60 years since anyone did it).
But when Pedro complains about having to pay five thousand entire dollars, he’s scaling new heights in chutzpah. Let’s do a little math: Pedro is in the midst of a four-year, $53 million contract, which averages out to $13.25 million per year. Now let’s say I make $100,000 a year. I don’t actually make that much (the uniform beat isn’t all that lucrative — yet), but let’s say I do, for the sake of argument. Given the relative size of my salary to Pedro’s, him getting fined $5000 is the same as if I was fined $37.74.
Now let’s say I got fined that amount and then whined, “Thirty-seven dollars and seventy-four cents? Like $37.74 is nothing?”
With all this mind, I propose that we take up a collection for Pedro Martinez. Let’s all chip in and raise $37.74 for the poor guy. I’m completely serious — PayPal your contribution to me (use firstname.lastname@example.org as the payee address) and I promise to send a check for $37.74 to Pedro, along with a note expressing our deep concern for his dire financial plight (and our heartfelt plea that he go back to wearing his pants like this). No need to go overboard — just kick in a dollar, and I’ll let everyone know when we’ve reached our goal. If there’s any cash left over, I’ll put it toward the next Uni Watch Athletics Aesthetics Party. Or buy a pizza. Or something. Anyway, rush your contribution this way, before Pedro ends up looking like this.
Flag Follies, Continued: Seems like there’s always someone who keeps wearing his American flag-adorned cap the day after the holiday. Last night there were at least two such someones: Orioles skipper Sam Perlozzo and Reds pitcher Esteban Yan, the latter of whom joined the ever-expanding ranks of players who’ve worn upside-down flags. How many more of these Keystone Kops moments do we need to have before the MLB brain trust — which is neither brainy nor trustworthy — figures out that the flag patches are transforming baseball from national pastime to national laughingstock?
(Big thanks to Andy Britten, Matt Garrett, and James T. Huening for their Yan and Perlozzo observations.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: With the rise of hip-hop culture, I always knew it was only a matter of time before someone wore one pant leg up and one pant leg down on the baseball diamond. I just never thought that someone would be Joe Torre. … Reader Matt Nelson reports that the movie The Final Season, about an Iowa high school baseball team, just wrapped up shooting on location in Iowa. Naturally, lots of attention was paid to the uniforms. … Gee, ya think maybe Jamie Moyer needs shorter shoelaces? … Elastic-free Pants Alert: Something really needs to be done about Ryan Freel. … Uni-as-Hanky Dept.: Paul Byrd was helping himself to a mouthful of undershirt and a snootful of jersey last night (with thanks to Bill Blevins for the screen-grabs). … Not uni-related, but still a great tidbit: You know how every player has his own theme music when he comes up to bat these days? I was at Shea Stadium on July 4th, and when Cliff Floyd came up for his first plate appearance, they played the Sanford and Son theme song. How awesome is that?! Unfortunately, they played some crummy hip-hop snippet for his second time up, and then he got injured and left the game, but I spent the rest of the day saying things like, “That’s F-l-o-y-d-period” and “That’s Cliff G. Floyd — and the ‘G’ is for ‘Grand slam.'”