Major League Baseball needs to impose some serious quality control on the uniform front, because it looks like some second-rate gear is ending up on the field. First, as we discussed here yesterday, it was Esteban German diving for a ball and ending up with a broken belt. Something very similar happened yesterday in Detroit, where Kenny Rogers dove for a ball in the 5th inning and one of the buttons on his jersey popped off. He spent the rest of the inning with an embarrassing case of jersey gap, as you can see to varying degrees here, here, and here. (Unfortunately, the MLB.TV video is from the White Sox broadcast of the game, which didn’t have many front-view shots of Rogers; reader David Chisolm, who was presumably watching the Tigers broadcast, assures me that Rogers’s jersey was “flying open whenever he threw a pitch.”)
A broken belt on Wednesday, a broken button on Thursday, and I’ve been spotting a high-than-average number of torn pant legs, too. Who’s making this crap, Old Navy? I don’t wanna sound like Grumpy Old Curmudgeons R Us, but you know damn well this kind of thing never happened in the days of wool flannel unis. Memo to Majestic: Bring the unis back up to spec, pronto, before someone bends down for a grounder and ends up breaking his zipper fly.
Underbrim Update: In what’s shaping up as a disturbing trend, Marcus Thames has become the latest player to decline to provide Uni Watch with an explanation for his cap annotations. “Marcus would prefer to keep that personal,” said a Tigers spokesman after checking with Thames, who now joins Ted Lilly and Ambiorix Burgos on the speak-no-evil roster.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Georgia Tech will wear throwbacks against Virginia on September 21st. … Jonathan Carone notes that the Duluth Huskies, who play in the college-level Northwoods League, are sporting some excellent sock stripeage. … The Padres and Astros will be playing in 1976 throwback unis on August 3rd, which should be good news for whoever’s selling sunglasses at the stadium. … Soccer note from Robin Fishbein: “On August 16th Italy will play its first soccer match since winning the World Cup — a friendly against Croatia. National teams traditionally add one star above their national federation crest for each World Cup , so the August 16th game will be the first one in which Italy will wear a jersey with four stars.” … Genius logo creep catch by Chris Velardi — look here. … Fantastic note from Matthew Spencer, who writes: “I was eating at a local Italian restaurant tonight when I went to use the bathroom. I’m washing my hands and notice the picture hanging to my left doesn’t match the pictures of Italy that are all over the bathroom, and I realize it’s a picture of the ’57 Jayhawk basketball team, complete with Wilt in the middle. What then caught my attention was the their uniforms, specifically their belts. I apologize in advance for the less-than-fantastic picture quality — I was using my camera phone.” … The Cleveland Browns’ long-rumored uni changes are now official.