After all the hassles caused by the Nike-pox sleeves last season, I’ve been wondering if they’d be back this year. I hadn’t seen any sign of them in spring training until yesterday, when I noticed this photo. Then I remembered how much Carlos Beltran loves the dotted sleeves (he always wears them), so I checked his spring training pics — sure enough. “Damn,” I thought, “another year of this crap.”
Or maybe not. Because a few hours later I got a note from reader Brian Erni, who pointed me toward this — apparently a new undershirt design from Nike. This design is available for at least nine other teams, and there’s also a short-sleeved version.
I’m not sure yet whether these shirts are intended for on-field use (I’m waiting for a call-back from Nike), but I’ll go on record right here: I like the long-sleeved renditions. The contrasting patch panels are simple, not at all video game-ish, and remind me of the sleeve patches on old football jerseys. Erni notes that the effect is also somewhat reminiscent of Jim Edmonds’s windbreaker sleeves from last year’s World Series, but somehow this look doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as that one did.
One thing’s for sure, though: These sleeves are going to be even more distracting to a hitter than the dot-matrix design. Which means we’ll probably still see lots of scenes like this.
Site Update: After a really frustrating week, we’re back in business. There are still a few kinks to be ironed out, but for the most part everything is restored to the way it was before we went all JetBlue on you last Wednesday. And we have discovered exactly what the problem was, so it shouldn’t happen again.
The only bad news is that Sunday’s and most of Monday’s comments were wiped clean. Unavoidable, and not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
Incidentally: When the site went blank last Wednesday morning, our post that day was a really good piece by Uni Watch intern Vince Grzegorek. Most of you probably never got to see it, so check it out here.
Thanks to everyone for your patience — it’s good to be back.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Interesting chatter here about the Cubs and Sammy Sosa’s old number. … Yesterday’s shot of Wilt Chamberlain in an unfamiliar uni number led Todd Krevanchi to submit this. “I’m quite certain I’ve seen him wearing No. 16 as well,” he adds. … This pink thing is getting way out of hand (details here, with thanks to AJ Brandt). … Mark Galus notes that George Brett is wearing real stirrups in Royals camp. … Is it just me, or does Gerald Laird’s catcher’s mitt look really undersized? … Take a look at this obituary. The deceased fella was an official scorer and, as you can see, was photographed wearing zebra stripes. The obit’s text refers to him sitting in “his regular spot at the scorer’s table, where he sat dressed in his usual zebra-striped official’s shirt.” Maybe I’m way off base here (I watch approximately zero high school basketball), but isn’t it a little odd for a scorer to wear stripes? … The NCAA will once again be hosting a Skills Challenge as part of this year’s Frozen Four. Last year’s uniforms looked like this and this; this year’s will look like this. … I attended an Arena Football League media shindig last night. Look for a short review on today’s Page 2 index page. … I’ve got a doozy of an interview for you people tomorrow — just you wait!