If you think I was a Scrooge for giving the thumbs-down to MLB’s pink Mother’s Day wristbands, that’s nothing compared to what umpire Bill Welke did in Houston on Wednesday night.
To explain: Astros pitcher Chris Sampson’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child on Tuesday. When Sampson took the mound for Wednesday night’s game, he was still wearing his hospital wristband/bracelet thingie — which, by coincidence, appears to have been pink, as you can see on his left arm here. But before he could throw his first pitch, Welke — who was umpiring the plate — walked out to the mound and then gestured toward the Houston dugout. Out trotted a trainer, who huddled with Sampson and Welke and then cut off the offending bit of wristwear.
Sampson didn’t appear too upset about all this, and we all know pitchers aren’t supposed to wear anything distracting, but come on — couldn’t they at least have let him throw a pitch or two in his baby’s honor before making him snip off the wristband? Jeez.
Little-known fact that Elias won’t be telling you: The last MLB player to have something scissored off of his person while standing on the field of play was Scott Williamson, who was ordered to remove his Nike-pox sleeves last May 12th.
Membership Update: In case you missed yesterday’s entry, scroll down to it to see the big news about the official Uni Watch membership program, which should be ready to roll in another week or so. Big, big thanks to the many of you who’ve already expressed your enthusiasm and support for this idea. One change I’ve decided to make after getting lots of feedback yesterday: The membership “uni numbers” will be non-exclusive, so you can have whatever number you want on the back of your membership card, even if someone else already has that number (which should be good news to the roughly eight gazillion of you who tried to call dibs on No. 21 — why is that number so popular?).
More details to come soon.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fantastic photo gallery detailing the history of women’s basketball uniforms here (with thanks to Todd Krevanchi). … Excellent article about the Jaguars’ equipment crew, plus a video link at the top of the page, here (with thanks to David Chisholm). … WVU’s new football jersey is visible in these shots from the Playboy Pre-Season All American photo shoot. That’s Steve Slaton is wearing the gold No. 10. (Good find by Jonathan Eskridge.) … Boise State’s new football jerseys will be unveiled late this afternoon. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Lots of chatter about the Orioles wearing “Baltimore” on their road jerseys next season. … Also from yesterday’s comments: All ACC football teams will wear a black armband this season, in remembrance of those who died in the Virginia Tech shootings. … Remember our recent discussion of FieldTurf baseball diamonds? Glenn Chamberlain sent along this shot of the Washington State field — even the home plate “dirt” area is FieldTurf. … “I wanted to send along some more info about Lamar Hunt tributes that you mentioned on Tuesday,” writes Scott Whaley. “The Hunt family also owns the Columbus Crew in Columbus, Ohio, and Lamar paid for the construction of Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States, out of his own pocket (not a dime of taxpayer money) in 1999. The Crew are also doing a lot of tribute items for Lamar this season, including an ‘LH’ chest patch logo. This same logo is being used in all sales and marketing materials for this season, and also appears on a flag flying in the stadium.” … Interesting side decal placement on the batting helmets used by Hunters Lane High in Tennessee (good catch by Lee Wilds). … “Schutt has created a couple of different DNA facemask designs that are apparently tied in with their agreement with the AFL,” writes Matt Olson. “The letters ‘AFL’ are even included in the mask names, the AFL-EGJOP and AFL-EGOP. This is the first time in my experience that masks have been marketed to a specific league. I’m assuming they’ll also be available to players outside of the AFL, but we’ll know for sure in the coming months.” … On Wednesday I mentioned how the scoreboard at Minute Maid Park inexplicably lists players with single-digit numbers as “09” and “07,” but I didn’t have a photo. Happily, Jason Mintz just provided one. … Marcus Ramsey reports that the Rangers’ broadcast team was none too thrilled with last night’s green-vs.-blue display — and neither was Ramsey himself: “It was bad enough that the Rangers can’t beat the Rays,” he writes, “but they’re playing at a spring training park and this made it look like a spring training game.” … Speaking of the Rays, auto racing legend Richard Petty threw out the first ball the other night and donned a green jersey for the occasion. … Remember yesterday’s photo of the horse with the wrestling-esque mask? Here, apparently, is the actual mask on which it was modeled (good follow-up by Jeremy Brahm). … Latest MLBer whose pant leg cuffs appear to be elastic-free: J.D. Drew (as spotted by Adam Bachelder).