By Bryan Redemske
Regular weekend readers know how much I like to pick on Carlos Guillen. It’s not that the huge dip and baggy pants aren’t ridiculous in their own right — they are — it’s that they pale in comparison to the rest of his getup.
You see, friends, Carlos Guillen is a collector. In one of my previous lives as a high school baseball coach, I had a couple of collectors. Anything that made them feel even a tiny bit bad-ass was added to the wardrobe. It starts with wristbands, progresses to necklaces and elbow pads, then half-sleeves, and peaks with this. I wonder how much faster out of the box he’d be without all that crap? There’s a fine line between things you NEED to play baseball — shoes, a cap, a bat, and a glove. Everything else is extra.
We at Uni Watch can help Carlos break the cycle of dependancy. Let’s start with the legs. This picture was posted by Mark Mihalik in yesterday’s comments. One look at those guards tells me he needs to stay back on the ball. Guys who get pull-happy and lunge tend to foul pitches off their front legs, like this. Stay back, Carlos!
Up to the arms, where the heavy lifting is done. Taped wrists — especially with the stretchy tape Carlos uses — are dumb. By the end of the game, those things are nothing but sweaty wristbands that have to be cut to be removed. Just wear wristbands, dude. Or get stronger wrists or something. And then there’s the titanium-woven elbow sleeves. Not believing in quackery is the only way around those.
In positive news, Carlos seems to have cut down on the necklaces. I see only two here. Perhaps he found a solid all-purpose totem for game use? Let’s hope, anyway.
(The climber in the picture, by the way, is Sean Swarner, a cancer survivor who threw out the first pitch at the Indians/Yankees game last night. Swarner was esentially given a death sentence by being diagnosed with a pair of nasty cancers within a few years of each other. He beat them both — one of them severely decreased his lung function — and became the only cancer survivor to climb the highest mountains on all seven continents. I have no idea, however, why he wore his high-altitude suit to throw out the first pitch.)
Mark your calendars: If you’re anywhere near Barberton, Ohio, on Saturday, you’re going to want to check out this guy. He’s the grand marshall of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, and this year’s theme is Purple Pride. More info here, thanks to Vince … who will feel Paul’s wrath upon completion of the boss’ vacation.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I know we’ve seen baseball players with quarterback-style wristbands before, but isn’t that usually in cases with a pitcher who speaks a different language? Anyway, here’s a player from the University of Illinois at Chicago with such an accessory, and I can’t figure out why. Anyone? (Thanks to Will Streit). … The Padres wore their usual home whites on Sunday, not the camouflage get-ups that they plan on using for the rest of the season on Sundays, because they haven’t received the camo duds in the Cool Base fabric yet (thanks to Brian Hilemon). … Maybe Jeremy Accardo should share this glove with David Eckstein? Details on Zack Hample, a noted ball snagger who brought the glove to the Rays vs. Blue Jays game in Florida the other day, are on his blog (thanks to Chris Flinn). … Texas A&M doing their part to promote prostate cancer awareness. Photos here. (Thanks to Chris Smith). … The Cavs wore their wine-colored jerseys for the first time in the playoffs on the road Sunday. They usually wear the blue alts. … Mark Jones notes that whenever Southern University and Grambling get together on the diamond, the teams wear Negro League uniforms. Added bonus: each player wears a jersey from a different team. … Loyal reader Paul Lukas found another gem on Steve Dewing’s site: “The stirrups are great, natch, but the real attraction is the San Diego 200th-anniversary patch, which the team wore in 1969.” … I recently judged the Akron Independent Film Festival, and this was one of the bizarre short films that was included. Needless to say, I thought of it in a round-about way when I saw this photo.