Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.
I was torn between a full post and an “Open Thread” today. Instead, there will no main article today, although I will have some things below. Take a few minutes to reflect upon things today. The floor is yours. Anything you want to say is fine. Lots of baseball today.
The final round Whatever golf they can get in at the US Open is today. Wimbledon starts tomorrow. There was a Civil Rights Game last night (more on that below), complete with 1964 throwbacks. Talk about all those or perhaps just say a word or two about your dads.
I’m lucky enough to be spending a majority of the day with mine. He’s still not in the best of health (although better than he was doing when Paul offered me the Bench Coach duties — back then he was in the middle of a three month hospital stay, a portion of which he spent in a coma). We won’t be having a catch, going fishing or even playing a round of golf, but we will be together. And for that, I’m eternally thankful.
Everybody have a good day.
First up today is West Coast Correspondent Brinke Guthrie, my doubles partner, who has a quick update on Wimbledon.
Fed will be regal cool in white and gold. Looks a little like 007 here, though. Adidas presents their usual crisp, clean look for the grass courts, and bonus points if you recognize the groundskeeper before they flash his name badge. These ladies were hanging out with royalty, while plugging Polo. Um…not sure if this is Maria’s new Nike look. Maybe this? Either way, London weather is always very iffy, so now they’ve got a roof. Batter up!
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Today’s entry should be fairly easy. Even if you can’t really read the scoreboard. Here it is.
Continuing in the UW uni-tracking phenemonon, we are joined today by Ben Teaford, who has been tracking his “beloved” Cleveland Indians and Brian Heise, both of whom contacted me regarding the tracking (or lackthereof) of the Indians thus far. We begin with Ben:
I thoroughly enjoyed the uni tracking piece that ran at the end of last month. So much that I decided I absolutely needed to be part of the fun. Plus, with my virtual cellar dweller Indians putting a damper on my summer, I figured doing this would be a good way to stay interested in what could very well be an extremely long season. I went back through the first two months of the season and got caught back up and now Phil has allowed me to post my results.
I think though that I may have gotten a bit carried away with this whole thing. I decided that simply tracking wins and losses in the different uni combos wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to go the next step to track the performance of the team in their various uniforms. So I’ve also been compiling the batting average and ERA of the team in each of their uniforms this season. I know it may sound nuts, but seriously, this has been an awful season for the Tribe.
The Indians have five different combinations of uniforms, but because of Jackie Robinson Day and Memorial Day they have worn 7 different uniforms so far this season. At home, the Indians have three different uniform choices. First, there is the traditional home white uniforms which they wear with the red brimmed Chief Wahoo hat. Second, is the alternate blue uniform top with the white pants and the red brimmed Chief Wahoo hat. Third is their Saturday, Sunday, and holiday uniform, the quasi-throwback cream uniform with the blue hat with a red “C”. On the road they have the option of the traditional gray uniform with the blue brimmed Wahoo hat or they can wear the blue uniform top with the gray pants and the cursive “I” hat. I’m not sure exactly how they decide which uniform to wear on a given day (with the exception the of cream alternate), but it does seem that it is up to the starting pitcher that day, because there definitely seems to be a pattern with certain starters, but I’ll get to that later.
Through the end of May, the Indians were 22-30, good enough for last place in the AL Central Division. As a team they were batting .271 with an ERA of 5.38. When they wore the home whites with the red brimmed Wahoo hat they were 5-6, hitting .235 with an ERA of 2.70. In the blue alternate with the red brimmed Wahoo hat and the white pants, they were 3-1, hitting .269 with an ERA of 5.50. In the cream alternate with the blue “C” hat, they were 3-6 while hitting .255 with an ERA of 5.56. And in their one game wearing the cream alternates with the red stars and stripes hat, they were 1-0, hitting .316 with an ERA of 10.00.
On the road the Indians were 4-11 in their road grays with the blue brimmed Wahoo hat, hitting .269 with an ERA of 6.31. In the blue alternate with the cursive “I” hat and gray pants they went 5-6, hitting .310 with an ERA of 6.47. And in their one matchup sporting the road grays and the #42 on the back they were 1-0 hitting .303 with an ERA of 4.00.
I said earlier that I wasn’t sure how they decide which uniform to wear on a given night, but the reason I’ve guessed that the starting pitchers decide is because there is somewhat of a pattern amongst certain starters. The staff ace, Cliff Lee is clearly a traditionalist. He only wears the traditional home whites (5 starts) and road grays (5 starts), although he did wear the cream alternate once though by requirement.
Fausto Carmona appears to prefer the blue alternates, but only on the road. He wore the blue road alternate in 5 of his 6 road starts (the only time he wore the road grays was in the second game of the season, so maybe they asked him to wear those just because it was the beginning of the season). At home he likes the whites (worn in 2 of his 4 home starts) and wore the cream alternates when forced (once on Memorial Day, so he wore the Stars & Stripes cap).
Carl Pavano is one of two starters to wear all five uni combos. He started the season slowly (9.50 ERA), wearing the blue road alternate in three of his four starts with the other one being the cream alternate. In May though, Pavano switched to a more traditional get-up making four starts in the road grays and one in each of the three home unis. In May he was 5-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Coincidence? Obviously not.
Anthony Reyes was the other starter to wear all five uni combos in April and May. He had seemingly no pattern as he would wear the same uniform after he had lost the game previously while wearing it and he would change unis after a win. He wore the home whites and the blue home alternate once each. He sported the other three combos two times each. The worst part is I’ll never know why he chose certain uniforms over others because he’s out for the year (and possibly longer), so there won’t be any more starts to help me find a pattern.
The remainder of the revolving door Indians rotation didn’t pitch enough to get any kind of pattern. Scott Lewis only made on start this year and it was in the home opener so he was forced to wear the cream alternate. Zach Jackson also only made one start and he wore the home whites. Jeremy Sowers started two games wearing the blue alternate at home and the grays on the road. Aaron Laffey had four starts wearing the blue alternate and the cream alternate at home and the grays twice on the road (once was on Jackie Robinson Day).
I can’t say that I would prefer the Indians only wear the white and grays or that they should wear the blues more often (they do have a much better record in blues though at 8-7). What I can say though is that is long since time for them to bring back the red undershirts and socks. In 2002 they decided to change the red piping to blue (they were already doing this on the road unis, where they always wore blue socks and undershirts. The blue unis still have white piping, but they just looked so damn sharp with red socks and undershirts). Before the switch the team was 718-509 and won 6 division titles and made 2 appearances in the World Series. Since the switch in 2002 they are 570-564 (not including this season, which will surely knock them below .500) and they’ve won just one division title and made no appearances in the World Series. Obviously the piping and sock change is why. Also they hired Eric Wedge in 2002, so it could be that as well. I suppose I shouldn’t complain that much though. At least they’re not wearing these anymore.
Thanks for that very concise write up, Ben. Except for the sleeve patch, maybe the Indians should return to this uniform? They won their last World Series in that one. Next up is Brian:
I realized no one had decided to track the Tribe’s uniform statistics for this season yet so I figured I’d take some initiative and do it myself. Plus I’m currently unemployed so I had plenty of time on my hands. In the two hours or so it took to put this together, this is what I’ve gathered so far from the Indians uniform combinations this year.
The Indians have worn the traditional home whites with red script Indians across the chest 16 times. In these games they are 7-9. with a run differential of 65 scored and 68 allowed.
The Road Gray’s with red script Cleveland have been worn 21 times, the most of any combination. In these games the Indians are 7-14 with a run differential of 107 scored and 115 allowed.
The alternate weekend and special event cream colored uni’s with block C hat have been worn 10 times resulting in a record of 4-6 with a run differential of 40 scored and 54 allowed.
The alternate Blue jerseys with red script Indians have been worn a total of 18 times with a record of 10 and 8. This is the only jersey the Indians have worn this year with any regularity that’s resulted in an above .500 record. They have scored a total of 126 runs and allowed only 110 runs. Its the only regular uniform with a positive run differential. However this Jersey is also worn both at home and on the road. At home with the blue chief wahoo cap and red brim they are 4-2 scoring 39 runs and giving up only 34. On the road this jersey is paired with the solid blue road cap with script I. This combo has a record of 6-6 with a run differential of 87 scored and 76 allowed.
The 2 special combos the indians have worn this year were the red memorial day caps with the cream home alternates and last saturday when they wore the 1980’s throwbacks. In these 2 games they are 1-1 and have scored 12 runs and given up 10.
A few things I gathered from this rough data are that the Indians are not very good regardless of what they are wearing. The overall run differential for the season is -7. This data shows that the Indians hit and pitch just about equal regardless of uniform. However, it does appear that they perform slightly better when wearing the blue alternates both at home and on the road. Last, I’m not sure how the jerseys for the day are decided. I know the cream alternates are reserved for weekends and holidays, but from what I can see it appears that the pitchers choose the jerseys. The evidence for this is Fausto Carmona has predominantly worn the blue jersey during games he has started. Cliff Lee seems to avoid wearing the blue alternate, he has worn it once all year. Carl Pavano appears to wear the blue jersey strictly on the road and never at home. These are simply observations I made that support the idea the pitchers are selecting the combinations, but I’m sure someone could interpret it differently from me. All of my data can be found in this Excel spread sheet.
Thanks gentlemen. That’s about all we need to know about the Indians. You guys really took it to the extreme, but hey, isn’t that what Uni Tracking is all about?
The 2009 Civil Rights Game was played last night in Cincinnati, an interleague matchup between the Reds and the Chicago White Sox. An all weekend affair, there was a pregame ceremony, at which Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali & Bill Cosby received “MLB Beacon” Awards. Bud presented Hank Aaron with the Beacon Award. Here’s a photo of Hank wearing the award around his neck along with Dusty Baker & Dusty’s son. Cincinnati Red great Frank Robinson threw out the first pitch. More on the Civil Rights Game can be found here.
The Reds for the most part looked pretty good, and were fairly faithful to the 1964 team’s look. Of course, baggy pants and modern day cleats kind of ruined that. A few players opted for the high socks. With seemingly properly-cuffed period pants, some looked really good. While not every ballplayer wore a hardcap helmet in 1964, neither team went with special headgear for the game. Of course, uniform malfunctions (such as ripped pants) reveal the teams did not go with period-appropriate undergarments. Both teams featured a huge Civil Rights Game patch on the rear collar for the game, and the Reds
vests sleeveless jerseys (which appeared to have thicker stripes around the armpits than the originals — one of several faux pas anachronisms — love the modern catchers gear with a throwback cap, and the non-matching color of the Sox’ current helmets) had NOB’s below the numbers (which was true to 1964). Also true to the spirit of the 1964 season were the ice cream caps which the Reds wore for the contest.
The Sox likewise had several players sporting the pajama pants look. It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but Sox players’ had two white strips surrounding a navy blue stripe down each pant leg. (Here is a better view) The Sox also sported navy blue caps and a large block-style “CHICAGO” across their chests. One player, DJ Carrasco went unusually (and “period inappropriately”) high stirruped (screen grab courtesy of JTH). The Sox also sported TV numbers. Wouldn’t this have looked better with proper stirrups and sock stripes?
Also, late last evening reader Michael Emody offered a pretty outstanding write up of his take on the game (scroll down to post #53 if it doesn’t automatically jump to it). Better take on the game that you’ll probably read in any newspaper or online this morning. Great stuff, Michael.
Well, that’s all for today. A lot longer than I had anticipated, but I wanted to put in some of the stuff that was time sensitive or I promised people I would get posted. Sorry if it was too much, but in light of the fact there was no main article, I guess there was plenty. Everyone have a safe and reflective day today. If you’re fortunate enough like I am to be able to spend today with your pop, that’s great. If you’re not, give him a call or say a prayer in his memory. The floor is yours. Have a good first day of summer. — Phil