By Phil Hecken
Ok, in this final weekend before UW’s Vacation, we have round 2 of our MLB Uniform Tracking. If you missed the first batch, they can be found here and here. Good stuff. But, we’re two months further along, and it’s time for another look at the tracking — with warmer weather, streaks (good or bad), or just whim, a few teams have altered their usual rotations (if they had any) and others have fallen into different patterns. The Mets, for example, had worn pinstripes every Sunday at home until the last week of June. They haven’t worn them again on Sunday (at all) and have only worn them once, when they became Los Mets for Latin Appreciation Night. Other teams have broken out special uniforms, Negro League tributes and throwbacks, and our trackers are on top of it all. So lets get started.
We kick off with Doug Keklak “Kek” one of our Pirates trackers:
The Pirates had a rough month of July, going 8-17 overall. Through 7/31, they were 44-58. They have performed best in the home whites with a 20-10 mark. They are a terrible 15-33 in the road grays, thanks in part to a dismal 1-12 July. July was the best month thus far for the Friday black alts as they were 4-1 which gives them a 5-10 mark on the season (3-4 at home, 2-6 on the road). The team is 1-5 on the season in the Sunday home pinstripes.
Special issue: the Buccos are 3-0 in special uniforms this year, going 1-0 in 1909 throwbacks and 2-0 in Homestead Grays throwbacks. The Pirates are 2-2 in the stars and stripes cap and won the game they played in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police cap.
Next up is Scott Curl “ChiScott” who has been tracking the White Sox:
Hi Phil –
Here’s my tracking update for the White Sox through July 31.
Quick Note: The other day I emailed Sox VP of Communications, Scott Reifert, and asked him just how the Sox go about picking which jersey they pair up with their home and road pants on any given night – since each team varies, was it based on the choice of a pitcher, the equipment manager, a team/coaching decision, day of the week, etc.? He wrote back and told me that aside from pre-planned “event” games (Negro League tributes, throwback games, etc.) jersey choice is strictly up to the game’s starting pitcher.
Recent trends: Whole lotta black lately. Mark Buehrle pitched his perfect game in black on July 23, and the Sox have played well (29-26 this season) while wearing the alternate black jerseys. Interestingly, Buehrle made the rare choice to go with pinstripes this past Sunday, and the result was also rare: an ugly home loss for him. Coincidence??? (Cue the Theramin music.)
The other trend has been to go almost completely away from the official road grays. Not counting “Stars and Stripes” cap games, the team has only worn their official grays in 15 games this year, and they lost 10 of them (their last win in the gray official road uniform was May 31).
Event Unis: We’ve now seen the Sox play in several “event” uniforms – two different “stars and stripes” combos, the Negro League tribute uniforms, the 1959 throwbacks, and the Civil Rights game 1964 throwbacks. The Sox are 5-2 so far in “event” unis.
Tracking: As for my sheet, I changed my layout so that the row colors now reflect the jersey worn for that game. Each row color-corresponds to a particular uniform combo, depicted on the right. I think it makes it much easier to see at a glance what they were wearing over the course of the season.
Next up is Scott Gladin, who’s been tracking the Braves:
In the first installment of Uni Tracking back in May, the Braves seemed to be definitively better in the Home Red and Away Blue Uniforms. However, as the team has started to play better baseball, the uniforms have started to somewhat even out. They still are showing a better record with the alternates, but the average runs scored and allowed are much closer together.
Moving on, we have Ben Teaford who is an Indians Tracker:
Thru Sunday 8/2 the Indians have worn an amazing 11 different uniform combinations on the season (4 more since my last update). So while they may be near the bottom of the standings, they’ve got to be near the league leader in that category. The four new unis they’ve worn are the 80’s throwback (although these look so much better with stirrups, don’t you think?), they wore the Stars & Stripes cap with their home whites, and they had a home and home with Detroit in the unis of the Cleveland Buckeyes negro league team.
Mostly they have stuck to the traditional home white and road grays, something that has become more pronounced as the season has progressed though. They’ve only worn the home blue alternates 3 times since June 1st and when they wore the blue road alternate at the Angels on July 28th, it was the first time they had worn those in over a month. Cliff Lee loved the traditional unis, so with him sadly out of the picture now, we may see the blue alts come back in.
Next up, Michael Jaworski “MtJaws”, who tracks the Marlins:
Now that we are at approximately 100 games into the 2009 season, the Florida Marlins have settled in with decent trends for their uniforms. Thru Sunday, August 2, the Marlins are 55-50. In their Home White uniforms, the Fish are 30-23, plus two other rained out starts in white uniforms. In their Road Grey uniforms, Florida is 9-12. In their Alternate Black uniform, they are 0-2 at Home, and a winning 17-12 on the Road. The black has seen lots of action on the road, but at home, the black hasn’t been seen since late May, presumably due to the heat. In color vs color games, the Marlins are a nice 6-2, with only one of those games at home. Included in those records above are the 4 games wearing the red Stars & Stripes hats. FL won 3 of those games.
With nearly every home game in white, the decision to wear grey or black on the road seems to rest with the starting pitcher. In all 10 of Ricky Nolasco’s road starts, the team is in black. For the other starters, they’ve mostly split between wearing grey or black. Josh Johnson does favor the road black in 7 of his 10 road starts.
The biggest surprise to me was seeing that the Alt Black has only appeared twice at home. I thought I’d seen it more often than that. I don’t mind the Road Black Alt, but I wish it wasn’t worn more often than the traditional grey. Maybe the last third of the season will change the numbers.
Although he didn’t include a detailed writeup, Mike Vamosi did a nice breakdown of the Royals:
Royals UniWatch Record as of Aug. 6, 2009
Powder Blue (Day Home): 7-11
White (Primary Home): 17-22
Salute to Negro League Home: 0-1
Overall Home: 24-34
Royal Blue (Road Day): 5-10
Gray (Primary Road): 13-21
Salute to Negro League Road: 0-1
Overall Road: 18-32
Next up is Kenny Montross who is an Astros tracker:
I’ve always been curious how my teams did in different uniforms but had never even thought to keep track myself until I saw the posts back in May. I started keeping track of the Astros in Excel. That seemed a little confusing so this last week I made a graphic representation.
The Astros have worn a total of 5 different jerseys (white with pinstripes, ‘snow’ white, red ‘Astros’, red ‘Houston’ and gray) and 6 different hats (black, red, ‘patriotic’, ‘go green’, Houston Fire Depart. and Apollo 11) in 10 combinations. As you can tell, the ‘Stros like their one off caps. I like them too, as long as they wear them at home. They’re 3-0 with these hats at home, but 1-3 away from the juice box. That could also be because the only ‘special’ cap they wore away was the clashing bright red patriotic cap. Some one in the Astros organization also seems to like softball jerseys. I personally can’t stand them. Not only does the team look bad in them, they play worse too. They are 25-29 in the softball jerseys and 28-26 in the more traditional jerseys.
Bring on the special hats and gray and white jerseys!
We move on to Mike Styczen, our resident Blue Jays tracker:
What can you say about the Blue Jays – after an exciting first couple of months, they’re showing us that they’re basically a .500 team. As I write this, they’re 51-54, and they’re within a game or two of .500 in every jersey and hat combination.
They’re maintaining their uniform pattern so far so far this season – grey on the road, white for home night games, black for home day games, throwbacks for friday home games. Even with the malaise that’s set in, Cito hasn’t felt the need to shake things up uni-wise.
Thanks again, Mike
Moving on, CJ Giannuzzi is one of our Pirates trackers:
The white pinstripes are always worn on sunday day games. The black and white alts are worn on friday nights at home and the black and grays are worn on friday nights away. I did not include those throwbacks they wore for the Royals series. If I’m correct they wore it all series.
And here is a nice screen shot of CJ’s tracking.
Our last tracker today is Gregg Girard, who like me, is a Mets tracker:
Phil. Here you go.
Like Phil, I’m uni-tracking the Mets. (Your sympathy is welcome.)
Well, I made one bold prediction back in May: Santana will never wear black. Unfortunately for Johann and me, I was wrong. In the three Santana in black starts (all on the road), he went 0-3 with a 10.06 ERA.
As I said in May, I am searching for patterns, both in terms of victories and behind actual uniform selection. A losing record tends to negate the former, but I was able to dig out a few notables: the Mets home winning percentage is .528 overall, but it rises to .636 and .625 when they wear snow white/blue and black, respectively. Wearing their classic pinstripe/blue combination, they are a dreadful 1-4. As Phil noted in May, that combo seemed to be the regular Sunday uniform, but after wearing them for three straight Sunday losses, they haven’t worn them on Sunday since June 21. In fact, they didn’t wear pinstripes until July 31, when they put them on for a Friday night loss to the D-backs.
OK, that’s all for today for the Uni Tracking. Tomorrow will conclude the second round. If you are tracking and haven’t yet sent me in your data, please try to do so by early this evening, so I can include it in tomorrow’s post. If you can’t, you can either save it for the season-ending wrap up or send it do me during the UW hiatus, and I’ll try to include it in a future post. Send me your stuff in an email and we’ll set something up.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Today’s GTGFTS might be a little tricky, but it shouldn’t be any trouble for you guys. As always, location, date and final score are needed. Today’s scoreboard comes courtesy of James Huening (thanks, JTH). James is therefore, prohibited from playing along today. Ready? Guess The Game. Once again, if anyone wants to send in scoreboards for future games, please do so. Also, with football season approaching, does anyone want to try a football “Guess The Game” game? Don’t know if it’s quite as much fun as baseball, but we can give it a shot. And for this game, as always, don’t post the answer directly, but do try to tell us how you solved the mystery.
Since this is my penultimate post before the vacation, I’m gonna give you a weeks worth of Ricko’s finest Benchies today. Well, five days worth, anyway…a work week’s worth (say that five times fast). And, it’s a serial.
Back tomorrow with a Saturday and a Sunday.
So, last night the Blue Jays did their Flashback Friday thing — but with a twist. They wore white throwbacks, commemorating their 92-93 World Championship Winning teams. The unis looked really sharp, although today’s cut and style (long, baggy pants without stirrups) kinda tarnished the look. Of course, their opponents, the Orioles, wore dark tops (although, one could make an argument the O’s were throwing back to 1993. OK, not really.)
Lots of players from the 92-93 teams were on hand, including Joe “Touch ’em all” Carter, Dave Winfield, and Pat Borders (pictured with Carter). Former (and current) Manager Cito Gaston was also on hand, but for some reason, chose to wear the current BP top (in lovely black and slate).
Hey, at least the old timers did not do the jersey tuck. While I will admit those unis were not my favorite MLB uniform of all time, they sure beat what they’re wearing these days. Good stuff!
That’s gonna do it for today. I’ll have Part II of Round 2 tomorrow, a bunch of announcements and goodies, and of course, Guess The Game and “Benchies.”
Everyone have a great Saturday.