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egamI rorriM


Not a lot to cheer about at last night’s Mets/Pirates game, but at least Phil and I looked ”¦ uh, weird. No, I didn’t flip the image — those are the sdrawkcab jerseys that David “Frosty” Frost made for us a few months back (if you’re skeptical, check out the guy in the blue shirt in the background of this shot). And no, I didn’t suddenly grow a pot belly. My jersey’s just a little oversized.

Phil, incidentally, accessorized his look with Mets prototype stirrups and orange sannies (no long hose for me, as I was wearing shorts). But the best outfit of the night was sported by this Pirates fan I saw in the parking lot before the game. “Nice look,” I said. “Arrrrr!” he responded.

One thing Phil and I talked about for a bit — and I promise this won’t all be about the Mets, although it’s going to start there — is this Gary Carter number-retirement thing, which is spiraling out of control. Bloggers are talking about it, the Post is lobbying for it, it’s a hot topic on Twitter (or so I’m told), blah-blah-blah.

In yesterday’s Ticker, I mentioned that I’m opposed to the team retiring Carter’s number, for three primary reasons: He played only five years for the Mets; his numbers in three of those years were well below average (I don’t mean just below average for him — I mean below average for a big league catcher); and a person’s illness, however terrible, is not a reason to retire his number. That prompted a note from my friend Tyler Kepner, one of the best baseball writers in the country. He wrote:

[T]he Phillies, as you probably know, have a strict policy that you have to be a Hall of Famer to have them retire your number. Hence, they have only five retired numbers, for Bunning, Ashburn, Roberts, Carlton and Schmidt. As for the Mets, I know Gil Hodges is not a HOFer, but Seaver and Stengel are, and so is Carter. Yes, he only spent five years [with the Mets], but so did Reggie with [the Yankees]. And it’s always struck me as a shame that nobody from that memorable 1986 team has his number retired. Why not Carter, who fits the Hall of Fame criteria even though he hit only .249 for the Mets?

As for retiring it because he has cancer, well, not that it makes it right, but there are plenty of similar precedents with other teams (Astros have a couple, and the Celtics have Reggie Lewis). Plus, and you hate to say this, but wouldn’t you rather retire his number while he is still alive? I don’t see a downside.

Tyler raises some interesting points about standards for retired numbers. I’d like to discuss a few of them here:

• This notion of a “Hall of Fame standard” for number retirees (which is also used by the Red Sox, incidentally) has always struck me as silly. If it were that simple, Gary Carter never would have worn No. 8 for the Mets in the first place, because the team would already have retired it in honor of Yogi Berra, who played, coached, and managed for the Mets for 11 seasons, skippered the team to a World Series appearance in 1973, and is arguably a larger figure in Mets history than Carter.

• While we’re at it, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, and Rickey Henderson all played for the Mets — Hall of Famers, one and all — and I don’t hear anyone clamoring for the Mets to retire their numbers. Hell, Rickey played for 11 teams. Should they all retire his number? What about the nine teams Gaylord Perry pitched for?

• Personally, I think a much better standard for number retirement is the player’s performance with, and connection to, the team. Kent Hrbek isn’t a Hall of Famer, but would anyone seriously argue that the Twins were wrong to retire his number? Similarly, Ed Kranepool is nobody’s idea of an all-time great, but he played in all of the Mets’ first 18 seasons — by far the longest-serving original Met — a unique distinction that, in my mind, merited taking his No. 7 out of circulation. (Now, of course, it’s too late, because Jose Reyes has made that number his own.) Kranepool on his best day wasn’t the player Carter was at his peak, but he’s a much larger figure in the team’s history.

• Just because the Yankees were self-aggrandizing enough to retire Reggie Jackson’s number, even though he only spent five years in the Bronx, that doesn’t mean other teams should use that as a yardstick. Now, you could make a case that Jackson’s tenure in pinstripes was the defining chapter in his career, a historic run that included multiple World Series championships, a record-setting Series performance in ’77, a larger-than-life public profile, and a candy bar. You could also argue that his time with the A’s was more definitive. Either way, you can’t say the same about Carter’s five years at Shea.

I’m not suggesting that there should be some over/under threshold for how long a player needs to be with a team for his number to be retired — this is obviously all quite subjective, one of those “I know it when I feel it” kind of things. But for those of us whose conception of Carter in a Mets uniform extends beyond a few 1986 highlight reels — in other words, for anyone who actually watched Carter struggle through three of his five seasons with the Mets — it’s an easy call. An all-time great catcher? Clearly. An all-time great Met? Seriously, people, it’s not even close.

One other thought: As someone whose family has been decimated by cancer, I can’t say I’m thrilled with the way Carter’s illness is driving the pro-retirement side of this discussion. Whether in Terms of Endearment or in real life, cancer is the ultimate clichéd plot device. Carter is no more (or less) deserving of number retirement today than he was the day before his tumors were discovered. If cancer is the kind of thing that motivates you, that’s great — donate some money to these folks, sponsor someone in a walk-a-thon, or go on one yourself. Any of those things would honor Carter a lot more than treating his life like some hokey Pride of the Yankees remake, where we all get to have a good cry during the heartbreaking stadium ceremony and then go back to our own little circumscribed lives.

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Own your own lane (sort of): Reader Scott Little is co-owner of Triangle Bowl in Longview, Washington. He wrote to me the other day with a fantastic offer:

We put in synthetic lanes down at the bowl. Tore out the old pin decks [that’s the part where the pins stand at the end of the lane ”” PL] and installed new ones as well. We’ve given away all the old decks to our regulars who wanted one, and they’ve turned them into tables, hobby benches, etc. I have one left, and I was thinking maybe there’s a Uni Watcher who’d like to have it, so I’ll make it available to your readers.

You handle who gets it, and I’ll hand it over to the recipient. One catch: it has to be picked up here at the bowl. They weigh around 125 lbs. and I’m really not interested in packing them up for shipping anywhere.

Pretty cool, right? Damn generous, too. If you want to get your hands on this piece of bowling hardware — and if you’re actually in a position to pick it up from Scott in person — send me a note explaining what you’d do with it. I’ll select the best ideas as finalists and then do a random drawing from there.

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Membership update: Lots of new membership card designs — including several sign-ups from last month’s Purple Amnesty Day, such as Demetruis Perry’s LSU jersey treatment, shown at right — have been added to the membership design gallery. Printed/laminated versions of these cards (along with Uni Watch stirrups for the first nine members who signed up on May 17) will mail out by this weekend.

As always, you can make the membership scene by signing up here.

Thrashers redesign reminder: I’m running a contest to come up with a new team name, logo, and uniform set for the team formerly known as the Thrashers. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s how the Stanley Cup Final(s) patch looks on the Bruins and Canucks. ”¦ Speaking of which, that incredibly annoying ad on the Rogers Arena ceiling sorta looks like a word balloon or thought balloon when captured by the goal camera, which I guess was the idea. ”¦ Speaking of retired numbers, the Lakers will retire Shaq’s. No word on whether Kareem plans to protest. ”¦ The new Bills uniforms, which everyone already knows about, will be officially unveiled on the evening of June 24. ”¦ Jeff Barack has written a survey of the Thrashers’ jeseys. ”¦ New logo for East Texas Baptist University. Further details here (with thanks to Seth Hubbard). ”¦ Even after all the ridicule, the Nats still can’t spell John Lannan’s name (with thanks to William Yurasko). ”¦ Excellent catch by Jeff Scott who noticed that Miguel Batista had some sort of sticker on his belt on Monday. Jeff thinks it might be an MLB hologram decal, but I think it looks a bit too big for that. Then again, I’ve never seen a hologram on a belt, so what do I know? ”¦ Uni changes in the works for the Florida Panthers. ”¦ The final round of voting is underway for the Charlotte MLL team’s name and logo (with thanks to Ryan Rearick). ”¦ One of Matt Powers’s students doesn’t play favorites when it comes to corporate logos. ”¦ Hmmm, hadn’t recalled that Livan Hernandez used to do the Bonds-style pant-cuff stirrup loop thing until Shawn Bleiler reminded me. ”¦ Ben Karnish notes that Clay Mortenson of the Rockies was wearing a Colorado hoodie without the “O” at the end on Tuesday night. And no, the wayward letter isn’t hiding under a flap of fabric — I took that screen shot myself and saw Mortenson move around a bit. The letter really was missing. ”¦ Graham Bakay spotted a few shots of former Leafs great Borje Salming wearing his uni number on the front of his helmet. Unusual. ”¦ “Amidst all the discussion about the Dodgers and the letters on their jerseys, it’s worth mentioning the old practice of some English rugby teams to use letters instead of numbers,” writes Gareth Aubrey. “A good history of that can be found here, and some discussion about a recent throwback to it is here.” ”¦ Got a piece of sports memorabilia that you think might have value? Our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running a free appraisal fair this Saturday at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore. Details here. ”¦ The Winnipeg Goldeyes — that’s a minor league baseball team, not the new name for the Thrashers — honored some local youngsters who serve as school patrols by wearing patrol-style jerseys (thanks, Teebz). ”¦ Ed Westfield Jr. reports that the George Washington statue in Boston has been decked out in a Bruins jersey. ”¦ Here’s a really wonderful piece aboput the Canucks’ team name and Johnny Canuck mascot (big thanks to Alan Kreit). ”¦ And here’s yet another blog looking back at the Thrashers’ uniforms (with thanks to Anthony Emerson). ”¦ Everyone’s buzzing over an upside-down letter on a Cubs logo in the bowels Wrigley, although it just seems like a cheap prank to me. ”¦ Here’s something I hadn’t been aware of: USA Rugby apparently cribbed its logo from the Thrashers. “Amazed that this never went to court,” says Caleb Borchers. ”¦ Meanwhile, an Australian rugby player is challenging the sports governing authorities so that he can wear boxing headgear while playing (with thanks to Murray Conallin). ”¦ A designer named Michael Weinstein has created some very nice NBA logo redesigns (as spotted by Ryan Hossner). ”¦ Just the world needs: a purple football field (blame Chris Chaussee). ”¦ New uniforms for the Chicago Express (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). ”¦ Oooh, I like this: a baseball with four different Giants jersey designs printed on it, and the belt on the sweet spot is a nice touch. Logan Rockmore saw it at a Giants shop the other day. Anyone know if there’s a version of this for every MLB team? ”¦ Maybe this has been going on for a while and I just never noticed, but Yahoo Sports is doing something really nauseating on their home page. In their boxes for the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final(s), where they link to all their coverage of the two series, they’ve included two merch links. Naturally, both links lead to Yahoo merchandising pages. You know, if you want to put an ad there, then put a fucking ad there and have the balls to label it as such, instead of making the link look like the rest of your editorial content, which is completely inappropriate. I know some of you have issues with ESPN, but I don’t think they’d ever do anything like this. Or at least I hope not.

Comments (218)

    Does anyone know, did Lennon write “Something” partially because, as anyone who has ever played quitar or piano or some such knows, invariably you hear, “Play something?”

    Y’know, that way that would be specific song request.

    Always struck me that seemed to fit Lennon’s sense of humor.

    Yes, Harrison. Incidentally, it was written about Patti Boyd, the same women who inspired Eric Clapton to write “Wonderful tonight” and “Layla.” Talk about a muse. That whole story behind that triangle is stranger than fiction.

    And Frank Sinatra famously sang “Something” as a tribute to John Lennon at the Sinatra concert the day after Lennon died.

    you mean pattie boyd-harrison-clapton-harrison-clapton?

    yeah…but hey, it was the 60s

    indeed, a sad/tragic story that produced some of history’s most beautiful music

    George Harriston, you mean? ;)

    (I wasn’t sure, so I went by what was implied in the prior comment.)

    Either way, same question. Is there a bit of a musician’s inside joke in there? Anyone know the story behind the inspiration for the song? Cuz I can’t tell you how many times I went through “What should I play?” “Just play something.”

    George rather blatantly kyped the first line of James Taylor’s “Something In The Way She Moves”. Shortening the title was just a necessary move.

    Hey Phil, great read as usual. I agree with you on the retiring of a number and how it relates to Gary Carter. Just a comment on the Hall of Fame component that you mentioned regarding the Phillies and Red Sox. Not sure if you know this or not, but for the Red Sox, in addition to being a Hall of Famer, you also have to have played 10 seasons with the Sox and I believe, retire as a member of the team. I think Carlton Fisk might be the exception as I think he retired as a White Sox and didn’t have the just for show, one day contract retirement as a Red Sox.

    Individual team policy related to retiring numbers might be an intersting article.

    Keep up the great work.


    The Red Sox rule is dumb because it means a player like Dwight Evans, who was superior to Jim Rice but doesn’t get into Cooperstown, doesn’t get his number retired. It probably didn’t help that he also spent his final season in Baltimore.

    Also, I thought Johnny Pesky had his number 6 retired – and he’s not a Hall of Famer. In some ways, his is the opposite case of Gary Carter; live a very long life and stay involved in the game and you get to have your number retired.

    “Hey Phil, great read as usual”


    clearly you must be confusing me with the actual scribe of the article…i know we look like twins tho ;)

    Given that John Lannan had never beaten the Phillies in 13 previous starts and John “Lannen” did yesterday, I think this misspelling might have to stick around.

    Re the Giants uni souvenir ball, I picked up a Twins version last June at Target Field. It has the home white pins with the 2010 script, the blue Twins alt, the road with the 2010 Minnesota script, and the home throwback creamy pins with the 1961 script.

    One of the tongues of the ball, where the road gray and blue alt join, has a belt just like the one shown in the Giants logo. The other tongue, where the two home pinstripes join, has a belt whose buckle is obscured by a logo stack that includes both the MLB “Genuine Merchandise” logo and the Rawlings logo. Which is kind of cool, since Rawlings used to make Twins jerseys, and did a much better job of it than Majestic does now.

    The A’s have one too. It features their home whites, road greys, green tops and their new gold tops. They’re selling them at the Coliseum and I am going to pick up one this season.

    No tornado! Glad you guys are alive and all, but damn…

    Those mirror garments are fabulous. Great idea and a very good look. Rock on, brothers.

    Paul, I’m totally with you on the Carter thing. Excellent player and a good Met, but not retired-jersey good. You couldn’t possibly argue for Carter without also advocating 16, 17 and 18 (Gooden, Hernandez, Strawberry), and maybe also 1, 5 and 50 (Mookie, Johnson and Fernandez).

    The Mets have a team Hall of Fame that already (and rightly) includes Carter, it’s not as though his contributions are being overlooked. I’d suggest a compromise would be to “retire” the never-issued No. 86 as a tribute to the team, and otherwise, endeavor to issue No. 8 to the next exuberant catcher who comes along, that would honor Carter’s memory moreso than a sympathy gesture when the guy’s down.

    PS, Nice jerseys, guys.

    HoJo was #20, not #5. No #5 on the 86 Mets, but one could make the case for Ed “The Glider” Charles from the 69 squad

    Yeah, was referring to Davey Johnson, the manager, No. 5 — although HoJo would have an argument if Carter went as well.

    Those Chicago Express unis are actually their ingaural uniforms as the start play next season. Now Chicago will has an NHL team and 2 minor league teams.

    The new Uni’s for the Chicago Express, not liking the gray stripe on the home whites. Would have looked much better being the same “blue” in the logo.

    Also, nods to them for not making the alternate jersey black.

    The ad on the bottom of the scoreboard at the Rogers Arena is standard fair at all indoor arenas. Just so happens that they’re rarely seen on regular season broadcasts unless the TV cameras are positioned in such a way as to show it from center ice.

    Sorry, forgot this item…

    TIM O’B —

    Seriously, I love your idea: yeah, let’s submit a joint entry for the big Re-Name and Re-Clad the Thrashers contest. Already sent a serious wad of big bills to PL, so that should lubricate matter.s

    You’re just lucky I don’t care enough about hockey to come up with a serious competing entry. ;)

    For all I care, they can go ahead and call themselves the Manitoba Moose and put a picture of Bullwinkle on the front of the jerseys.

    Then the fans can throw stuffed squirrels on the ice when they score.

    Connie, just saw this…

    Ok, here’s the deal. I started on a design yesterday so I’m kinda going my own way. However, if you want, maybe I could help you mock it up on a template but I’m sorta on my own path already and don’t really know how much extra time I’ll have to work with you.

    If you still want to see if we can work something out, click through the link in my ‘name’ and shoot me an email from

    The Jeff – That’s kind of really cynical but also a hilariously good idea…

    I am hurt beyond measure. “I’m kinda going my own way,” eh? That’s right, Timbo, you’re going your own way straight to Hades. I got artist friends aplenty (this is New York, my man), and for a few thousand bucks a day I can rent graphic talent like you never dreamed of. Or maybe I’ll just ask one of my kids to pitch in. Whatever. Go ahead and enter the contest solo, my little Celtic brother, but Paul’s already engraving my name on that big trophy he’s going to present to me on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse.

    I knew it! Kek & RyCo DO share a brain! Too bad it’s Bernard’s… ;-)

    PNC in July!


    Also would like to throw in my support of the Pirates. I went to a lot of Indy Indians games the summers where basically the entire roster was in AAA, so they’ve carved out a place in my heart. It makes Cubs-Pirates series very awkward for me.


    As a very active participant and committee chairman in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life here in my city, I have to say thank you for the link to the ACS page and for the encouragement for donating.

    I’d love to have one of those Braves jersey balls, but I’d have to spring extra and have rpm or some other talented individual change out the awful navy and red jerseys for the killer 1974 duds worn a few weekends back. That’d be a nice looking ball, huh?

    I agree that the “Hall of Fame standard” for retiring numbers is silly, case in point the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays’ retirement of Wade Boggs’ #12, who had little more than a cup of coffee with the Devil Rays.

    Also today’s headline reminds me of the title of the N.W.A. album “Efil4zaggin” just sayin’

    I think that also had to do with him being from Tampa or somethin’, but obviously that shouldnt matter either. I’m on the less jersey retirements side.

    Oh, and it might of had something to do with him drinking 64 beers on a cross-country flight.

    I helped design the unis for the team pictured at the top of the article, and I’m in the picture at the bottom. Now that the Chesapeake and the Potomac squads of the C&P are becoming more independent, they’re designing new unis that should be a bit more specifically historically accurate and less of a compromise than the ones in the top photo.

    We went with white pants and blue tops because we had evidence in the form of period illustrations and surviving artifacts that several DC-area teams wore blue tops and white pants. The yellow highlights come from written accounts of early Baltimore clubs being nicknamed “canaries” due to yellow on their uniforms. The original unis were designed with a reversible shield with a blue C on yellow for the Chesapeake squad and a yellow P on blue for the Potomac squad, so players could switch as need be from game to game.

    Most vintage teams are much more precise in recreating the uniforms of a particular club, based on specific accounts and/or artifacts. When forming the C&P, we had to compromise a bit and create a sort of “composite” uniform that was accurate to the look-and-feel of the era to accommodate a single club that represented two cities with very distinct baseball histories.

    The good looking one, of course. (Back row, second from left.) I and the two guys in the middle, Moon (standing) and Bucket (kneeling), founded the club in spring of aught-six.

    Our first season, since we were still figuring out how to organize the club, we wore white shirts, blue knickers, red socks, and white caps with red stripes. Mainly because you could accomplish that uniform with an investment of about $35 and no special ordering from any of the vintage uni supply houses. Turned out that was exactly the same uniform as an older mid-Atlantic vintage team, though, so we had to change it up pretty quick.

    Scott, I’d love to get involved.

    I played with a vintage team in Connecticut for 3 seasons, was (unsuccessfully) looking for a team down here in DC. Would Howard “Ivy” Berkof be the man to get in touch with?


    Occasionally. More frequently in Maryland (both the DC/Balmer suburbs and Eastern Shore) and the outer edges of the Virginia suburbs, owing to the location of historical sites with adequate space. But wherever the clubs play, there’s always a few carpools, so location is never a problem.

    Hey, Ben, that’s a great photo. Who would have guessed that you’re good-looking?

    Thanks Connie, flattery will get you everywhere.

    Scott, anything ever set up on the Nat’l Mall. I played softball there the other night, Capitol to the left of me, Washington Monument to the right. Was a pretty cool experience.

    Aye, we’ve hosted a couple of Vintage tourneys on the National Mall softball fields. Problem is that vintage base ball is really best played on a grass field, not on a dirt infield, and the Nat’l Park Service makes it very difficult to get a permit to play vintage base ball anywhere but on ball diamonds. We’ve tried to argue that we’re really engaged in historical reenactment and interpretation, just like Civil War reenactors, not playing competitive sports, but NPS has not yet agreed with us. So when we play on the National Mall, we’ve had to play on the softball diamonds.

    Odd move by NPS, we played softball on a grass patch on the mall the other day, no permits, no problem.

    Totally agree about all grass fields, we used to play once a year in Connecticut on a fallow field at a vineyard. Talk about pastoral.

    That’s some… unfortunate placing of your brightness indicator vis-a-vis Tim Thomas’ derriere.

    Or is it a uni feature not detailed in yesterday’s post? :P

    Those NBA redisgns are great, a very gifted artist. Always thought the Nets logo should involve a net though.

    Clearly a gifted artist; the paintings and illustrations are excellent. The logos and other design works are not of the same quality, however.

    Agreed. The Warriors and Nets are my favorites.

    By far, my least favorite was the Wizards one…BUT…it’s a lot better than the current logo.

    As an image, the Wizards may be my favorite. It’s just not an effective logo. Good art, poor design. Most of the rest are good art and good design, in most cases superior to anything actually in use in the NBA.

    Rules, schmules.

    Teams can and should set their individual policies on retired numbers, of course, because it’s a TEAM honor, not an MLB honor. So it seems to me it comes down to, “What did the player mean to US, to THIS team?”

    Subjective? Sure it is. But if the player’s overall career, no matter how many uniforms he wore, is stellar, the Hall of Fame will take care of recognizing that.

    For, say, the Rays to retire Wade Boggs’ number, no matter WHAT honors he receives, equals stupid. Same for the Twins and Jack Morris. Don’t care how important the 1991 W-S was, he played only one season for the club.

    On the other hand, it would make perfect sense for the A’s to retire Reggie’s #9 and the Yankees his #44, if the teams so chose. It also would make sense if they didn’t. But, no matter what, for the Orioles or Angels to retire his number would be nuts.

    Kranepool? The Mets should have retired his number LONG ago. Not because he was one of the game’s all-time greats, but because of what he meant TO THE METS.

    Carter wss a component on successful Met teams but, if we’re totally honest, he was undeniably on the downside of his career at the time.

    This business with Carter’s number, right now, is typical of MLB’s obsessive behavior lately. “OMG, dealing with human mortality, we’ve got to SOMETHING.”

    No, you don’t. It isn’t shocking, or unexpected. It’s just…life.

    Unless, of course, you can make a promotion out of it.

    I think there was a little chatter about this type of thing yesterday, but look at the Pirates. While I don’t think they have any plans to retire Chuck Tanner’s #7, along with the sleeve patch, they have the jersey on the outfield wall. I’m guessing that’s a season-long memorial and will be gone next year.

    Tanner was a fine manager and no one is going to forget ’79 but I don’t think he is worthy of number retiring based on his time as the team’s manager. Especially when you look at his performance versus Danny Murtaugh’s (who has his number retired by the team)

    Beats the hell out of rushing to “team canonize” him.
    Carter’s ill. That’s unfortunate, and sad. But the reaction needn’t be, “Oh, god, let’s retire his number!”

    Especially when the honest truth is that he probably really wasn’t a “no doubt” candidate for such an honor. And the “no doubt” factor really is the key.

    Overly knee jerk.

    I would agree Chuck Tanner wasn’t the caliber of Danny Murtaugh(who has a strong case for the Hall of Fame). His last two Pirate teams were horrible, and Tanner had the bad luck of the unexpected, drug related decline of Dave Parker in the early 80s.

    Tanner did manage three second place clubs during his tenure, and it’s too bad the current playoff setup wasn’t around for the excellant 1977 club. In terms of retiring a number, I would be fine with retiring his #7 and unretiring #1, Billy Meyer(who I discussed yesterday).

    That was a good game last night, and we saw one of the best catches of the year from Andrew McCutchen in center field.

    I thought Tanner was complicit in the “drug-related” decline of Dave Parker. One of Tanner’s unfortunate legacies was looking the other way to rampant narcotics use.

    Scott, the rumor of Chuck Tanner looking the other way during the drug problems of several players is just that, speculation.The only “evidence” of Tanner suspecting drug use comes from a user on that team who thinks Tanner warned him about drugs. Are we really going to trust the word of a cocaine user over someone with a good record of honesty during his baseball career? The vast majority of people in that clubhouse did not use drugs, how many of them have said Tanner looked the other way?

    Drug use was also rampant in Kansas City, and across baseball during that era, Whitey Herzog also had a problem in the Royals clubhouse. Looking back, all managers and organizations should have paid more attention, just like the steroid era.

    In terms of legacy, that ship has sailed. You’ll find the number one and most covered legacy is the world championship team, and his successful run as manager. The drug issue is only covered in minor terms, and you can’t taint someones reputation without proof, even if that person has passed on.

    We do live in a time of conspiracy theories, some people still don’t believe Obama was born in this country.

    Absolutely correct Ricko. I think “Teams can and should set their individual policies on” . . . just about everything. Uni suppliers, logos, merchandise, stadium music, web site design. You name it. I hate the leagues’ “homogenization” with everything.

    But while we are on the subject: Why shouldn’t the Mets retire Willie Mays’ number?

    Uh, because he played a mere season and a half with them? Because he played terribly for them? Because he meant nothing to them on the field and little to them off of it? All of the above?

    I’m old enough to remember when the Mets acquired Willie, and I was at the ballpark to see him hit a hoemr as a Met. Nice storyline. Has zero bearing on number retirement status, though.

    Are you referring to what he meant to the city? and not the team? Kind of what the Brewers have done retiring Hank’s #44. jw.

    See? So many qualitative issues. In Aaron’s case, he also was the first true MLB megastar to play in that town, to be associated with that town. That’s a unique stature. Same can’t be said of Mays and New York.

    “Are you referring to what he meant to the city? and not the team? Kind of what the Brewers have done retiring Hank’s #44. jw.”


    I was old enough – 15 – 16 y. o. – and actually instantly remember things about 1972 and ’73 better than I do about the last couple of decades of sports. This trait, I know, is not unusual. I can picture Mays on the SI cover with the cap oddly placed on his head, can place myself on a field trip to Cambridge MA (French class, French restaurant)on the week he was traded and I remember the best NHL team ever winning the Stanley Cup like it was yesterday. Yes, I recall his sad, over-the-hill play in the W.S. And, I remember my Sporting News arriving, folded in a brown paper wrapper in the mail with a black and white shot covering the Mike Andrews World Series “injury” controversy.

    Just a little sensitive about the oldenoughtoremember line. We have memories too.

    Having said that, not closely following things Mets, has there been any sort of debate amongst Met nation about retiring 24? How recognized are Willie Mays’ contributions to a NY National League Club in New York?

    Any NJ rest stops named after him?

    “… I can place myself on a field trip to Cambridge MA (French class, French restaurant) on the week he was traded…”


    Chez Jean or Henri IV?

    The Mays/Mets thing has come up, most recently when Rickey Henderson was on the team. Joan Payson apparently promised Mays that nobody would ever wear 24 after he retired (or at least that’s what Willie says), even though the number was never officially taken out of circulation. Kelvin Torve, a career minor leaguer, briefly wore 24 for the Mets in 1990, but the revisionist history is that that was “a mistake.” When Rickey arrived in the late 1990s, he wanted to wear 24 and Mays actually went public with his disapproval, which I thought was completely out of line. Rickey eventually got to wear the number.

    Willie Mays was probably the greatest all-around ballplayer of all time. But his impact on, and connection to, the Mets was minuscule. The very notion of the team retiring his number is somewhere between laughable and offensive.

    Great jerseys fellas, but who are the Stems?

    Gotta find time this busy weekend for the Whenniepeg contest. Everyone else, fuhgetaboutit!

    Gary Carter? 5 years is not enough. Great player, but leave that one up to the Expos offspring.

    And Paul, shorts is no excuse for not sporting the hosiery!

    Oh, and thanks to the UW design team for link. I wish pinstripes hadn’t been the only survivor of that era of experimentation with stripes, windowpanes, tattersalls, plaids, and other fabric patterns.

    The Salming pics just serve to remind me about the oddity of the Leafs’ socks. Since 1930 (aside from the 1930-34 white uniform), they’ve worn 9-stripe socks with the stripes arranged in groups of three Northwestern patterns, except for the 1970-92 period when they wore two-stripe socks. What’s funny is that since 1934, the socks have almost never matched with the uniform stripes. The only times they have matched in any way are the 1967-70 “Centennial” jerseys, which added a bold third stripe on the sleeves and waist, restoring the Northwestern pattern; and the 1991-92 Original Six throwback, which they paired with their then-current two-stripe socks.

    As to the Astros and their retired numbers; the two in question, #32 Jim Umbricht and #40 Don Wilson, both died in tragic accidents while active players in the early days of the franchise. The Astros were quick to retire the numbers because of emotional response to their individual deaths. To quote, “While every death is tragic, it’s not a sufficient reason to hang a number from one’s rafters for all time.” If that was true, Daryl Kyle’s number and Ken Caminiti’s number would both be retired by the Astros.

    I loved watchung Carter play as a kid. Hearing the news of his cancer brought a tear to my eye. Should the Mets retire his number? No, for the reasions Paul gave. Will the Mets retire his jersey? Probably, and it will be mosyly for positive PR after they trade Wright away…

    Not exactly – Umbricht died from cancer and Wilson died while sitting in his car in his garage with the engine running. While Wilson’s death was ruled accidental, the circumstances have always been suspect.

    At least Wilson played 9 years for the franchise. Umbricht only played two.

    Kile and Caminiti aren’t relevant to this discussion because they did not die while playing for the franchise.

    Not sure whose link this is, but the guy has outstanding taste in headgear. One of my favorites so far. Go Dawgs!

    With this Carter Mess, let me put in my 2 cents on the Jackson / Yankees #44 retirement. George Steinbrenner PAID Reggie MONEY to go in to the hall (back when the choice was the players as to which cap to wear) as a Yankee and part of the contract was a lifetime job and the number retirement of his 44… NOW Like Paul said, one could argue that Reggie’s 5 years in the Bronx were what MADE him a HOF player, even though he might have been already one before signing with the Yankees… BUT who remembers Reggie as #9 with the A’s and O’s? Not many… many remember him as 44 with the Yankees and then Angels!

    However I dont think Carter’s 8 should be retired… not worthy enough in MET-hood

    You can’t pay anyone anything to determine what logo will be on his HoF cap. The Hall makes that call, and they don’t give a fuck who promised what to whom (nor should they).

    Yep… When Boggs and Canseco signed on with the Deviled Eggs, that stipulation was in the contracts… when they go to the HOF, they go in with TB on there hats… BEFORE 2001

    You can put anything you want in a contract, but that’s between you and the team. The Hall doesn’t have to honor that, and they’ve always made clear that none of that shit applies to them.

    The player has no say in any of this. Gary Carter — just to bring up a name that’s we’re talking about today — didn’t want an Expos jersey on his cap, because he thought it would limit his marketability and endorsement opportunities. The Hall said, “Too fucking bad,” because they recognized — accurately — that Carter’s biggest impact came when he was an Expo, not as a Met.

    Right – Paul. But that was in 2003, prior to 2001 the player could pick whatever hat he wanted on the plaque.

    I agree with NE and YT. And so does this article:


    “Published reports for years indicated that Boggs’ final contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays contained a clause saying he would request the Rays logo be emblazoned on his cap.

    But the Hall changed its cap rules in 2001 – two years after Boggs retired – reserving the final right of choice for the Museum.

    No matter, Boggs said.

    “Under no circumstances did I agree with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that I was going in as a Devil Ray,” said Boggs, who will be enshrined with Sandberg in Cooperstown July 31. “I did not make a decision or accept money from any other team in exchange for saying what team I would represent in the Hall.

    “If it’s up to the Museum to pick the hat I wear, that’s OK. They could put me in in the Little League hat I wore… and I’m fine with it.”

    There’s a Dave Winfield SD/NY thread to this story as well.

    From an link: “The Hall of Fame has the final choice of which logo will be on the plaque, but Winfield was allowed to choose because the majority of his career was split between the Padres (1,117 games) and Yankees (1,172).

    Yeah, the HOF made rather a big deal in 2001 about no longer deferring to a player’s wishes with regard to the cap on his plaque. Bottom line is that no formal rules were changed, but an informal practice of seeking and deferring to player preference was ended. Happened after Dave Winfield appeared to have sold his choice of HOF cap to the Padres.

    A Google News search, narrowed to 2001, settles this pretty decisively.

    The purple UW card looks terrific online. Can’t wait to see it in person.

    Ironic about ESPN. Yesterday I was flipping through a recent ESPN magazine and noticed that – due to the lack of any one defining style – it was difficult to tell at first glance which pages were ads and which weren’t. Seems similar to me.

    It’s definitely a sneaky trick. For that matter, I’ve noticed commercials on TV now that try to pass themselves off as something they aren’t. In particular, I remember a car commercial a few months back (don’t remember the brand) where they were trying to pass themselves off as being car journalists who just so happened to all prefer one car over the others. It’s BS, if you ask me. If there’s anything worse than shilling to the public, it’s trying to be deceptive in your shilling.

    Car companies do this all the time, at least in print. Almost every issue of Car and Driver these days has a multi-page advertisement that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a legitimate car review. Sneaky indeed.

    Not to mention ads for variable-rate mortgages that were made to look like financial network reports.

    I don’t think number retirements should be defined by quantitative measures. It’s mostly common sense. It’s all about “hey, what does this player mean to us in terms of team history?” I know that if you ask this question to a large group of people, you’ll get different answers. It could be a single moment, his long dedication to the city and team, etc.

    My rationale is this: he’s with the team long enough, he’s given several great moments, he’s a super player and there’s going to be nobody else quite like him playing for that team for a long time.

    I think something like this would approach a universally applicable test for retiring a player’s number: When young fans from the era he played in have grandchildren of their own, will everyone know who they’re talking about when they tell stories of seeing “the great number X” play?

    Heck with a generation from now; right now, today, when you talk about the Mets and number 8, you kind of have to specify whether you’re talking about Yogi or Carter. That right there would be enough to pass on retiring #8 for Carter using the test I propose. You wouldn’t even have to know that he was a generally below-average player during his time in New York.

    Very happy to see more posters against the idea of retiring numbers, and suggesting other ways of honoring people.

    Retiring numbers is not like admitting people to the Hall of Fame. It’s not like there’s a limited number of spots in the HoF, and once a spot is taken, it’s gone forever — you could have 500 Hall of Famers if there were that many greats (and there will be, by AD 2150 or so), and nothing would be taken away from any current or future players.

    But when you permanently ban all future players from wearing a number, that’s a stiff price that’s being paid.

    Baseball teams do expect to still be in existence hundreds of years from now, don’t they? Why are they dooming future players to wear very unaesthetic digits? There has to be a way to honor people that doesn’t also demean other people.

    I agree. It’s a stupid practice, in reality. I think somebody said here yesterday… wouldn’t it be better if you actually saw the numbers of past greats on the field again? It’s not like the true fans are ever going to forget the guys who made that number great. Though in our ever-increasing ADD society, I can almost see how that argument could be made. But still.

    In a world where our sports are played with a finite numbering system, removing good numbers is pretty dumb. Especially football, but to me it goes for all sports. My favorite college team doesn’t do it, even though we’ve had over 100 All-Americans. I think it’s a lot more fun to think of all the greats who have worn #12, than just the one guy 50 years ago.

    Not sure the practice itself is stupid.
    But the current over-application of it certainly is.

    Maybe stupid is too strong of a word… but…over a long enough time frame, you’ll run out of numbers.

    A ring of honor.. jerseys hung from rafters… a museum tucked away inside the stadium… all of these would be perfectly fine ways of honoring past players. There’s no reason to take a number completely out of circulation. Surely there’s numbers that’ve been worn by multiple decent or good but not quite great players *before* a legend wears it… all of those guys essentially *are* forgotten when you retire that number for one player.

    I should have been more diplomatic. Stupid? Maybe not. Babe Ruth’s number being retired? Not stupid, I guess. Neither is Aaron. If you are talking about a slam dunk, all-time great that everybody would be put in their top five or ten, AND they played the majority of their career/best years of their career with your team, then… by all means, do it.

    But following that practice, there should really be no more than 1 or 2 numbers retired from any team. Sure, there can exceptions. Like Paul said, it’s obviously a subjective practice. If it were up to me, I would have never starting the practice at all. Like I said, if you care anything at all about a team, you’ll know who wore that number. You shouldn’t need a jersey hanging from the rafters or plastered on the outfield wall to make the fans remember a player if he’s worthy to be brought up in a retire-or-not conversation.

    Well, I support retiring numbers and see nothing “demeaning,” as you put it, in the practice. I don’t think teams should be worried about running out of numbers, especially in baseball.

    Sorry, bad placement. I meant my “yep” to support those who argue for few or no number retirements.

    Love the sdrawkcab jerseys Paul, check out the competing Cubs logo – apparently posted in the dugout tunnel.


    People are mocking that thing, but the international phonetic symbol for the vowel in “Cubs” really does look something like that:


    You can read about it here:


    (Of course, if they were really using phonetic characters to spell the team’s name, they’d have to write {kÊŒbz].)

    Maybe I missed it but have the new Bills uniforms been leaked somewhere?

    Not entirely. We’ve seen a small shot from a Madden 12 trailer and an indication that at least the helmet will have navy within the stripe pattern. But we haven’t seen the whole thing in any real detail yet.

    Basically it’s the late 70’s uniform with a bit of navy trim that probably won’t be very visible from a distance (and thus stupid),and based on the Madden shot, solid socks instead of striped ones.

    I really like Michael Weinstein’s redesign of the Golden State Warriors logo. The most outstanding feature: the two seagulls flying above the bridge!

    I like that one too, but I’d like it more if it were circular and not a shield.

    Loved that article on the Florida Panthers. It’s a definitive case of getting everything right:

    De-emphasizing blue and re-emphasizing red

    Going with the leaping panther sans stick

    (Possibly) no more “circle on blue” templated third


    What about the Mets retiring Piazza’s number? He played 7+ years for the Mets? (more than the Dodgers) Do the Mets retire his number?

    I think (and hope) Piazza will wear a Dodgers logo on his HoF cap. If you look at the stats, he made his biggest impact as a Dodger. So I’d like to see the Dodgers retire his number before the Mets do anything.

    That said, I’ve been maintaining for years that Piazza presents a tricky case, because 31 was also worn for many years by John Franco, who switched to 45 when Piazza joined the team. 45, of course, is also closely associated with Tug McGraw. I could see the Mets retiring both numbers for all three players at some point down the road.

    Your hypocrisy is really on display today. In calling out yahoo (justifiably so), you are forced to acknowledge your ties to ESPN, which is the Nike of sports entertainment.

    The douchebaggery at ESPN rivals that at Nike, IF IT DOESN’T COMPLETELY SURPASS IT.

    ESPN attempts to prop itself up as a credible journalistic outfit, but then constantly runs content that absolutely flies in the face of that standard. You are either an entertainment outlet or a journalism outlet. IT ISN’T POSSIBLE TO BE BOTH, at least not when you have the SAME F’ING PEOPLE INVOLVED IN EACH AREA.

    Paul, just because ESPN is too big to be stopped or sufficiently called out doesn’t mean they aren’t engaged in douchebaggery. You sold out to it, but still have the nerve to blast Yahoo.

    Every time I read one of your hypocritical rants against Nike, I go out and buy another Nike product. Choke on that.

    “Your hypocrisy is really on display today. In calling out yahoo (justifiably so), you are forced to acknowledge your ties to ESPN, which is the Nike of sports entertainment.

    The douchebaggery at ESPN rivals that at Nike, IF IT DOESN’T COMPLETELY SURPASS IT.

    ESPN attempts to prop itself up as a credible journalistic outfit, but then constantly runs content that absolutely flies in the face of that standard. You are either an entertainment outlet or a journalism outlet. IT ISN’T POSSIBLE TO BE BOTH, at least not when you have the SAME F’ING PEOPLE INVOLVED IN EACH AREA.

    Paul, just because ESPN is too big to be stopped or sufficiently called out doesn’t mean they aren’t engaged in douchebaggery. You sold out to it, but still have the nerve to blast Yahoo.

    Every time I read one of your hypocritical rants against Nike, I go out and buy another Nike product. Choke on that.”


    The Red Sox don’t retire the number of EVERY Hall of Famer. If they did, including those with brief stints in Boston, they’d be out of numbers soon. It is merely a requirement, not the ultimate litmus test. Bowing to fan pressure they made an exception for Johnny Pesky who has represented the team for 60-something years now. They even ammended the rule to add Carlton Fisk because originally you had to be a HOFer who retired a Red Sox.

    The Sox also have a rule that you must have played at least 10 seasons with the team in addition to being in the HOF. I also seem to remember that you may also have to retire as Sox player (a la Nomar) in order to have the uni retired.

    Was that a screenshot from the hockey game last night of the Vancouver bench or just from a photo? If it is a screenshot I wonder if anyone from the network caught the sign in the upper right with the expletive on the boards. Pretty funny that they got away with it.

    Is it just me, or is the only thing worse than actually having your “city” name on your primary home jersey is having your city name AND your logo?

    Exception – is when your city name is incorporated in the logo ie MN Wild.

    Good God, why doesn’t the NHL just rename the Southeast the Patriotic Division this year? At least 3 of the 5 (Washington, Carolina, Florida) will have red as their primary home jerseys, Tampa has their extremely blue primary, and Florida is sticking with their JetBlue alternates, and of course every team wears white at home. And hell, if Winnipeg/Manitoba goes back to their Jets roots, then you’ll have another Red/White/Blue team to go with Washington and Florida in the Division.

    I never thought I’d say this, but at least Carolina has a black jersey to break up the Red, White, and Blue monopoly in the Southeast. And before you say the Thrashers had the same, while true, at least the red was more burgundy or maroon than red. Kinda broke it up a bit.

    Clearly the divisions will be re-aligned so that winnepeg is in a geographic appropriate division. Columbus is the next easternmost team, over detroit by 0 degrees and 2 minutes. Columbus would only make the division more red-white-blue though. Nashville is another choice for the division.

    The best idea would be put the Predators in the Southeast, Wild in the Central, and Manitoba in the Northwest.

    I saw that was announced, but did the NHL ever explain why they were putting off the realignment for a year?

    There are rumors that the NHL, since the CBA expired after next season, are discussing a number of potential realignment proposals, including three 10-team divisions.

    Yeah I read that yesterday not happening til 12-13 but guess I didn’t grasp it. That means Manitoba is going to be in the SE division next season? That’s horrible, are next years schedules out yet?

    NHL realignment:
    Yes it looks like Manatoba will be in the SE division next season. I’ve heard a several reasons for this ~ 1)a preliminary schedule has been constructed and the move would create more problems and 2) the NHL is waiting to see what happens with a few other teams (Phoenix, Islanders, Panthers)

    Also, Didn’t the NFL do that when the when the cardinals moved from St. Louis to Phoenix in the late 80s ?

    Playing in the SE Division will be tough on the players when it comes to travel, no question. But for us hockey fans in The Peg, we will be able to see some fine players from that division come to town that we won’t see as often in the future. So this upcoming season will be kind of treat in that regard.

    The Cardinals had stayed in the East (with Philly, the Giants, the ‘skins and, erm, Dallas) after moving to Phoenix until the whole league re-aligned.

    Of course – back in the day the Chicago Cardinals were in the East and the Chicago Bears in the West; and the Baltimore Colts were always a Western Conference team before they moved to the AFC after the merger. The NFL has always been a bit jacked-up (but for all the right reasons)…

    Nashville is not going anywhere – mainly because they are in the same time zone as the Norris…err Central.

    It will either be Detroit or Columbus. Since the Wing’s complain how being ET is killing their ad revenue and fan base…yet somehow the Tigers, Pistons and Lions don’t complain?? Every major league has DET/CHI together, but somehow its broke in the NHL? Then you end up putting 5 of the O-6 in the East if they move which is a pity.

    I didn’t think this would ever happen, but with Bettman floating the balanced schedule this will be the compromise the West teams will vote for.

    The Tigers are in the AL Central, so the bulk of their games are in the Eastern or Central time zone. The Pistons are in the Eastern Conference, so again, they don’t go out west often. And in the NFL when you usually have a week between games, geography’s a lot less important, plus NFL games on the west coast don’t typically start at 10PM Eastern.

    As far as NHL divisions, Clarence Campbell’s administration made some bizarre decisions:

    1967 –
    East: Original Six (Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers)
    West: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, Oakland, Los Angeles
    (Somewhat justifiable to keep expansion teams from being at a competitive disadvantage)

    1970 – Chicago is moved to the West, Buffalo and Vancouver are placed in the East

    1972 – NY Islanders in the East, Atlanta in the West

    1974 – Totally nonsensical realignment:
    Wales Conference
    Adams: Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, California
    Norris: Montreal, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, Los Angeles
    Campbell Conference
    Patrick: Rangers, Islanders, Philadelphia, Atlanta
    Smythe: Vancouver, Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Kansas City

    1976 – California to Cleveland (remains in Adams), KC to Colorado (remains in Smythe)

    1978 – Cleveland folds; Minnesota to Adams

    1979 – WHA expansion:
    Quebec to Adams
    Hartford to Norris
    Washington to Patrick
    Edmonton, Winnipeg to Smythe

    Also, when MLB went to divisional play, the Tigers were in the AL East and the White Sox in the AL West.

    Oh, and the 78 and 79 changes were after Campbell’s retirement from the president’s office, but are still notable. That, and the Flames remained in the Patrick in 1980 after moving to Calgary.

    Thankfully, the divisions were aligned geographically in 1981… and for the Wings, it was slightly more tolerable to have Toronto in their division, although that meant the Toronto-Montreal rivalry was diminished.

    Re: Bills Uniforms

    As a die hard bills fan I’m excited about the redesign. I haven’t been on the comment section in a while but given that the lockout is almost inevitable, is there a chance these exact uniforms will not reach the field as Nike will be taking over next year?

    I apologize if this has already been discussed but like I said, haven’t been on the comments in a while!

    Thanks in advance!

    “is there a chance these exact uniforms will not reach the field as Nike will be taking over next year?

    Generally speaking, it would be only if the Bills LET Nike change them. Nike has the contract to supply unis, not to design them.

    Specifically, the NFL works too far out for instant changes. That’s been discussed here many times, and I won’t claim to know the specific policies. I’m sure someone here does.

    Inevitable my foot. There’s far too much money involved, there ain’t gonna be a lockout.

    As for the Bills, there’s no indication that Nike is going to change anything unless the teams want them to. The specific jersey cuts may vary a bit, but the designs will stay the same.

    Much appreciated gentlemen! I just wasn’t sure if Reebok had “rights” to certain designs or how that worked! I appreciate the timely responses!

    Well The Jeff, if there IS a lockout, I’ll be expecting your foot via UPS. Preferably the right, as I already have two left!

    regarding belt sticker:
    tck not only makes the socks for mlb, but the belts too. so that sticker is the same official mlb bs hologram sticker that comes on your stirrups when you get them. nice to see some tool left it on.

    Here’s my thoughts on the Carter deal..
    Take a look at the Chicago Bears. 27 Hall of Famers. Only 13 retired numbers. If HOF credentials got your number retired the Bears would need to start using 3-digit jersey numbers! Among the 13 retired are Nagurski, McAfee, Halas, Payton, Sayers, Luckman, Butkus, Hewitt, George, Turner, and Grange mainly for what they did on the field. Can the same be said for Willie Galimore and Brian Piccolo who also have had their numbers retired, too?

    Most of us know the “Brian’s Song” story. His courage and example are reflected in the Bears presenting the Piccolo Award each year. Was he a HOF-caliber running back? Can’t say. I’ve only seen the few game clips of him from the original movie. Willie Galimore? We’ll never know how good he could have been after the accident that took his life as well as that of teammate Bo Farrington.

    What do Piccolo and Galimore have in common? Both were struck down in their prime while still on the roster.

    How long has it been since Gary Carter was truly a part of the Mets franchise? (Not counting managing in their farm system where he took heat for campaigning his desire to manage the Mets while they still had managers in the position.)

    Not to sound insensitive but if every team retired every number of every player that passed away after his playing days were over, there would be no numbers left to use.
    I believe that he should be honored with a Gary Carter Night or have a team award named after him – a-la-Brian Piccolo if you wish. The fact that this has happened to him is tragic. But the effect on the organization is not so nearly as great now as it would have been had he been diagnosed the night before Game 6.

    My 2 cents…

    Comparing the NFL to MLB (or to any other sport) is apples/oranges, because you can’t retire football numbers too often — you’ll run out of numbers for your eligible receivers.

    There are good reasons for the Mets not to retire Carter’s number, but comparing the situation to the Bears is not one of them.

    Supposedly, the NFL has told the Bears to cool it on the number retirement thing.

    Unfortunately you missed the entire point of what I said. Galimore and Piccolo passed away while still active members of the team. This would provide the franchise a viable reason to retire their numbers despite lack of HOF performance in their career – however long that may have been.

    Carter hasn’t played in how long? He’s not in Mets administration or anything. It doesn’t matter what sport, you can’t simply retire the number of every good-to-great player ever simply because they passed away – from whatever the cause.

    Michael Weinstein’s NBA logo redesigns are phenomenal. I’m in love with the link logo. I’d buy that t-shirt today.

    Apologies if this ends up being a repost, but I have to say…

    Michael Weinstein’s NBA logo redesigns are phenomenal. I’m in love with the link logo. I’d buy that t-shirt today.

    With all the number-retirement talk, I’ve always felt a little conflicted when the Colorado Avalanche retired Ray Bourque’s #77. Yes, he was a great player, and had an absolutely terrific season and a half here in Colorado, helping them win their 2nd Stanley Cup. I know his legacy in hockey is secure, and what a great moment it was when he came here and finally had a chance to win after all the times of futility in Boston.

    Even with a championship here in Colorado and him being a key component on that team, and I love Bourque’s game and personality, I don’t know that his number deserves to be retired by the Avs…..hung from the rafters and acknowledged? Sure, but retirement is a little much for someone who honestly was a rent-a-player, albeit a great one at the end of his career. Now for all his time and accomplishments in Boston, if they retired #77, which I believe they did, then that’s a different matter.

    Unofficially retired numbers
    The Redskins’ policy since Baugh’s retirement has been to not retire numbers. However, some numbers are unofficially retired and are usually withheld from being assigned to new players. The following numbers of past Redskin greats fall into that category.

    7 Joe Theismann, QB, 1974—85
    9 Sonny Jurgensen, QB, 1964—74
    21 Sean Taylor, S, 2004—07
    28 Darrell Green, CB, 1983—2002
    42 Charley Taylor, WR, 1964—77
    43 Larry Brown, RB, 1969—76
    44 John Riggins, RB, 1976—79, 1981—85
    49 Bobby Mitchell, RB, 1962—68
    65 Dave Butz, DT, 1975—88
    70 Sam Huff, LB, 1964-69 (worn by Leonard Marshall in 1994)
    81 Art Monk, WR, 1980—93

    I totally agree with your reasoning not to retire Gary Carter’s number. It’s very sad the poor guy is ill but Yogi probably did more for the Met franchise and his number 8 is not retired either. Their is only one Met who’s number really deserves to be retired and that’s Keith Hernandez. In his short tenure he brought the franchise respectabilty and leadership that has been missing since he went to Cleveland. Plus he’s a beloved broadcaster to boot. The Mets TV team actually makes them watchable. I was at last nights game too..I feel your pain Paul.

    Why not announce that #8 is being retired for both men?

    Just say, hey, Carter was great for us and hes sick but Berra was a huge part of our history so in honor of both of them, the #8 will be retired.

    If that happened, Yogi would be in a unique position: sharing a retired number with someone else for teams in each league. (On the Yankees, #8 is jointly retired for Yogi and Bill Dickey.)

    But if they retire 16 instead of it saying Hernandez it should say “nice game, prettyboy”.

    You can retire Keith’s number if he gives up his claim to half of the ’79 MVP award. That should have been all Stargell’s.

    How so? Hernandez, Schmidt, Winfield, and at least a few others all had a much better year than him. Stargell had some great years, but ’79 wasn’t one of them.

    Stargell had good numbers AND lead his team to the playoffs. That team had a lot come-from-behind wins, and a lot of Willie’s homers were game-winners. He was most valuable indeed.

    His numbers were good, but not that good. Among hitters, he was 35th in the league in WAR (and only 4th best on the Pirates). If any Pirate deserved MVP consideration, it was Dave Parker, who was 5th in the league.

    I’m not old enough to have seen Stargell play, so I can’t speak to his game-winning homers or leadership qualities. However, I seriously doubt that either could make up for his overall level of production, which just wasn’t that great.

    I was old enough, and I watched him all season. He was the heart and soul of that team, the way Clemente was in ’71. You can have better numbers, but when they come at inopportune times, they’re not really valuable, they’re just padding stats. Willie’s gut may have been padded, but his stats weren’t.

    Personally, I’m not very much in favor of retiring numbers. There is no standard (team, league, or industry-wide) for doing so, and you end up in a situation where some teams (e.g. the Yankees) end up retiring so many numbers that eventually players will be wearing three digits on their backs, while other teams (e.g. the Raiders) never retire a number, or you end up questioning why a team retired a certain number. In the last instance, there is the classic example of the Pirates retiring the #1 in honor of Billy Meyer, who in his 5 seasons of leading the Bucs, had a .412 winning percentage.

    But…if one must retire a number (rather than for example, honor a former player/manager/coach of distinction with a team Hall of Fame or Ring of Honor), here are some possible guidelines:

    1. THE STEVE GARVEY RULE (Named in honor of the Padres retiring Garvey’s number): When a typical fan of your sport thinks of your team, is the proposed honoree the first name (or one of the first names) the fan thinks of? In the Padres’ example, Garvey clearly isn’t. Tony Gwynn or perhaps Dave Winfield would be.

    2. A MIN. NUMBER OF YEARS MUST ELAPSE AFTER THE PERSON RETIRES BEFORE THE NUMBER IS RETIRED: The Giants didn’t officially retire Willie Mays’ #24 until 1983, a full decade after his retirement. In the case of Billy Myer, the Pirates retired his number in 1954, apparently due to the fact that Myer was a popular (if unsuccessful) manager, and was in ill health. (Sound familiar?) Some distance must exist before this honor should be considered.

    3. NO LEAGUE-WIDE RETIREMENT OF A NUMBER. I realize that what I’m about to say isn’t PC, but MLB should have never retired #42 to honor Jackie Robinson. While, of course, I admire the courage of Robinson, as well as the other black players of his generation in breaking the color barrier, Jackie Robinson was not the second coming of Christ. He would probably be the first to admit that himself. The retirement by MLB of #42 leads to a situation where the Giants, the 120+ year rival of Robinson’s Dodgers, is compelled to honor a person would decided to retire from baseball, rather than playing for the Giants when Dodgers sold his contract after the 1956 season.

    I have the same feelings about Gretzky…why should the Ducks or the Flames (for example) retire a number to honor a someone who spent most of their career with a rival team?

    I’m generally in favor of retiring numbers, but I do like your guidelines. Even #3. Although I’d rather have 42 retired throughout all of MLB than having everyone wear the same number for one day. Numbers do serve a purpose (ask any scorekeeper).

    While I can live with 42 staying retired, I don’t think 99 should be retired by any NHL team other than LA or Edmonton. And I’m so glad the NBA didn’t bow to the pressure to retire 23 for Jordan. If you did that, you’d have to reitre 32, since Magic was better. But I wouldn’t suggest that, either.

    Not to disparage the work of Tyler Kepner, but it should be noted that the Phillies retired Richie Ashburn’s #1 in 1979. Whitey didn’t get enshrined in the Hall until 1995. So while the Phillies may have the rule in place now that you must be a HOF member to have your number retired, it hasn’t always been the case.

    Correct. I am not sure if they had the “rule” and just broke it due to his connection with the team and city as a broadcaster, or if the “rule” came about later. I know that the first I heard of the “rule” is when they retired the “P”s for Grover Cleveland Alexander and Chuck Klein. It’s kind of silly that they retired Jim Bunning’s 14 so long after he retired due to his HOF enshrinement. To many of my age, 14 is Pete Rose’s number. Same with Larry Bowa – for a minute, there was a push to enshrine him, which would have taken 10 out of circulation. As a fan of the mid-late ’80s, 10 is Dutch, though Bowa obviously has more of a claim to it.

    sportscenter did a thing on the memorable typos in sports on jerseys and forgot the NATINALS and the SAN FRANCICSO ones.

    A bit late, but the Birmingham Barons and Chattanooga Lookouts wore throwbacks yesterday at the Rickwood Classic:


    My favorite silly number retirement was the Chicago White Sox retiring Harold Baines’ #3 during the 1989 season just a few months after they traded him (and Fred Manrique) to Texas (for Scott Fletcher, Wilson Alvarez and… Sammy Sosa!). Baines was only 30 at the time and had played only 8+ years for the Sox. He would go on to play another 12 years for several other teams including two more stints on the South Side. In hindsight, the retirement is not outrageous, but don’t you think they may nave jumped the gun just a little?

    Whoa, is that a 1916 NY Giants membership card that got in during the Purple Period?

    Well played.

    Requiring the player to be a Hall of Famer is the reason the Detroit Red Wings have given for “un-retiring” Larry Aurie’s #6 after Mike Ilitch bought the team, even though it was retired for decades before he bought them and in the NHL official list of retired numbers (which Ilitch had removed). Now #6 is “out of service” along with some others, but no acknowledgement is given to indicate such. Kind of disrespectful in my book.

    Whomever designed the Charlotte MLL logos should be taken out back and shot. Awful logos, awful wordmarks and rather insipid nicknames.

    Kudos for the Panthers going back to red as their primary and double plus if they go with the leaping cat. As a rule of thumb you shouldn’t have so many colors for your sweater, but for some reason it worked for them.

    I know…I was expecting a flood of them.

    Just glad one of the best ever college football jerseys gets to be shown in the gallery. Kudos to Demetrius Perry.

    Several people missed the deadline and asked if they could get a purple design the following day. Nope! See you next year!!

    Also, I neglected to add one purple card to the gallery until just now. So the total was seven, not six.

    WHy thank you sir. Today was the 1st day I was able to come back on the site & to my surprise, my card is featured. Talk about a rush!!!! It’s just before 10am here & just waking up to see this was sweet!!!!!!!!!

    We need fewer numbers retired, not more. On my first trip to then-Enron Field, I saw all those half-assed Astros who have had their numbers retired and just shook my head in disbelief. And the fact that the Devil Rays retired Wade Boggs’ number while the Mariners and Blue Jays have yet to retire a number just shows how out-of-hand the whole thing has become.

    Do the Mariners not plan on retiring Griffey’s number? I’m actually surprised that they haven’t already.

    Mariners club policy is that a player has to have played for them at least 10 years AND be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in order to have his number retired. Griffey’s #24 will be retired in 2015, to be sure, and Edgar Martinez’s #11 when he (hopefully) gets in, and eventually #51 for Ichiro and Randy Johnson.

    Reading through the comments, now I’m thinking- why even retire a number at all? Nobody owns it. We’ll always know Larry Bird was number 33 so why physically disbar a player from wearing it? Why don’t we still retire numbers but let players still use the same number. Like in the Celtics Rafters, it’d have the number 33 with Bird on top of it. 2 Auerbach, 6 Russell, etc.

    Now that I think of it, setting a number aside in honor of a player is quite silly. It’s a game, let people pick the numbers they want. I’m sure there are other ways we can remember the greats.

    It may turn even sillier that way. Big stars may very well want to wear the number of another star… then you have the awkward issue of possibly retiring multiple players under one number.

    I don’t think it’s that awkward. If Paul Pierce had worn 33, then you’d see 33 Bird and 33 Pierce and then you’ll always have that running line where Larry was the better player to wear 33.

    I think ESPN or SI did a thing where they came up with the best athlete every to wear a certain number. But that’d be flawed because well if Lebron was in Chicago and wanted 23, he wouldn’t have been able to wear it.

    No one can say I dislike all newly-designed logos – that East Texas Baptist University one is very nice!

    Aggressive without looking mean, original, just a good clean design.

    Putting aside how obviously wrong a Tiger nickname is for that school, I’ve gotta agree.

    But there’s some serious awkwardness with the interior yellow outline on the B. Someone clearly built that shape from the outside in, rather than the inside out. And floating the letters over the bottom of the tiger icon just doesn’t quite work for me. Amounts to juxtaposition rather than design.

    Not a perfect design, to be sure (I was just playing around in MS Paint, and I’d lose the white on the right side of the tiger), but it’s still quite good.

    In case none of you are aware. Ohio State is going to need a new football coach. Everybody should let OSU know that the traditional gray sleeve stripes worn since the late 1940’s need to be returned.

    “In case none of you are aware. Ohio State is going to need a new football coach.”

    wait, tressel’s out? who knew? Tosu was playing that pretty close to the vest

    I’ve enjoyed reading about the retired numbers that the posters here most object to; Boggs/Devil Rays, Meyer/Pirates, etc…

    Sorry, but I find those the most interesting cases. Mention Ruth’s 3 or Aaron’s 44 and people just nod in agreement. Seems like they retire a guy’s number rather than actually think about him. It’s the odd ones, the ones with stories, that make you think.

    My dad’s basement bartop is made out of an old bowling alley* lane. Not sure where he got it but it looks cool.

    *notice I said bowling alley and not family fun center or some such modern-day bs

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned, but the Minnesota Wild will play a regular season home game (opponent TBA) OUTDOORS on Lake Minnetonka Saturday, January 21, 2012 (date tentative) as part of “Hockey Day in Minnesota”. A couple great high school matchups will be played earlier, as well as a Gopher women’s hockey game.

    Lake Minnetonka was the site of the other Pond Hockey Tournament the weekend of the UW Deep Freeze in 2010, the tournament we didn’t visit.

    Anyone crazy enough to attempt Deep Freeze, Part Duh?

    The Giants also have a number-retirement policy–the player must be in the HOF and have played a plurality of his career for the team. It’s not automatic, though–Gaylord Perry didn’t get his number retired until 14 years after induction.

    I don’t really care for the Phillies “we’ll retire your number if you’re an HOF’er” schnick, but at least they have a guideline for number retiring. I, personally, think it should only be for people who have left a massive mark upon the team the played on, kind of like Payton Manning or Tom Brady–to see anyone else wearing that number in that organization is almost blasphemous.

    TL;DR If no one else can wear that number, retire it.

    The towels the Heat are using look pink…but not like it was on purpose more like they were washed wrong and turned pink.

    Hey Paul, I know it would be quite a while away, but I was wondering if you were planning on doing another raffle at the end of the year? I’ve got a Tampa Bay Bucs for which I have no use that I’m willing to give to the cause.

    Those jersey balls are very cool. My nephew has the Jays from Rogers Centre , Yankees from ‘?’, and Indians from the Jacobs Field store. He also has a similar style ‘Yanks @ Indians weekend’ ball from the Jacobs Field store.

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