The Latest Example of How Life Is More Interesting without the DH

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Fascinating little tableau during last night’s Reds/Giants game, one that raises lots of interesting questions.

Here’s the deal: In the top of the 3rd, Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto reached first base on a fielder’s choice. It was a cool night in San Francisco (59 degrees at game time), so they brought out a jacket for him — except it wasn’t a jacket. It was a hoodie! But first base ump Tim Tschida wasn’t having any of that. Before the next pitch could be thrown, he told the Reds that Cueto couldn’t wear the sweatshirt on the bases. So Cueto removed the hoodie and put on a dugout jacket instead, and apparently everyone had a nice laugh about it.

Everyone, that is, except Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman, who took Tschida to task for excessive nit-pickery. Here’s how Brennaman and his broadcast partner, Chris Welsh, assessed the situation (transcript courtesy of reader Mark Dormer):

Chris Welsh: They’re going to tell Johnny Cueto that he’s not allowed to wear that hoodie [pause] and he’s got to put a regular team jacket on.

Thom Brennaman: That is ridiculous!

Welsh: No, that’s part of the uniform code.

Brennaman: I know, but that’s ridiculous.

Welsh: It’s been like it forever.


Brennaman: There are some rules that are just … you wonder who thought of it. And more importantly, who can’t open their eyes to consider changing it.

Welsh: I don’t have a problem with that, though.

Brennaman: No, I’m not saying it’s a big deal, but c’mon. The guy’s got a sweatshirt on. Who cares?

Welsh: Yeah, but it’s got a hood on it. What if the thing’s flapping and now you throw the ball and it hits the hood that wouldn’t normally be there on a jacket. I can see why you have rules on uniforms.

Welsh’s point about the hood flapping and possibly becoming an obstruction seems fair. But the bigger question — the one Welsh and Brennaman didn’t address — is the distinction between a jacket, which at least carries the vague sense of relative formality, and a hoodie, which is basically casual Friday writ large.

I know there are some fans (and broadcasters, for that matter) who think pitchers should never wear jackets on the bases, because it looks wussy or undignified or whatever. Personally, I think the jacket option is sort of quaint — one of those endearing little quirks that add texture to the fabric of baseball. But whatever your feelings about the jacket, wearing a sweatshirt is downright slobbish, no? Hell, when we complain about pajama pants, we’re basically saying they look like sweatpants. Adding a sweatshirt to the mix just makes things worse.

Sweatshirts are a fairly recent MLB phenomenon. I first recall seeing players wearing them (mostly during pregame warm-ups but sometimes in the dugouts during games) about five or six years ago during the stretch drive in September and the postseason. At the time, I thought, “Okay, so it’s just the latest merchandising scam, but those look kinda nice, and the weather is getting colder now, so why not?”

Over the past couple of years, the sweatshirts have become more common. Terry Francona was famously told to stop wearing his back in 2007, and the same edict was issued to Joe Maddon last year. But the sweatshirt is apparently hard to suppress: Francona’s still wearing one this season, and so is Maddon.

Of course, it’s one thing to wear a sweatshirt in the dugout. As Cueto discovered last night, it’s another to wear one on the field. That’s even more true of managers and coaches, whose air of gravitas is severely compromised if they step out of the dugout wearing a hoodie. I don’t know if Maddon won this argument, but he didn’t exactly have the sartorial high ground.

Lately I’ve noticed more and more sweatshirts showing up. Fortunately, we can count on those staunch guardians of tradition, the New York Yankees, to maintain the game’s visual propriety — or can we? If you think its weird to see a Yankees coach looking like he’s dressed to go take the dog for a walk, it’s even weirder when Rothschild goes to the mound for a sweatshirt-clad visit with one of his pitchers. I’m fairly certain that would not have been tolerated if the Boss were still alive.

I doubt Tim Tschida was thinking about any of that when he put the kibosh on Cueto’s hoodie last night, but it’s all good food for thought. What do you folks think about all this? Sweatshirts — yea or nay?

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Uni Watch Stirrups Club Update

By Comrade Robert Marshall

I wanted this month’s stirrup offering to correspond with the start of the Stanley Cup Finals, but I needed to settle a couple items with Twin City Knitting first. So instead we’ll say that this notice corresponds with the three climactic games of the Stanley Cup Finals, which is even better.

Best of all, these year’s Cup finalists provide us with classic hosiery to celebrate. Needless to say, the Revolution is ecstatic about this match-up, and we’re proud to offer both of these designs.

Our third and final stirrup this time around is our annual Fourth of July offering. We’re going with the 1935 Washington Senators. Now that’s a right proper look for the nation’s birthday if I ever did see one (for those of you who like to colorize photos and can surly do a better job of it then I did, here is the full-size photo of Henry Coppola). TCK will need to do us a favor in order to get it here in time, but they owe us.

Speaking of which, if you had any problem with last month’s stirrups, please read the details regarding that, as well as some requests for feedback, on the Stirrup Revolution’s web site, which of course is also where you can order this month’s slate of new designs and our extensive à la carte selection of past offerings. Please note that the deadline for ordering is Tuesday, June 14.

From each according his stirrup,
To each according his strype.

Comrade 91200

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Bollocks: Every now and then — maybe twice a week — I find myself using a word like fuck or shit here on the site. Most of you are unfazed, because you understand that real people sometimes use such words in the course of their communications, but sometimes somebody complains about it in the comments, and I invariably end up receiving an e-mail or two telling me to clean up my act and reminding me that “profanity is the sign of a lazy writer.”

As I usually tell such complainants (by now I have standard response that I simply copy and paste), this “lazy” thing is a fiction promulgated by junior high English teachers who want to keep 13-year-olds from getting all juvenile and puerile on their creative writing assignments. And it’s fine when applied to 13-year-olds. But like so many useful fictions that we tell children (the Tooth Fairy is real, Mittens is up in kitty heaven, everyone will like you if you just be yourself, everyone has an equal shot at the American dream, eating vegetables is good for you, etc.), this one evaporates once you spend more than 10 seconds thinking about it. As just about any important writer could tell you, from Shakespeare to Stephen King, there is nothing inherently lazy about the use of fuck or shit, just as there is nothing inherently commendable about words like sweet or lovely. It all depends on how they’re used and, especially, the thought processes behind them. You want lazy? Try referring to certain uniform designs as “an abomination” or “craptacular,” as so many denizens of the uni-verse habitually do. Or better yet, just keep parroting the conveniently pat notion that the use of profanity is lazy, without bothering to think through the larger parameters of how we all communicate. That’s way lazier than me calling Nike “a fucking plague on this Earth,” or whatever.

Anyway: As you may be aware, the hot phenomenon in the publishing biz at the moment is a children’s book, sort of, called Go the Fuck to Sleep. It’s been the top-selling book on Amazon for the past few weeks, even though it won’t be officially published until Monday (think about that). The current issue of New York magazine features a piece that uses Go the Fuck to Sleep as a springboard for a meditation on the word fuck, and on the nature of vulgarities in general. It’s one of the best and most entertaining examinations of the subject I’ve seen in a long time. Don’t miss.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Where is the puck that scored the title-winning goal in last year’s Stanley Cup Final(s)? Nobody knows — and therein lies a tale. ”¦ The Padres and Nats will be wearing throwbacks when they play each other this Saturday — San Diego will be dressed as the 1936 PCL Padres, and the Nats will be dressed as the ’36 Senators. ”¦ Dan O’Connor spotted a car in full Celtic FC regalia. ”¦ I had previously reported that UNC baseball would wear pink socks with powder blue uniforms in memory of their coach’s mother, who recenetly died from breast cancer. Here’s how it looked on the field (with thanks to Gerry Dincher). ”¦ New kits for Chelsea FC and Real Madrid (with thanks to Kenny Loo). ”¦ Looks like college football zebras will be wearing a cap patch this fall (with thanks to Mark Kluczynki). ”¦ What does a woman wear under her uniform? A uniform slip, natch (thanks, Kirsten). ”¦ New logo for Monday Night Football (with thanks to Ray Barrington). ”¦ Here’s another shot of John “I’m a PC” Hodgman in old-school football gear. Not sure what this photo series is about, though (big thanks to Art Ryel-Lindsey). ”¦ Notre Dame and Michigan will officially unveil their throwbacks tonight, and one guy isn’t waiting until then to weigh in. “The author is the preeminent Wolverine blogger, Brian Cook,” says Keith Friedman. “I thought it was a spot-on piece about merchandising in sports.” Agreed. ”¦ Gross. That’s one the balls the Indians are using for their batting practice, which as I noted last week is now being sponsored by the world’s biggest environmental criminals (with thanks to Chris Flinn). ”¦ A new ball has been used in Japanese baseball this year, and it appears to be a pitcher’s best friend (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Many of you know the story of the minor league ballplayer Johnny Neves, who in 1951 wore a backwards No. 7 as his uni number because his surname is “Seven” spelled backwards. Now Blake Meyer has found an old wire photo of Neves. The interesting thing is the notation on the back, where an editor cautioned against flipping the image, which was probably a common occurrence with Neves pics. ”¦ In a vaguely related item, Mike Evangelista noticed a beer league team in Houston with an odd quirk: All their two-digit uni numbers had a normal first numeral and a backwards second numeral. “I’m not sure why they did it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with their name, ‘Beer Time,’ and overindulging,” says Mike. “You can’t make it out in the picture, but the numbers had shadowing to make them look blurry, and the coloring inside the number looks like a beer with a head at the top.” ”¦ I’m fairly certain all of you are familiar with this Norman Rockwell illustration. But Bob Gassel has pointed out an odd thing about it that I’d never noticed before: If you look at the two managers in the background, the Brooklyn skipper is happy and the Pittsburgh manager looks annoyed. But if you look at the scoreboard, Pittsburgh is winning, it’s an official game, and it’s starting to rain. Shouldn’t the Brooklyn manager be the one who’s upset? ”¦ Interesting note from David Teigland, who writes: “I’m sure by now you’ve seen the story about the Israeli basketball player who may have to sit out a tournament because she can’t wear a T-shirt to cover her shoulders [actually, no, I hadn’t ”” PL]. Completely by happenstance, I was perusing the excellent Remember the ABA site today and saw this page about Willie Wise of the Utah Stars, which included this note: ‘Only Utah Star who [didn’t] wear flag patch on shorts, owing to Jehovah’s Witness faith.” I’d forgotten about that. Given how many flags show up on today’s uniforms, imagine the “patriotic” fuss that would come up if a team had a Jehoavah’s Witness who refused to wear a flag patch or decal. ”¦ There’s a new book out about Stan Musial. One of the reviews of it included the old line from Ted Lyons, who said Musial’s batting stance “looks like a small boy looking around a corner to see if the cops are coming.” That reminded me of two great descriptions I once read — one about Sid Fernandez’s pitching motion (“like a man jumping out of a closet”) and another about Mickey Tettleton’s batting stance (“he of the ‘waiting for the M-15 bus’ batting stance”). Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact sources for either of those. ”¦ Let’s hear it for Cody Ross, who broke out the striped socks last night (screen shot by Laren Richardson). ”¦ Here’s a NCAA football video game promotional clip that not only shows a new South Carolina uniform but also talks about it (big thanks to Joel Mathwig). ”¦ Kyle Beaudoin and his brother, both big Bruins fans, designed a T-shirt for the Stanley Cup Final(s). While they were at it, they also imagined a Shawn Thornton video game (“Note that Glass Jaw Joe has been redrawn to be a Canadien,” says Kyle) and, in a particularly clever move, redid the “America Runs on Dunkin'” logo to represent a pivotal moment in Red Sox history. Nicely done. … I donate blood every two months. After they’ve taken what they need and they remove the needle from my vein, they put a gauze patch over the needle wound and secure it in place by wrapping my arm with that rubberized medical tape that looks sort of like crêpe paper. Usually the tape is blue, but yesterday the technician started wrapping my arm with purple tape. Before he could get too far, I said, “I know this is gonna sound crazy, but do you have another color? Like, any other color?” He looked in a closet and said, “We have blue. Or hey, how about green?” Perfecto. A narrow escape.

215 comments to The Latest Example of How Life Is More Interesting without the DH

  • Defo Maitland | June 10, 2011 at 7:30 am |

    Yay on warmup jackets
    Nay on hoodies

    Jackets look way better and like Paul says, it’s traditional.

    I wonder about two things: Are pitchers the only ones entitled to wear jackets on the bases? And what about pitchers who serve as pinch-runners and don’t have the “keep the arm warm” excuse? Do they get that right also?

    • ScottyM | June 10, 2011 at 9:00 am |

      Actually, I think the biggest question is why do pitchers have to be such gigantic p_ssies?

      It’s 59 degrees out … not like it’s October and 38 in Detroit, or something. It’s nearly a hundred degrees everywhere east of the Mississippi, are players removing their jerseys and playing in tank tops because it’s too hot?

      Put a thermal undershirt under your jersey and wear your damn uniform like everyone else. The whole jacket/hoody thing is just silly at its core.

    • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      It’s an odd tradition, but I like it. Kind of like wearing white at Wimbledon.

    • Lew Holst | June 10, 2011 at 10:06 am |

      Don’t overlook the basic problem that it takes more time and is more cumbersome to put on a hoodie than a jacket – especially while wearing a helmet or cap.

      • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |

        I was thinking that same thing while watching the Cueto situation unfold. The hoodie was so much more hassle!

  • Mike | June 10, 2011 at 7:51 am |

    Hooded sweatshirts are fine in the dugout, not appropriate for baserunners.

    The lesson: The family Brennaman are a collection of overrated blowhards who will jump on anything to spout garbage.

    • Yankee Tank | June 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |

      Brennaman works for FOX SPORTS. FOX SPORTS = GARBAGE
      So hense the stupidity of it all

      • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |

        So what’s Marty’s excuse?

      • Mad Adma | June 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm |

        Brennaman is a jackass, that only didn’t have a problem with it because it was a Red trying to do it. Had it been a Cub, it surely would have been a sign leading to the collapse of society. Jackass.

  • Dane | June 10, 2011 at 8:04 am |

    For those of us who enjoyed the “Bollocks” segment in today’s entry, may I also recommend the following:

    Also available as an audiobook – great to listen to while stuck in traffic.

    • Phil in Joplin (no new witty name coming soon) | June 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

      I bought that book after the author appeared on the Daily Show, probably 5 years ago. Oddly enough, I was thinking about that this morning, prior to reading this post.

  • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 8:08 am |

    On the Rockwell picture, it’s not a question of happy versus upset. The Pittsburgh manager, painted in shadow, is pantomiming how awful the weather is – it’s dark! it’s freezing! it’s a storm of biblical proportions! the game must be called! – while the Brooklyn manager, painted with a ray of sunlight on his face, is pantomiming the opposite – the sun is back out! it’s just a few sprinkles! it’s a beautiful day for a game, let’s play two!

    This matters, because the umps are deciding whether or not to call the game. The managers aren’t happy or upset about an outcome, they’re arguing the case for an outcome that has yet to be reached.

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 8:12 am |

      Intriguing interpretation. But shouldn’t they be directing those thoughts toward the umps, rather than toward each other?

      • FormerDirtDart | June 10, 2011 at 8:36 am |

        Also, it may be an official game, having passed the fifth inning. But, Pittsburgh is in the field, having batted in the top of the sixth. Brooklyn is batting, and the game can not officially end until the bottom half of the sixth is played. So, they either go into a rain delay, or resume the game at another time.

        • lose remerswaal | June 10, 2011 at 9:17 am |

          They don’t revert to the end of the 5th inning if it gets rained out at this point in time? I always thought that was the rule

        • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |

          Five innings have been completed. If the umps call the game before Brooklyn finishes batting in the sixth, the score reverts to what it was at the end of five, and Pittsburgh wins the game 1-0. Rule 4.10.

      • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 8:37 am |

        I suppose they would, if it were real life and not a painting. Paintings are composed and arranged with an audience in a fixed location. Ever notice how actors on stage rarely turn their backs to the audience, but rather always seem to be speaking in the general direction of the audience, rather than directly to one another? Same thing. The point of this painting – note the title! – is the umpires. The managers’ argument serves to illustrate the dilemma and decision the umps face. Thus the composition, in which the managers’ argument illustrates the drama but does not obscure the central actors.

        Anyway, Rockwell most often painted with narrative and allegory in mind. If a proposed reading of a Rockwell canvass renders it an incoherent, meaningless pastiche, that proposed reading is almost certainly wrong.

        • Matt | June 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm |

          Perhaps the Brooklyn manager is grinning as if to say, “It’s not that bad, we can keep playing.” While the Pirates manager is bundled up as if to say, “It’s too fucking wet and cold.”

          That’s my take.

      • EMD | June 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |

        Also that minute amount of rain falling means the teams would still be playing.

        But that’s just getting nitpicky.

    • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 9:08 am |

      A detail I’d never noticed before: On the bottom of the scoreboard, there’s a line for batting order that includes “42 2B”.

      • C. Zervic | June 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |

        Another detail about the scoreboard, is that #20 is at the bat…There was no Dodger who wore that number in 1949, but in 1948 (the painting was painted between the 1948 and 1949 seasons), that number was worn by a couple of average to below-average pitchers. What appears to be conveyed is that Sukeforth (a Brooklyn coach) wants to get the inning underway before the game is called, to get to the top of the order. As you can see, the former Rookie of the Year – and that year’s eventual MVP – would be due up third. Meyer is not quite so inclined.

      • Bob Sharp | June 10, 2011 at 11:58 am |

        Interesting, but it doesn’t answer I question I’ve always had about that painting. What is the white stripe on the umpire’s mask supposed to be. Tape? Why? Lots of catchers wore that style of mask in the late into the middle 1960s, including Yogi Berra, and I’ve never seen any white on the mask in that location.

        I’ve got a print hanging in my family room. I’ve seen the original painting, closeup, at an exhibition in Phoenix, and I still don’t know what it’s supposed to be.

        • Ben Fortney | June 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

          Shameless plug: I’d compiled/shared a whole slew of Rockwell sports paintings before, here it is again.

          Scotty: will see you this weekend for some vintage

        • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

          Rockwell was a meticulous researcher of the material objects he painted. Almost certainly, the white stripe reflects a similar object or coloration on a physical artifact. Doesn’t answer the question, but this is the kind of thing that I think is more likely to be answered in reference to material reality than in reference to the artist’s imagination.

          This Eakins makes a nice companion to the Rockwell.

        • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

          Ben, I haven’t played with the C&P for a couple of seasons, and I’m stuck doing stuff at church this weekend, so I won’t see you in Loudoun for vintage. But there’s some events coming up down in my neck of the woods in Woodbridge and Manassas, and I might make it out for those. Anyway, enjoy yourself some base ball!

        • Ben Fortney | June 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |

          Scott: Will do – catch up with you then. Thanks for the lead.

      • Mark in Shiga | June 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm |

        The thing I’ve always wondered about with that painting is the extra zero below the third inning on the scoreboard. Why is it there?

    • Dan | June 11, 2011 at 12:42 am |

      I looked at the painting closely for the first time in decades when I went to the Hall last fall (I had never noticed the hot dog and soda at the bottom center of the frame; the top has two American flags, and the left and right have NL and AL pennants, respectively). I interpreted the managers’ discussion as R.S. Rogers did — the skippers are discussing between themselves their respective points of view as the umpires ponder their decision.

      The Brooklyn Museum just had a great Rockwell exhibition that showed his process — particularly the meticulously staged photographs he took of his models before executing a painting. “Game Called” wasn’t part of the exhibition, but I bought the catalog and will look through it to see if it’s mentioned. But yes, as Rogers says, the most likely explanation for the tape on the umpire’s mask is that the actual mask Rockwell used as the model for his painting had a strip of tape there.

  • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 8:08 am |

    who the fuck complains?

    • Juke Early | June 10, 2011 at 8:50 am |

      It is so right about the limited mentality that slams people who use the words fuck, shit etc. in their speech & writing. Sure, there is a place for it – sometimes leaving it out is wise, like when talking with mom, nuns a good boss or at least the traditional forms of them.

      But I was once told my use of profanity shows a limited vocabulary & equally criticized for using “big words” – because it’s showing off. Having been skipped out of 2 semesters of college Eng Comp & straight into English Lit due to my SAT scores & having co-written a college level ESL book on colloquial English, I’m reasonably sure I have a well rounded wordlist. As do the writers of this blog. Detractors of free range verbiage may feel free to osculate our collective posteriors, ingest feces and expire. Or if you possess the kinetic physical agility – go fuck yourself.

      • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 9:28 am |

        Think for a moment: You are one second from being struck by a speeding freight train; your 300,000 word lexicon is now streamlined to about 6 or 7 words– and one of them isn’t “train”.

        • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 9:56 am |

          Fie! Fie, I say, upon this consarned reply protocol! Verily, I say fie!

    • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 9:13 am |

      Fuck is the *perfect* word! Its the only word you will never forget!

    • Simply Moono | June 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

      “who the fuck complains?”


      10 year-old cynical assholes, that’s who ;)


    • Lloyd Davis | June 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Keith S | June 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

      Fuck is the perfect word. It’s the only word in the English language that can be used as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb. Using it shows resourcefulness.

      Fuck yeah!

  • Fred | June 10, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    At least you’re not defending the usage of the n word.

    • Defo Maitland | June 10, 2011 at 8:31 am |


    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 8:34 am |

      Apples and oranges. Nigger is a term designed to demean, to inflict harm; fuck is not.

      • FormerDirtDart | June 10, 2011 at 8:45 am |

        There is only one word that should never, ever, be uttered, or written.
        I personally have no problem with it, and, I would guess roughly 50% of the population has no qualms with it.
        But, the other half of the population is likely to become unreasonably enraged, at it’s use.

        It begins with a “C”.

        • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 8:57 am |


        • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 9:03 am |

          Oh please. I’ve known plenty of women who refer to their cunts as, you know, their cunts.

        • Mike V. | June 10, 2011 at 9:12 am |

          I’m really liking the comments today by the way…oh, and I like using the word “fuck”, shows conviction.

        • SimulatedSteve | June 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |

          My favorite “chicago” joke:

          Can you name the 3 streets in the city of Chicago which rhyme with vagina?

          Answer: Melvina, Paulina, and Lunt.

        • Chance Michaels | June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

          English chestnut:

          Q: What three football teams have swear words in their name?

          A: Arsenal, Scunthorpe, and Manchester Fucking United.

        • Mike Hunt | June 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

          I have no problem with it.

        • -Monty- | June 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

          I have no problem with it. But I do have a major problem with the use of “it’s” as the possessive when “its” is how it’s supposed to be.

      • Fred | June 10, 2011 at 9:00 am |

        The f word isn’t designed to demean someone, yes, but it can be used to hurt feelings. I’ve used to to hurt others and it’s been used to hurt me. So it can be used to demean others, like the n word.

        I’m not saying ban the word and be done with it. There are some situations where it can enhance the conversations but if it becomes a part of your mainstream vocabulary, then you’re using it in a lazy way. I’m an environmental engineer and I wouldn’t take people seriously if they’re dropping the f-bombs regularly at a conference or group workshop. It should be restricted to personal usage and even within that, be used at appropriate times.

        Just a matter of courtesy, methinks. We have other ways of eliciting powerful emotions with words other than the f word. That’s what being lazy with it means. You’re a journalist, you have a way with words. You can be better than that. But you just wrote 3 paragraphs defending it so I’ll accept that about you.

        • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 9:04 am |

          Poor logic. ANY word can demean someone if used as such. But only certain words, like nigger, are SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to demean someone.

          If you want to live in some fantasy land where not using certain words makes a journalist (or anyone else) “better than that,” be my guest. But back here in the real world, all words are communication tools — some to be used frequently, some judiciously, but all part of the toolkit.

        • Fred | June 10, 2011 at 9:14 am |

          Like I said, I’ll accept that about you, Paul.

        • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 9:17 am |

          That’s mighty big of you.

        • RonV | June 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

          Hey Fred, is it hurtful to refer to someone as a pompous ass?

      • J-Dub | June 10, 2011 at 9:25 am |

        To reply to Pual – yes, some women refer to hat part of their anatomy with that word, but if I guy calls her that, he’s opening himself up for a bitch-slapping.
        Same thing with black friends of mine who use the n-word when addressing each other – s’okay when they do it, but if I were to address them as such they’d bust a cap in my white ass. Just sayin’

        • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 10:10 am |

          Interesting thread. As with Paul, many, maybe most, of the women I know well use the word cunt in my presence as a synonym for vagina or (less frequently) as an insulting description of another woman. Since I’m a good Irish Catholic, I can’t vouch for the frequency of utterances of the word during sexual activities, but my friends seem to have heard it. Now and then.

          I knew a very nice woman who swore like the proverbial sailor. When dissing another female across the room, she would often mutter “CSW” (cum-spattered whore) or “RWB” (rhymes with bunt). Like I say, a nice person. Well, kind of.

          Among our English cousins, the word cunt is usually a male-to-male insult, I’ve found.

        • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |

          “Among our English cousins, the word cunt is usually a male-to-male insult, I’ve found.”


          fuckin’ limeys

        • Mike V. | June 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

          Deadwood was one of my favorite shows, they used “cunt” like an art form. The show should have been called, “Come watch cowboys say ‘cunt’ a lot…and then shoot each other”
          Cunt (ahhhh)

      • EMD | June 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |

        Yeah, whenever I sing along with Kanye, I have to use the word “ninja.”

        • J-Dub | June 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

          “Ninjas Gossip”??

        • Christopher F. | June 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

          What about when you sing along to Bob Dylan’s song “Hurricane?”

        • Lloyd Davis | June 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

          In a related story, if we never said “shit,” what would we know from Shinola?

      • Simply Moono | June 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm |

        Words are so tricky these days. While you do mention NiggER being used to demean others, we can’t leave out NiggA, which is used in the same connotation as “buddy”, of “friend”.

        Then there are my comments from about a week ago on using words (which I only list for informative reasons) like Fag, Faggot, Gay, and Retarded as commodities.

        GUY 1: “Hey, did you hear? Justin Bieber won the 2011 MTV Movie Award for ‘Most Jaw-Dropping Moment’ over Steve-O’s Poo Cocktail Supreme in Jackass 3d.”

        GUY 2: “What?! You serious??? Man, that’s gay. That’s even more retarded than when Jethro Tull won ‘Best Metal Album’ over Metallica all those years ago.”

        Wow. We are on a verbal onslaught today 8)

        • Simply Moono | June 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

          Capital ‘D’ in ‘Jackass 3D’, not lowercase ‘d’.

  • Hank-SJ | June 10, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    Hoodies/sweatshirts: nope. Looks unprofessional.

  • Hank-SJ | June 10, 2011 at 8:36 am |

    Re: missing puck. Leighton is still looking for it himself. Had to be THE softest goal in Stanley Cup history. Leighton’s new hockey card:

    • Rob Ullman | June 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |

      I hear it’s printed on Charmin.

  • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 8:45 am |

    I agree with Brennaman… who the heck cares? I don’t really think a baserunner should have anything over their uniform, jacket or otherwise. But if jackets are allowed, why shouldn’t a hoodie be? What’s the difference? One’s glossy, the other isn’t… beyond that… um… seriously, why is it an issue?

    As for the hood being an obstruction… why would anyone be throwing a ball that close to a runner’s head? A hood doesn’t flap around *that* much.

    Also, just because: Fuck.

    /Anyone that complains about profanity should be forced to watch Penn & Teller’s Bullshit episode on that topic. Seriously.

    • Mike V. | June 10, 2011 at 9:14 am |

      It could be a problem if he is sliding into second (due to a hit or stealing base) and the throw comes in low and gets caught in his hood.

      • Craig D. | June 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |

        If flapping around and getting a ball caught up in the hood is such a risky proposition, they need to eliminate button down jerseys and go with pullovers or zipper fronts. The probability of a hood interfereing with the ball is so minimal that it’s not worth the effort to make him take it off. Sure the jacket can look better, but seriously, these days most dugout jackets are awful. That hoodie at least was nice looking. Back when the Reds had the simple satin red jacket with CINCINNATI vertically arched on the chest, there would be no contest. Jacket all the way. Now? Doesn’t make a difference to me, their jackets are nothing to write home about.

  • Bernard | June 10, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    Hey James… pink socks.

  • Shane | June 10, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    RE: Francona, I thought he had some sort of blood pressure issues and was just always, always cold.

    Of course, Tuesday night in the Bronx, he seemed to be wearing short sleeves for the first time in ever.

    • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |

      Yeah, he has some kind of circulatory issue.

      But why does that make it OK for him to wear a sweatshirt rather than a jacket? Why not wear longjohns under his uni and then if that’s not enough, wear a dugout jacket over it?

  • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 9:09 am |

    In 1991, Marco Lokar quit the Seton Hall basketball team after being threatened, when he refused to wear a flag patch to acknowledge the Persian Gulf War. I don’t think flags belong on sports uniforms, because athletes are entertainers. Flags *do* belong on uniforms of people who are charged with keeping the peace; but keep ’em out of sports. All they do is fan flames of cheap patriotism.

    • NinerEd | June 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

      Maybe flags don’t belong on sports uniforms, but why do they automatically belong on police/fire uniforms? Cops and firefighters aren’t representing the U.S., they represent their cities/counties (and occasionally states). They’re more likely to wear their department patches prominently (NYPD) or their city flags (Chicago PD, Washington Metro Police, etc.) than the U.S. flag.

      For that matter, our servicemembers don’t automatically wear U.S. flags on their uniforms – it’s done only in specific situations. I’ve been in the Navy for 12 years now and have never had a flag patch on any of my unis – not even my BDUs (cammies). Marines never do. The Army has a Velcro-backed flag for their combat uniform.

  • Ted M. | June 10, 2011 at 9:14 am |

    Leave the sweatshirts to football.

    The linesman probably has the puck, but he’s painted into a corner by his denial. Prediction, he will magically “find” it and it will be donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame (maybe Kaner can keep it for a day!)

    The Bruins’ stirrup….I miss the golden “B” and sock stripe from the 1970 uniform.

    • Jet | June 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |

      Amen to the Bruins’ 70 uniform.


  • Bob Sullivan | June 10, 2011 at 9:23 am |

    Where is the puck? WHO CARES????

    As much as I like baseball, it’s the only sport that is stupid enough to make a big deal about a ball/puck.

    Where is the football that Vinatieri kicked to beat the Rams?

    Where is the basketball that Jordan shot to beat the Jazz?

    One thing they found out when writing this article originally on the ESPN site: Nobody knows where most of the other “Series Clinching” pucks are either. BECAUSE NO ONE OUTSIDE OF MEMORABILIA NERDS CARES.

    Hockey players want the cup, not the puck.

    Go purchase a 2010 Stanley Cup finals puck, use it in a beer-league game, and sell it on ebay as the game winning puck. The so-called series winning puck has no provenance now as a collector’s item anyway, and frankly, only the baseball collectable obsessives care about those things anyway.

    Let baseball have its moronic obsession with some ball that participated in a notable moment in baseball history. The other sports really don’t care.

    • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |

      Hmmm. Interesting observation, Sully. Hadn’t thought of it.

    • Tom V. | June 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |

      Do pucks have chips implanted in them like soon-to-be “important” baseballs do?

      • Bob Sullivan | June 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |

        Only the ones that Fox used to track on TV.

        • Tom V. | June 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |

          Bob, we can talk about curse words all day long on this site but I will not tolerate mentioning of glowing pucks.

    • KevinW | June 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

      Vinatieri’s filed goal ball and Jordan’s game winning shot ball are most likely in the hall of fame. Both sports have a vast collection of game used balls for significant events. In the NFL’s case many immediately have the game and info directly writen on them.

      With regards to collectibility, Baseball is unique because the most interesting pieces of memorabilia end up in the stands with fans who are able to sell or do what thy wish with the ball. In the NFL and NBA an official takes the ball and puts it away to be stored by the league and fans have little access to them.

  • Geeman | June 10, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    None of this vulgarity is needed on this site, which is better than that. It is akin to wearing a worn, dirty, sweat-soaked hoodie at church on Sunday.

    • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 9:59 am |

      ….because God cares what you’re wearing, right?

      • Geeman | June 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |

        Don’t worry, THE. You get a pass on understanding any of the rules of dress or language that are signs of how you respect others.

    • Kevin | June 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |

      What exactly makes one word that is “vulgar” worse than any other, besides something your parents told you when you were 10?

      • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |

        Nothing. Nothing at all. There’s absolutely no logical reason why “fuck” should be forbidden but saying “frack” or “frell” in it’s place to mean THE SAME EXACT THING is acceptable. None. The entire concept of profanity is just ridiculous.

        • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:20 am |

          No it’s not. Shock and outrage have their place. Words have power, and certain words have more power than others — that’s part of why they’re so interesting.

    • EMD | June 10, 2011 at 10:40 am |

      It is akin to wearing a worn, dirty, sweat-soaked hoodie at church on Sunday.

      You’re just anti-Belichek.

      • Geeman | June 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |

        LOL. Guilty as charged as to his wardrobe and lack of humor.

    • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |

      “It is akin to wearing a worn, dirty, sweat-soaked hoodie at church on Sunday.”


      and what if you don’t attend church (sunday or otherwise)? what if you’re not christian or an athiest or agnostic?

      i guess you’re fucked then

      • Geeman | June 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |

        Fair enough. That was more a term of art, with church including temple, synogogue, mosque, etc. Put it this way: You would not wear that to the White House to meet the President.

        • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |

          i donno…im pretty sure THE would wear a hoodie to meet 44

          why? why the fuck not

        • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |

          Funny Phil, funny.

          But I don’t really wear hoodies. I’m more of a jeans & Iron Maiden t-shirt kinda guy.

        • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |

          You’re a Maiden fan?

          Thanks for ruining my day.

      • Shane | June 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

        I break another one of the PL commandments and wear a Patriots jersey to the local bar.

        • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

          What commandment is this?

  • Eriq Jaffe | June 10, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    If the Indians’ BP batting practice balls aren’t bad enough, the Cubs/White Sox interleague games are sponsored by BP, and the team that wins the most of them gets the “coveted” BP Crosstown Cup. :(

  • Chip | June 10, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    What if Cueto wanted to wear this –

    Would if have been allowed? It is easier to run in than the jacket and more aesthetically pleasing than the hoodie. I would have been okay with seeing a pitcher wearing that on the basepaths.

  • Bouj | June 10, 2011 at 9:30 am |

    Paul & the Purple Tape: a perfect encapsulation of Paul’s feelings towards purple. It made me laugh.

    Imagine if the purple tape had Nike swooshes on it…

    • Paul | June 10, 2011 at 10:55 am |

      “Imagine if the purple tape had Nike swooshes on it…”

      No— imagine if the BLUE and GREEN tapes had Nike swooshes on them.

      What to do, what to do…?

  • JamesP. | June 10, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    Paul, as a father of a 4yr old who fights going to bed EVERY fucking night, that book is awesome, and will be a guilty pleasure for my wife and I. We read the PDF that was floating around last month and could not finish reading it as we were laughing so fucking much!

    As for the language you use here…I don’t fucking care. Most of your readers are adults, and most guys use swear words when they are together.

  • SimulatedSteve | June 10, 2011 at 9:37 am |

    Paul– I get it, on words. After all my English teacher also told me that I would grow hair on my palms and I can attest he was wrong on that too.

    And I have no problem with whatever words you want to use on this site or anyone else for that matter.

    From another perspective though, the problem for me is that I have an 11 year old son, and often it becomes a challenge as a father of finding sports media that we can share together.

    You have been great at keeping the content of this site safe for viewers of all ages and I have bookmarked this site on the kids computer. So he can read on his own as well.

    Whether it be this website, print, talk radio or TV, everyone can use whatever creative style they choose. But if uni-watch ever became uni-fucking-watch, would I still read, sure, but it would just be another sports medium that a father couldn’t enjoy with his kids, and that never makes sense.

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:15 am |

      Steve, I mean no offense when I say this, but I don’t write this site for your (or anyone’s) son. I write it to express what I think about subjects that matter to me. Sometimes, although not often, that expression includes words like “fuck” and “shit,” because those words make sense to me at certain times. Simple as that.

      I was 12 when I read Ball Four, which is still the best and most important sports book ever written. One reason it’s so important (although certainly not the only one) is that it showed America that ballplayers routinely use words like fuck, shit, cocksucker, pussy, cunt, motherfucker, etc. Many people were aghast, because they preferred the pleasant fable that baseball was “wholesome” (whatever that means). And yet somehow the world kept right on spinning.

      Words like fuck and shit have a certain capacity to shock and to outrage. That’s why they should be used sparingly (or at least why I try to do so) — if you overdo them, people become numb to them, they lose their potency. But shock and outrage, when properly applied, can be perfectly legitimate communication levers. If they come between you and your 11-yr-old, I’m sorry (honestly), but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

      • Craig D. | June 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |

        I don’t swear in front of my kids (unless they’re around when the Browns are on TV) and I tell them that they cannot say those words until they are much older. However, if they hear others say them, or watch a movie that has some salty language, it doesn’t bother me. They know those words are out there and they know that they are too young to say them. I cannot and will not shield them from that. I was using all these words and more at boy scout camp when I was 11.

        I view the use of profanity in this site like anything else that’s been criticized…you don’t have to read it. Outlaw swear words? Fuck that noise!

    • Keith S | June 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |

      Not trying to flare you up, as I have kids myself (11 & 16), but you do realize that kids use vulgar language, right?

      I’m not advocating being vulgar, but I am also enough of a realist to understand that kids cuss. I did it, my dad did it, and I’m sure my grandfather did too. I have no doubt that both my boys do it.

      My point is that it’s as much a part of life as boys eventually seeing boobs. You can either pretend it doesn’t happen, or accept that it will and educate your children on the issue.

      Again, I’m not in anyway trying to criticize your parenting, just giving my 2 cents.

  • possum | June 10, 2011 at 10:07 am |

    What a perfect column today. The sweatshirt segment makes me want to say “Oh fuck!” and then there it is, just a segment below. Players/coaches who step foot on the field with anything other than a jersey or team issued jacket should be warned once, then ejected. This isn’t ‘Nam, Dude, there are rules. If you’ve got blood pressure issues (which sounds like a load to me), put on some fucking long johns. This is a team sport and you should be outfitted as if you’re part of that team, not like me in the stands.

    Profanity has a place, and the internet is most definitely located in that place. There are things I don’t like about this blog, Paul. But there are underlying principles you adhere to that bring me back despite the Mets fandom, weekend uni tweeks, rugby/soccer/Japanese updates, & LIP’s long windedness. Principles such as what I’ve quoted below are what allow us to unite as uniform nutjobs.

    “If you want to live in some fantasy land where not using certain words makes a journalist (or anyone else) “better than that,” be my guest. But back here in the real world, all words are communication tools – some to be used frequently, some judiciously, but all part of the toolkit.”

    • possum | June 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |

      Forgot to add…I don’t curse in front of my kids and am not afraid to tell others (my lovely fucking wife included) that I don’t think they should do it either. But the kids know those words, they’ve been busted for using them. I find it’s important not to shield children from reality.

      • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |

        All of you who are busily engaging in this discussion about certain words — did any of you bother to read the New York Mag story I linked to?

        • dgm | June 10, 2011 at 11:26 am |

          i did read the piece, and i think it all harkens back to the gawdamned pilgrims – the people who went about establishing our national morality (if such a thing exists, which i tend to think it does) were such a devout, strange brand of christian that the english said, basically, “have all of the new world. just leave us the fuck alone, please.” and so, 300 years later, england (and the UK in general) is much more tolerant of cussing and drinking and sex while all of those things are still, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the subject, taboo in american culture.

          also, kathryn schulz’ point about cussing in other languages is spot on, both in the sense that cuss words lose shock value and that in some countries it’s not the same. whenever i am pissed but don’t want to draw attention to myself i swear in spanish. does the trick for letting me blow off steam and doesn’t offend anyone.

          i remember sitting in a metro train in madrid and a father and his son got on the car. the son was wearing a funny jester-type hat, and the father looked at the son, rubbed the hat, and looked at me and said “ja, coño, que gorro!” which means, “ha, cunt, what a hat!” this is unthinkable in american english, but in spain it’s totally acceptable. in argentina, when you go out partying you say “estoy de joda” which literally translates to “i’m out fucking.” again, this would never happen in the usa.

          the legacy of the puritans lives on in our still very conservative views on profanity.

        • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

          See, I actually value the American cultural conservatism on profanity, because it preserves the power of the words. Profanity fulfills a valuable role in the language. It’s important to have words that function as a form of almost physical assault, and it’s important that ethnic slurs not be the only such words. The taboo against using profanity preserves the value of profanity to express meanings that need to be expressed. When I say fuck or shit, I want it to mean something, goddammit.

          Or put in baseball terms, the unwritten rule that saying the word “cocksucker” within hearing of the umpire is an automatic ejection is a great rule. It establishes and preserves the expressive value of the word. If a manager wants to demonstrate maximum disapproval of the ump’s performance, if he wants to say, “I would hit you in the face with my fist right now if I could,” all he has to do is say to him, “You cocksucker,” and the ump knows exactly what he means (and this meaning has nothing to do with fellatio). Take away the taboo against that word, and managers would have no easy way to express precisely that level of disapproval short of actually punching the umpire.

          We need a few strong words, but words only remain strong if they’re used sparingly, and words are only used sparingly if there is a strong social taboo against using them at all. So credit to the Puritans for getting this one right!

        • David | June 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

          Terrific story, and terrific writing on your part, Paul. I absolutely agree with her assertion that sometimes a profanity is chosen because it’s the best possible word. There is a difference – one that Ms. Schulz knows and appreciates – between using the word because of its shock value and using it because it fits.

          I recall a “User’s Guide to the F-Word” that circulated many years ago. It extolled the virtues of it and lauded the vast abd varied uses of it: “Can be used as a verb (‘I fucked Mary’) or as a descriptor (‘Mary is a fine fuck.’). It can be used to express happiness (‘This is fucking awesome!’), despair (‘We have no fucking chance.’) or utter hopelessness (‘Fuck this.’)

          I cannot do the essay justice, and if I could find it, I would love to re-post it somewhere.

          Lastly, at the urging of a friend many years ago, I started making sure I pronounced the last letter when using the active form of the word. “You are fucking kidding me” really does soiund better than “I have no fuckin’ idea.”

          Just one man’s opinion.

        • Christopher F. | June 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

          To be fair, a lot of us are at work and probably saved the article for “later reading tonight” like I did.

          While at work I have the attention span for short blog posts and shorter comments… but nothing else.

      • moose | June 10, 2011 at 11:54 am |

        my old man always used the cursing is lazy thing with me. and i agree, if that is all you do you have no grasp of language, it is a good lesson, and a good place to start. however, if your curses are used in a calculated way, and not just fillers, ticks, or as a substitute for nearly every word of your speech, if you really think about when the appropriate time is, and rarely use them as the punctuation of your thoughts, then they can be used effectively, and maintain their “power”. it’s like when your mother calls you by your full name, she doesn’t do it often, but when she does, listen up. there is nothing inherently wrong with a curse word, and they are not going to bring down civilization.

    • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

      “LIP’s long windedness”


      fuckin cocksucker







      • possum | June 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm |

        No offense man. It’s just that the weekend posts are in such contrast to the weekday versions in terms of length. I’m scrolling through the RSS reader thinking “will this asshole ever let me get to the Daily Rotten articles?” No hard feelings. If I ever get up to the Sh(ithole)ea replacement for a Braves game I’m dropping you guys a line.

  • Casey Hart | June 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |

    I saw that Go … Sleep book on sale at a Borders in Jersey last week. Seems to have very much already been published.

    And sweatshirts in MLB are stupid. Jackets are clah-sic. My favorite dugout-jacket memory:

  • Dan G | June 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |

    Here’s a pretty good overview of the Rockwell painting:

    • Bob Gassel | June 10, 2011 at 10:58 am |

      I guess this somewhat confirms R.S. Rogers interpretation (above post)…but note that the explanation comes from the Post editors and not Rockwell himself. Could they have been covering his gaffe? Probably not, but it’s possible.

  • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    “…I was 12 when I read Ball Four, which is still the best and most important sports book ever written…”

    Interesting. I loved Ball Four, a perfect book for its time. But I dunno. The Glory of Their Times? The early Bill James annuals? Bang the Drum Slowly? And (the fabulous and under-rated) The Great American Novel by Philip Roth? Empanel a jury!

    • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 10:44 am |

      “Best” and “most important” aren’t mutually inclusive.

      BALL FOUR is certainly way, way up there in the “most important” catergory, simply because it almost surely was more widely read and widely discussed than any of the others you mentioned.

      Also, we might want to separate fiction and non-fiction for purposes of such discussion. Fiction often reveals great truths. Non-fiction often reveals realiy.

      (Not talking down to anyone, just saying we may be lumping things together that would best be treated separately.)

      • timmy b | June 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

        I happen to think Jim Brosnan’s “The Long Season” from 1960 (written about Broz’s 1959 season pitching for the Cardinals and Reds is right up there as a baseball classic.

        • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |


  • nettles | June 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |

    “Over the past couple of years, the sweatshirts have become more common. Terry Francona was famously told to stop wearing his back in 2007, and the same edict was issued to Joe Maddon last year. But the sweatshirt is apparently hard to suppress: Francona’s still wearing one this season, and so is Maddon.”

    I thought Managers wearing hoodies was permitted as long as they had a uniform shirt on underneath?

  • Joneee | June 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    I agree that kids can’t be shielded from reality, but they don’t need to be drowned in it for drowning’s sake either. I’m likely one of the more prudent readers of this column, but am not offended at the occassional use of profanity. Too much of it and I’d likely go elsewhere.

    There’s a time and place for everthing. Decorum has its place.

  • Jimbo | June 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    ….’fuck’ or varied grammatical variations, ‘fucked’ ‘fucking’ fucker’, etc..are used as both nouns, verbs and adjectives in Australia…

    “Fuck, mate…lets get a fuckin’ beer and go watch those fucks play some fuckin footy…”

  • Jim Hayden | June 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    In the immortal words of Eric Cartman:

    “What’s the big deal? It doesn’t hurt anybody. Fuck-fuckety-fuck-fuck-fuck”

  • NihlistNel | June 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |


    Anyway: As you may be aware, the hot phenomenon in the publishing biz at the moment is a children’s book, sort of, called Go the Fuck to Sleep. It’s been the top-selling book on Amazon for the past few weeks, even though it won’t be officially published until Monday (think about that).

    It’s been done already…a decade ago:

    That idea is about as fresh as LeBron James’ armpits by the end of the third quarter (we no he doesn’t show up for the fourth quarter).

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |

      I didn’t say it was (or wasn’t) fresh. I said it’s currently the hottest thing in the book biz. Which it is.

    • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |

      A decade ago? That book was written almost 30 years ago.

      And it’s really not quite the same thing.

  • Michael M | June 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |

    On sweatshirts and language…

    There is also a risk of injury with the hoodie. If Cueto was trying to break up a double play at second and the fielder’s foot got caught in the hoodie as he was jumping over Cueto (or landing), Cueto or the fielder could be injured. Granted, it’d be a freak thing if it happened, but the risk is there.

    As for the language, we all have to be our own judge of what is ok and what is too much. The way we all look at profanity can affected by geography (deep south vs. NYC), religion, family upbringing, etc. But I’d never write to the author of a blog and tell him that he shouldn’t use profanity. It’s his blog. He can do whatever he wants. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it.

  • BrianC | June 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |

    That 5 in number 50’s jersey in the Yankees picture looks like an upside down 2…

  • EMD | June 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |

    Joe Paterson is here to help.

  • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    “Hell, when we complain about pajama pants, we’re basically saying they look like sweatpants.”

    Well, don’t I feel stupid…

    All this time I thought we were saying that they look like pajama pants.

  • dgm | June 10, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    wait, is “eating vegetables is good for you” a fiction? are vegetables NOT good for you or something? of all the things you listed as fictions we tell kids, paul, the vegetable one was the only thing that made me pause.

    please enlighten me. i mean it. i honestly think eating vegetables is good for you.

    • EMD | June 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |

      This has made the rounds.

      • Jeff P | June 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm |

        So vegetables aren’t important if you take processed vitamin pills as a substitute.

        Sorry, but just because we synthesized something that can act as a pretty good (though not perfect- there’s more than calories and vitamins, though I really don’t know much about that. Ask scientists, it’s a developing field) substitute does not mean that vegetables are not good for you. They still are quite good for you, it’s just that through the miracle of modern science, the things that make them good for you can be obtained elsewhere. But those things must still be obtained in order to stay healthy.

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |

      Paul = committed carnivore.

    • Walter | June 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

      I thought we’d established the Four Basic Food Groups were:

      Alcohol, Nicotine, Caffeine and Refined Sugar.

      Or was that the ’50s?

      • SoCalDrew | June 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

        Collard greens, yams, mac n cheese and of course something fried or grilled, the four SOUTHERN basic food groups.

  • JimWa | June 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    The balls in Cleveland:

    Asking out of ignorance here – What are the chances that a BP ball would ever – accidentally or on purpose – make it into play during an actual game?

  • Ben Fortney | June 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    Paul, the link to GTFTS’s Wikipedia page is broken… extra “

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 11:14 am |

      Thanks. Now fixed.

      • Ben Fortney | June 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |

        Wow. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned how fuck ugly ugly those new Chelsea strips are.

        Kinda emind me of this.

        • Ben Fortney | June 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |

          Sorry, that wasn’t a response…

  • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 11:10 am |

    One thing is certain.

    Everyone is certainly enjoying having an excuse to type “fuck” today.

    • Tim E. O'B | June 10, 2011 at 11:18 am |

      Fuck that.

  • Fred | June 10, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    “who the fuck complains?”

    “fuckin’ limeys”

    “and what if you don’t attend church (sunday or otherwise)? what if you’re not christian or an athiest or agnostic?

    i guess you’re fucked then”

    “i donno…im pretty sure THE would wear a hoodie to meet 44

    why? why the fuck not”

    Guess Phil is really letting it go today.

    • LI Phil | June 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |

      in case you hadn’t noticed, im trying to use the word “fuck” or a derivation thereof in every reply

      that’s not as easy as it seems, but thanks for making this one easy

      • The Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |

        Oh please, it isn’t that fucking difficult. ;)

        • Another Jeff | June 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

          Its not difficult, it just makes you a very fucking lazy writer.

        • Lloyd Davis | June 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

          All this talk about the F-bomb brings to mind the TV-edited version of “Raging Bull.” “Did you meet my wife? Did you meet my wife?”

        • Tim E. O'B | June 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm |

          Another Jeff clearly missed the fucking point of the article…

  • stirrup revolution | June 10, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    congrats to the few of you who got in early this morning, captain idiot put the wrong price on the image for the “new” offerings(now fixed). so for those of you who want to ask how it feels to be such a genius, all i can say it feels like there is a lazy slow witted hampster in my head and he is trying to run on a rusty wheel. that is what it feels like to be such sharp bulb in the barn, a bright utensil in the box, or whatever mixed up metaphor you want to insert.

    as for the hoodie discussion. no on the bases, but it does not bother me if the manager wears a hoodie or a jacket to stay warm, he is still covering up, i see little difference and am fine with it as long as it is a team issue garment.

    • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |

      I think managers should wear a gentleman’s suit-and-tie (linen for the especially warm days), as did my nomenclatural progenitor, Mr. Cornelius McGillicuddy. Why is it that baseball alone keeps up the convention of dressing up as if the manager is a player-manager?

      On the other hand, if the MBL managers were to become the walking billboards that are NFL coaches today, I’d take it all back. Thank God for hockey and my other nomenclatural whatever, the grand old Conn Smythe.

      • Keith S | June 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm |

        Great point (I was also pondering). Baseball is the only sport in which managers in full game gear (most including cleats) is fully acceptable (expected even).

        I like the idea of NFL coaches donning suits (some tried a few years back), but at the very least, there should be a dress code for the sidelines. I am enraged every time I see the sleeve shortened “hoodie” on the sidelines.

    • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

      Crap. I was going to mention the $10 thing to you yesterday but I forgot.

    • moose | June 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

      it was just habit, it nary occurred to me. no big deal, but i am dumb.

      i don’t know if i would want to see a dressed up manager, but i don’t mind the variation of dress either. pants, check. hat, check. some sort of team top, check. is it possible that managers wear the uniform because the manager used to be a player, and it was just something that never changed?

      • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

        Well, it very clearly says in the ordering instructions that they cost $11, no matter what was on the image, so you’re well within your rights to get the extra buck that you’re entitled to from anyone who ordered before you changed it.

        • moose | June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

          naw, if you’re in, you’re in.

          i wasn’t saying recent managers, i am talking about nap lajoie, frank chance, that spaulding creep, and all the other early ballplayer-managers. they set the standard for what a manager wears because they were also players, then as people started just managing, or mostly managing, they still did what was done before them, so it was just natural, the norm. . when was the last time a football coach played? ever? basketball? hockey? that is what i was getting at, the norm was established, and it was just followed from there. but yeah, frank and pete were the last two that come to my mind too.

        • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

          when was the last time a football coach played? ever?

          Halas or Lambeau?


          I seem to recall Mike Dunleavy having to suit up for the Bucks when he was coaching.


          I got nothin’.

        • J-Dub | June 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |


          Al Arbour – St. Louis Blues – player-coach 1970-1971 season

        • Lloyd Davis | June 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

          @J-Dub: If memory serves, Arbour quit playing to coach the Blues. In February ’71, Blues GM Scotty Bowman, whom Arbour had succeeded as coach, decided to resume his place behind the bench. That’s when Arbour started playing again.

          Charlie Burns was a playing coach in 1969-70, though.

          In the WHA, Harry Howell was player-coach for the Jersey Knights in 1973-74 (after they moved to Cherry Hill from New York) and continued in the dual role in ’74-75 when the franchise moved to San Diego.

      • Connie | June 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

        That’s my guess.

        Let’s think. Most recent player-manger… Joe Cronin… Frank Robinson?

        • R.S. Rogers | June 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

          Try Pete Rose, what, 1986-1989 or thereabouts? No one since that I can think of.

        • timmy b | June 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

          Didn’t a lot of managers double up as third base coaches in the day, and hence the need to wear a uniform?? I’m pretty sure that’s how this evolved.

          I’m thinking John McGraw coached third for a long time and was in uniform. Then when he quit that role but stayed a manager, then he too, took to street clothes and stayed in the dugout, a la Mr. Mack.

        • moose | June 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

          good point timmy, they are on the field too, another reason to continue the practice.

        • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

          More points…

          Once they get past spring training, MLB teams don’t practice between games nearly as often as they practice BEFORE games. They transition from practice right into the game.

          And coaches are very much a part of those practices, performing acts that are common to the game…hitting, fielding, throwing, demonstrating.

          Plus, baseball dugouts are precisely defined bench areas where only players, coaches, trainers and bat boys are allowed. Not like football where injured players not in pads are present, as are photographers, cameramen, reporters and, often, other hangers-on who have finagled sideline passes. Or basketball, where Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee practically are sitting with the team.

          Baseball’s uni policy clearly identifies who does, and does not, belong in that dugout.

          Plus, as mentioned, base coaches actually are on the field during play, in places where the ball is alvie and playable. Hence, the usual label of “on-field personnel.”

          Just…some thoughts on the issue.

  • pushbutton | June 10, 2011 at 11:27 am |

    Two great descriptions of the pitching motion of Steve Blass: “A man unfolding a beach chair” (Roger Angell, I think) and “a flying swastika” (can’t remember–??)

  • Ken | June 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    The F Word.
    My 8 year old son and I were watching HBO 24/7 CAPS/PENS: Countdown to the Winter Classic and he heard that magic word (one scene the caps coach used it 22X in 2 minutes) ~ I told him that the context of use is the deciding factor as to weather it is a good or bad word.
    Fast Forward a few months ~ he and I were playing street hockey and he rips a shot the dings off the post. His reaction: “FUCK”. I look at him in shock, he responded “It’s ok dad, we are playing hockey.” [Lesson learned ?]

    • Jeff P | June 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm |

      He’ll learn it sooner or later. Gordie Howe had a nice line, “All hockey players know two languages: english and profanity”.

      Holds pretty true. Sit close to a hockey game at any level and you’ll hear some interesting things floating off the ice.

      Actually, you’ll probably just hear lots of fucks.

  • Charles N. | June 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    Paul –

    Particularly on point today! Loved every second of this entry, and loved the article on that fuckin’ four-letter word.

    I must say, I’m not a big fan of hoodies in baseball. I love wearing them, but in baseball, I love seeing the jackets. You put it perfectly saying it added texture to the fabric of baseball. Growing up, I wanted a satin dugout Yankees jacket more than anything on the planet. Finally getting one is a fond memory of youth. It was a sad day when I grew out of that jacket. I thought they were the coolest. You’d see Showalter or Sweet Lou sitting there in the satin jacket. Way more classy than the hoodies of today.

    Oh and Carolina’s look should be dubbed “Maternity Ward” with all that blue and pink. woof.


  • Ren | June 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

    of course you wouldn’t accept purple tape on your bandage, you pretentious fuck.

    a color is a color, get over yourself

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

      Is there a way I can make sure the blood I donated doesn’t go to this guy..?

      • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

        Didn’t he do a nice job of sticking with today’s theme, though.

        • Paul | June 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

          I am curious to find out: Given the choice of purple tape or a blue or green tape with Nike swooshes all over it, which would Paul use?

        • Tim E. O'B | June 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

          Death. He’d bleed out.

  • Carl | June 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    After Joe Maddon got in trouble for the hoodie last year, MLB revised the “interpretation” of the no hoodie rule. And that day, the players showed their support.

  • Jimbo | June 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family, all boys, and my Mother and Father cursed all the time in front of us….we knew better to use those words in front of them or in public. It was part of our culture…I became a school teacher (20 years so far)…I have my filters in place and say ‘fuck’ when appropriate…duh…I’ve observed the kids who are shielded from such language tend to be easily intimdated compared to those who are…

  • Jeff M | June 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

    First time I’ve seen Cody Ross wearing the striped high socks at last nights Reds vs.Giants game. Duane Kuiper the Giants play by play tv announcer said he liked the socks. Duane also joked that Cody got them from Barry Zito.

  • Fred | June 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

    Good link about the Bruins uniform and hockey equipment from 1972 to now.

  • GoTerriers | June 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

    My 8-year old was playing in a hockey tournament this past winter and during the first period of their third game in less than 24 hours, the team was a little confused, bumping into each other, staring off into space, letting the other team skate circles around them (Actually, they kinda looked like the Canucks in the third period of Game 3).

    ANYWAY, during a stop in play, the coach calls the entire team over to the bench and begins speaking demonstratively. Sitting across the arena, I couldn’t hear him or read his lips. Curious as to what message he was delivering, but knowing message I would have delivered, I asked my son after the game what was said. He didn’t want to tell me for fear that I would be angry with him for swearing. Once I assured him that there would be no repercussions for blue language, my son informed me that they were all told to “Get [their] fucking heads out of their asses! Can you believe he said that?” and then waited for me to explode with indignation that a coach would use that sort of language with a group of Mites. Instead, I remarked that they played much better after the “chat” and that it must have gotten their attention and didn’t say anything about the specific words that were used.
    A long-winded story that leads to this point (bear with me, it’s a stretch):
    To me, the situation is analagous to the European approach to teenage drinking. Teens in Europe are permitted to drink, though not to abuse and are carefully monitored. Alcohol is demystified, there’s no sense of doing something rebellious and incidents of teenage binge drinking are far less than in the States.
    It’s OK to swear, it’s just a word. It has meaning, so be sure you’re using it correctly and appropriately. As a parent, I didn’t over-react (or react at all, really) to it’s use, either by the coach or by my son and I haven’t noticed that he’s ever used it again.

    • Paul Lukas | June 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

      To me, the situation is analagous to the European approach to teenage drinking. Teens in Europe are permitted to drink, though not to abuse and are carefully monitored. Alcohol is demystified, there’s no sense of doing something rebellious and incidents of teenage binge drinking are far less than in the States.

      Why do you hate America?

      • GoTerriers | June 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

        Phew . . .I was afraid that my point would get lost in my verbose rambling.

        Thanks, Paul.


  • Jack | June 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

    Sweatshirts: Really, who the fuck cares? If it’s a team-issue garment, why not let the pitcher wear it the 1 time a month he gets on the bases? I mean, I’m all about players wearing stirrups and dislike softball jersey tops as much as the next guy, but this discussion has so little importance to the actual gameplay that I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, as long as Johnny Cueto isn’t wearing a GAP sweatshirt as he’s running the bases or Joe Maddon’s not arguing out there with the ump in a Hollister hoodie, then is it really something anyone should care about?

    • Ricko | June 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

      “Team issue” doesn’t mean “game issue.”

      Vikings, for example, issue players purple shorts for practice. Doesn’t mean players have the option to wear them in a game.

      • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

        I guess Percy didn’t get that memo.

      • Jack | June 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

        That’s true. But that’s apples and oranges: Football requires padding and wearing shorts would be idiotic. Baseball requires no such thing. If it doesn’t hamper gameplay, why the fuss? (You could argue that the hood would hamper gameplay, but then again, so could a puffy dugout jacket.)

  • umplou | June 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm |

    As far the ‘f’…’s’ and other ‘filthy’ language is concerned, and the debate therein, may I call in the noted linguistic expert, Joseph Schultz:

    “Aw Shitfuck!” or conversely, “Aw Fuckshit!”

    thank you

  • Mr. Nussbaum | June 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

    The author sounds old, white and fat. Embrace the hoodie, live in the now. And I DARE you to say that Bill “The Hoodie” Belichick loses anything by wearing his. If anything his armor makes him more frightening. Do you see the murder in his eyes half masked by cotton?

    • JTH | June 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

      The author sounds old, white and fat.

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    • Aaron | June 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |

      Two out of three ain’t bad?

      (Mostly kidding?)

    • Chris from Carver | June 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm |

      He still coaches like it’s nobody’s business. He just looks like a ragamuffin.

  • Will S | June 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

    Whenever I used to pitch I would always put on a sweatshirt in the dugout or on the bases. Not a jacket because A) They’re significantly less comfortable to run in (many more joggers/walkers wear sweatshirts than jackets, at least in my neighborhood) B) Buttons/zippers on a jacket really hurt to slide on because they’re metal (unlike uniform buttons, which are plastic and not as sharp) and C) It kept my arm a LOT warmer unless it was super windy, and that’s what the whole point of it is. It’s not to look pretty, it’s to keep the arm warm so that you can pitch the next inning without hurting yourself.

  • Gusto44 | June 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

    With Derek Jeter closing in on history, seeking to become the first Yankee to achieve 3000 hits, thought it was a good time to check on the uniforms of the other 27 players of that exclusive club. Specifically, I wanted to check which uniform those players wore at the time of reaching that milestone.

    Six of the 27 wore unfamiliar uniforms, and it should be noted Ty Cobb reached 4000 with the old Philadelphia A’s. I’ve listed two teams, the first being the traditional team that player was associated with, then the different team he played for at the time of hit number 3000:

    Paul Waner(Pirates), Boston Braves
    Wade Boggs(Red Sox), Devil Rays
    Rickey Henderson(A’s), Padres
    Eddie Murray(Orioles), Indians
    Paul Moliter(Brewers), Twins
    Dave Winfield(Padres or Yankees), Twins

  • =bg= | June 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm |

    Not a fan of the language commentary today. Not what UW is about.

  • Oakville Endive | June 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm |

    If you’re the NHL – you can never get too full of yourself, as there always seems to be some humbling reminder of your lot in life, just around the corner.

    Vancouver is in the Stanley Cup final, and that city three hours south of it, that the NHL would love to pretend is interested in getting a team, well the NBC affiliate is currently showing some local community affairs show – Oh well……

    Here’s a uni question – how many teams that wear green and blue as there predominant colours – have made it to their league’s ultimate event? – None?

    When the Seahawks made the Super Bowl – they were in their current colour scheme, Timberwolves never, Mavericks – when they wore those colours – no. Am I missing something?

  • Michael Koch | June 11, 2011 at 12:03 am |

    Say it loudly, say it proudly, FUCK YOU!

  • DJ | June 11, 2011 at 12:11 am |

    Notre Dame and Michigan held simultaneous unveilings for their “throwback” uniforms for their September 10 game, the first night game at Michigan Stadium.

    Notre Dame:


    They’re not really throwbacks; they seem to be pastiches of different uniform elements from different eras.

    So why would two schools with great traditional looks go for two fake-throwback looks that look so dissimilar to anything they’ve worn? To make money, of course.

  • Diggerjohn111 | June 11, 2011 at 1:50 am |

    What are those bawston guys going to do with their sorry t-shirts when they lose?

  • David Johnson | June 11, 2011 at 2:04 am |

    I vote that its ok for pitchers to wear the jackets on the bases for the reasons you gave.

    I also vote that pitchers bat in the American League and all minor leagues.

    I also vote for Major League teams to only be allowed to wear colored jerseys during BP, otherwise, only whites and greys during the games.

  • -Monty- | June 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |

    As if you haven’t had enough reasonable debate and commentary on inflammatory issues, I feel compelled to ask:

    Paul, what — precisely, please — leads you to call BP an “environmental criminal”?

  • Andrew G | June 12, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    Well, that pretty much ends my perusal of this site. In my opinion, the f-word has no use in common everyday communication. If I use it at my workplace, I will be reprimanded. If I use it in connection with my boss, I will be fired. My point is this, it’s an inflammitory word. Its a “bad” word. I think it is very important to make a distinction between good words and “bad” words.

    Oh, by the way, it is a VERY lazy word. I hear people use it as a noun, verb, adjective, etc. That is the definition of lazy – “Hey, I’m angry so I am just going to throw this word out there and see what happens.”

  • PhightinPhil | June 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm |

    I have a bigger problem with the skull cap Cueto wears to keep his dreadlocks in place than his hoodie.

    Imagine, a hood wearing a hoodie.