Rooting for Laundry

By John Ekdahl

We’ve all heard it before, and while it’s generally true that your allegiance to a team supersedes that of any one player, it doesn’t make it any easier when you lose a hometown favorite. It seems we’ve had to adopt this philosophy more and more during the era of free agency as players tend to jump around. I grew up a huge Don Mattingly fan and I don’t know how loyal I would have been to the Yankees had they traded him away during the 1987 deadline. “Rooting for Laundry” seems a bit too cynical for a young kid.

Keeping that in mind, it was refreshing to see one article lamenting the loss of Umbaldo Jimenez – Losing Ubaldo Jimenez: When You Aren’t Just Rooting For Laundry

Rockies Contributor for SB Nation Dan Lucero:

But there’s another side, that side that made me turn the game off on Saturday night after watching Ubaldo Jimenez hug his teammates goodbye in the Rockies dugout.

Forget what we know and don’t know about Ubaldo’s future, his missing velocity, the promise of White and Pomeranz, any of that. Because, frankly, we don’t know anything about any of that. I only know one thing: I loved having Ubaldo Jimenez on my baseball team, loved rooting for him, loved seeing that thousand-watt smile every time he brought home a victory and the equally electric stuff that brought so many of those wins to the team.

Yeah, I know there’s a lot of truth to that Seinfeld bit, that we’re just rooting for clothes. But we get attached to certain guys wearing those clothes, and then one day, they’re not, and as long as we’re sports fans, it never gets any easier.

I’ve never had to explain salary or contract structures to a kid with tears in his eyes, but I can’t imagine it’s a fun experience. This was a bit stranger than usual because Jimenez actually pitched the first inning of yesterday’s game in San Diego when his teammates (and most fans) knew he had already been traded.

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The Hanshin Tigers wore memorial ribbons to honor Hideki Irabu, after his death earlier this week. The New York Times had an interesting article on the rise and fall of Irabu’s career (and life) – Hideki Irabu: Baseball Rock Star Who Played Yankee Stadium

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The All Blacks broke out their new jersey, with all the typical “lighter-this” and “faster-that” stuff we’re used to hearing at this point. The most obvious change is the white strip on the collar.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw:

People all over the world recognise the jersey, and of course Kiwis feel extremely strongly about it, so to make a change to it is a big deal. This new jersey is revolutionary ”“ but it’s still very much an All Blacks jersey. It’s still something I’m very proud to wear.

Full article available here.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson


Always good to go to bat for the underprivileged…

7-31-11 s-charity

And, in case that wasn’t large enough, here’s the full-size version.

51 comments to Rooting for Laundry

  • Gusto44 | July 31, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    Regarding losing a hometown favorite player, it’s a difficult situation, and the birth of the Rockies occurred well into this unfortunate MLB reality. As a longtime Pirates fan, I’m so glad to have seen greats like Clemente and Stargell play their entire careers in one city. It was very strange seeing Stargell wearing a Braves uniform as a coach in the mid 80s, so I can’t fathom how tough it would have been to see him actually playing for another franchise.

    Barry Bonds was a gifted player even before the steroids, but he was hateful and selfish, and his play declined in the playoffs. When Bonds left, it was expected, with no outpouring of emotion by the fanbase.

    At least Jimenez was traded outside the NL.

    • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 11:05 am |

      Granted, the long gone idea of “My City’s Guys vs. Your City’s Guys” was built on the horribly restrictive Reserve Clause, which made it an illusion.

      But sometimes that illusion became reality (See: Brooklyn Dodgers, players such as those Gusto44 mentioned and countless others). And that continuity made pro sports a great deal of fun.

      It’s still fun, of course, but now it’s more “Who do we have playing for us this year?” Or “Where’s Orlando Cabrerra now?” That has its own annual intrigue (See: Vikings’ seemingly perennial QB mystery), and inspires plenty of interest. I remember one season a few years back—the year Warren Moon came to Minnesota—that every team in the division went into the season with a starting QB who’d been somewhere else the season before).

      That’s certainly different from when a team’s nucleus stayed year after year. And, while I understand and appreciate free agency is far more equitable in the player/owner balance, the older template brought more, I dunno, joy…if not new news to follow every off-season.

      What the fans don’t seem to realize—or maybe they do—is that it’s them who stay, while the players follow the money. Maybe that’s why things like the incident involving Dodgers and Giants fans happen. Absent real (or imagined) commitment from the athletes, the fans adopt it themselves. And that takes it over the top once in a while.

      (Not coming to any conclusions…just thinking out loud, throwing something out there).

      • -DW | July 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm |

        I remember how devastating it was when my Reds traded Tony Perez away, both on and off the field for The Big Red Machine.

        Teams should learn from past experiences. And if you can point to one single incident that toppled an organization from the penthouse to the outhouse, look at the Perez to Montreal deal.

        Can you imagine the Reds in the late ’70s, already have won 4 pennants and 2 World Championships, with the addition of Tom Seaver to the pitching staff?

        I doubt the Yankees would have had their 1977-1978 WS Championships if the Reds had not made that Perez deal.

        I know that will be an unpopular statement with all the NY fans, but oh well…one man’s opinion.

        • BurghFan | July 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

          And if they hadn’t made the trade with the Astros (that brought Joe Morgan over) at the beginning of the decade? Sometimes trades work, and sometimes they don’t, and they’re much easier to evaluate years after the fact. The only “lesson” is to make the deals that work.

      • BurghFan | July 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

        “My City’s Guys vs. Your City’s Guys” is built on the idea that people root for the local team, whether players stay for a long time or turn over every year. (Hence the discussion we have from time to time about teams that have left – the Expos were never local to Washington.) If it was easier to start a team and compete with an existing one, there’d be less loyalty among fans – if someone competent could have started a ballclub in Pittsburgh in the last 18 years, a lot fewer people would be excited about the Pirates in the NL Central race right now (assuming they were still in business and hadn’t been relegated – the whole business model would change).

    • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

      “It was very strange seeing Stargell wearing a Braves uniform as a coach in the mid 80s, so I can’t fathom how tough it would have been to see him actually playing for another franchise.”


      • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm |

        Hell, no one would EVER accuse me of being a Yankee fan, or a Don Mattingly fan (nothing against him, now) but he still looks SO frickin’ odd in a Dodger uniform.

        Or maybe it’s the missing mustache.

        • Mike 2 | July 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

          With Kirk Gibson wearing a Diamondback uniform in the other dugout this weekend

          (I know Gibson was a Tiger for far longer, but his immortal moment was as a Dodger)

        • Jerry | July 31, 2011 at 6:48 pm |

          Mike 2, Gibson also had an immortal moment with the Tigers!!

        • Mike 2 | July 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

          That was the HR off Gossage?

          Anyway, it was just weird to see him as a D-Back managing against the Dodgers.

        • Jerry | July 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

          Mike 2, yes it was off of Gossage.

  • The Jeff | July 31, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    I don’t mind trades so much usually… as it typically means that your team is hypothetically trying to get better, and the player doesn’t usually have a choice. I want my team to get better.

    The rampant free agency is starting to bug me though. It just makes the players look greedy. Whatever happened to loyalty? It’s gotten to where we might as well just refer to them as mercenaries rather than athletes.

    • frightwig | July 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

      So, you don’t mind if players are moved around like chattel, because you don’t really care about individual players so much as you just want the team to be better; but, if players choose to leave your team for a better opportunity elsewhere, you wonder, ‘Where’s the loyalty in these mercenaries?’

      Not that you’re the only fan who feels that way. It’s just interesting to see it laid out so plainly, without any sense of irony.

      • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

        HUGE difference between the era when the Reserve Clause was, in effect, a contract in perpetuity, which was (simplfying now) the reason it was struck down.

        Trades of players under contract—when that contract has an end date and his services can be sold to a bidder of choice—aren’t all bad. Oftentimes, a quality player goes to from a team sucking wind to a team in contention, while prospects go somewhere where they’ll get a chance to play, if not now, eventually.

        It simply isn’t the same as the days when a trade meant you now belonged to someone else forever…whether you liked the idea or not.

        So The Jeff’s point is well-taken. He’s not talking out of both sides of his mouth, not at all.

        I understand that many here don’t remember the days of the Reserve Clause. But there were WILDLY different from today in terms of freedom of movement and players’ ability to have some say in where they work.

        • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

          Simply put, there has never been tons on loyalty on either side, the Reserve Clause simply created the illusion there was.

          Now it’s at least out in the open. Yeah, we’ll trade you if it suits us. But sooner or later you’ll be a free agent, too.

          That said, y’know what IS fun? Seeing the Pirates being Buyers instead of Sellers at this point in a season. Been a long time. Such a thing is good for MLB. Teams shouldn’t stay irrelevant forever. Just isn’t healthy. For any league.

      • Jeff P | July 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm |

        I just need to break in here: “like chattel”? I’m sorry, but what? Players play baseball. They know that trades are a part of the game, and they are paid millions of dollars each year to suck it up and live in another large city for a while.

        Comparisons to slavery are wildly inappropriate.

        And I would agree with Ricko on the larger points.

  • Daren L | July 31, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Ugly game (aesthetic-wise) in the CFL last night as the Calgary Stampeders wore their hideous black helmets (instead of their usual red), not to mention black pants & the Saskatchewan Roughriders wore their green tops & bottoms, instead of their usual white pants.
    I know how very upsetting all this is to our American friends. We’ll try & do better next time.

    • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 11:07 am |

      Yeah, the CFL’s really getting the Arena/Semi-Pro look down, isn’t it.

      • The Jeff | July 31, 2011 at 11:14 am |

        They’ve been doing that for quite a while, haven’t they?

        We are talking about the league that gave us this:–BIj7eFPOyU/TXF5EOkOfGI/AAAAAAAAAeY/U1mSq-el5c4/memphis+1.gif

        • The Jeff | July 31, 2011 at 11:16 am |
        • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 11:22 am |

          Thought maybe that was gonna be a link to one of the current Alouettes’ combos, them being the CFL equivalent of the late and not-so-lamented recent Bills’ unis. :)

        • Gusto44 | July 31, 2011 at 11:45 am |

          I always felt the short-lived CFL Sacramento Gold Miners had a sharp logo and uniform set, ESPN2 showed many of their games in ’93-94.

        • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          Not saying they’re all bad. But they have had some humdinger disasters recently.

        • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

          Gusto, you speak the truth. The Miners and the Baltimore Stallions pulled off a rare double; they came out with great uniforms in the worst era of uniform history – the 1990s.

          Speaking of the Stallions, I wish I would have kept my hat that I bought at the Inner Harbor. It looked like this, except mine said Colts at the end.

    • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

      That Stampeders uni would be more suited to the old Ottawa Rough Riders. Although it would be the crappiest uni in that team’s history, too.

      On the whole, the CFL’s still pretty good. I say the Eskimos have never looked better. They look like themselves instead of a Packers clone. The Melon Heads look good, except for that all-green get-up. That’s as bad as a Boise home game. Could be worse, though.

      The Lions and Bombers are solid, and if the Alouettes can avoid these monstrosities, then they’re OK. The Ti-Cats need help (and yellow/gold helmets).

      As for the Argos, their current set is very good…almost up there with these.

      • Daren L | July 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

        Excellent summation, Jim. I’m not a fan of the ultra-wide pant stripes, so if teams would narrow those down a bit, they would start to improve their look immediately.

      • Mike 2 | July 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

        Disagree – the current stamps uniforms would have to get a lot worse to out-suck the worst of the Rough Riders.

        (my buddy, an Ottawa sportswriter, dubbed those the Captain Crunch uniforms)

        • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

          Those are heretical for Rough Riders fans, no doubt, but they don’t suck. That’s a nice-looking uniform…it just belongs on an expansion team from Quebec City.

  • Daren L | July 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    Yeah the CFL has really gone downhill in the aesthetics department & it’s been like that for years now. Alot of the teams have that stupid shoulder yoke piping that just ruins what are already busy jerseys, what with the sponsor logos plastered on the front. Only the Winnipeg Blue Bombers & Edmonton Eskimoes get passing grades from me.

    While we’re talking CFL, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers wore a memorial sticker on their helmets last Thursday for their assistant head coach Richard Harris who died of a massive heart attack shortly after practice on Tuesday. Harris was a 1st round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1971 & was a beloved figure in the CFL.

    One of the photos in this collection shows the memorial sticker on the back of the helmet.

    • Gusto44 | July 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

      So I heard Ottawa is coming back to the CFL in 2013. Will it be the Rough Riders or something else?

      • The Jeff | July 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        Considering the last Ottawa team was the Renegades, I think the days of having both Roughriders and Rough Riders are over, thankfully.

        • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

          I think the days of having both Roughriders and Rough Riders are over, thankfully. unfortunately.


        • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

          Gonna agree with Vilk.

          There was a historical reason for those similar nicknames and, if you knew the background, it was a nice quirk that helped make the CFL its own league with its own style.

          Cuz I’ll bet almost NOBODY here remembers when the CFL actually would steal a high draft choice or two from the NFL once in a while.

          That was before the money explosion in the NFL, of course

    • Mike 2 | July 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

      I hear that the Ottawa team has bought the name Roughriders from Horn Chen, the last guy who owned the team before they folded in the 1990s.

      Their biggest issue is stadium – Lansdowne is half-demolished and while there’s a plan to rebuild it, its bogged down. I wouldn’t bet on 2013.

  • LI Matt | July 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    From the All Blacks link:

    The rest of the jersey is the blackest it’s ever been,….

    “None more black” ;)

  • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

    Plaxico to Jets.

    Okay, how many players of note have played for both the Giants and Jets?

    (not a trivia question, been thinking about it).

    Don Maynard, of course, but his career with the Giants was brief, to be sure.

    Others? (I’m sure there will be some forehead smackers)

    • Gusto44 | July 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

      Jumbo Elliott, Dave Meggett come to mind

      • Mike Engle | July 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

        Pepper Johnson as well.

        • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

          Didn’t think it would be a very long list.

    • Mike 2 | July 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

      Jay Feely

  • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm |

    Ah, what fun in Detroit this afternoon.

  • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    A’s in cheddar, Twins in gray.

    Good lookin’ game, all things considered (the Twins could be in navy, after all).

    • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

      Thome just hit #597.

    • R.S. Rogers | July 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

      But imagine how much better it would look if the Twins were still dressing like the Twins on the road, instead of wearing second-rate copies of the Nats roadies. A good looking game today, sure, but due entirely to the home team. The Twins just happen to be playing on the same field with a well-dressed ballclub (and, as you say, not fouling things up as much as they potentially could).

      • Ricko | July 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

        No argument here, Scott.

  • chuck | July 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

    There is a picture of the Patriots Tom Brady and Chad Ochocinco in this mornings paper wearing practice jerseys with huge Gillette patches on them. Is this a sign of things to come? Ads on jerseys?

    • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm |

      you mean like this?

      teams have had ad patches on jerseys since 2009

  • Douglas Witmer | July 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm |

    Still images from today’s local Phillies teleplay, showing Hunter Pence’s spray-painted spikes:

    • Douglas Witmer | July 31, 2011 at 11:31 pm |

      Also a link from there to the borrowed spikes he wore the day before…

  • Marv L. | August 1, 2011 at 4:22 am |