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Four-Finger Discount (and three-finger, too)

Last Saturday, on Independence Day, I wrote, “If you’re playing with pyrotechnics today, try not to blow off more than one or two body parts (save the rest for next year).”

This seemed like good, common-sense advice, but little did I know that two NFL players would be reading Uni Watch that day: Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul blew off one of his fingers and Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson lost two fingers — both within my recommended “one or two body parts” guideline. I’m flattered that they took my advice.

As I see it, there are now two key questions:

1. How long will it be before we see the press releases about Pierre-Paul’s and Wilson’s custom-designed four- and three-fingered gloves?

2. Will those gloves still be able to make the open-palm salute like other gloves?

In case you’re wondering, Pierre-Paul appears to favor Under Armour gloves, while Wilson goes with Nike. Those companies might as well go ahead and design a two-fingered glove as well, since these guys are likely to lose another digit or two next July.

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T-Shirt Club update: The August design for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club will launch next Tuesday. After all of the discussion and debate about the last design, this one is much more straightforward — it’s the long-promised green alternate, and I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty damn handsome (click to enlarge):

For the NOB, my original plan was to go with “Alternate,” but I know many of you folks refer to solid-colored alternate jerseys as “softball tops.” I don’t often use that term myself, but it has achieved a certain currency in the uni-verse and I was curious to see how that would look, so I had my Teespring co-conspirator, Bryan Molloy, mock up versions showing both options (click to enlarge):

Yes, the back numbers are a bit too big, and the NOB lettering sizes don’t match, but we’ll fix that later. For now I’m more interested in which NOB we should use, and I’d be happy to go either way. What do you folks think? If you’re considering ordering this shirt, cast your vote here (if you don’t plan to order, please don’t vote in this poll — thanks):

For this NOB, I prefer… free polls

(Let the record show that I considered adding a “Pandering” option to the poll but managed, through supreme force of will, to resist that urge.)

Thanks for your feedback. We’ll take it into account when finalizing the design.

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Discount reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, our friends at American Trench are offering a 15% discount to Uni Watch readers. The discount applies to everything on their website — not just for the socks that they advertise here on Uni Watch, but also their namesake trenchcoat, headwear, items already on sale, the works. Just start shopping and use the code UNIWATCH at checkout. Thanks.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! A new raffle: The MLB All-Star Game is next Tuesday, and we’ll likely be seeing lots of new cleats on display. One of the new designs will be from Mizuno, which has made a pair of its all-star cleats available for me to raffle off. The cleats are Size 10 and look like so (click to enlarge):


To enter, send an email with your name and shipping info to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern next Tuesday, July 14 — the date of the All-Star Game. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday the 15th.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

Before a game against the Cubs at Wrigley this week, Cardinals rookies walked across the street to Starbucks in full uniform to fetch coffee for the veterans. Just a few weeks ago, Dodgers rookies had to do the same thing.

While other sports haze and razz their rookies, baseball seems to have the most fun with it. It’s one of the sport’s many traditions, like everyone in the dugout ignoring a player’s first career home run or rally caps.

What are some of your favorite baseball traditions and rituals? I always liked that some batters show respect by giving the opposing catcher a tap on the shin guard when stepping into the box for their first at-bat. I’m partial to shaving cream pies and hot foots, and though this might be unpopular with Uni Watch readers, I like the Brewers’ old postgame act of untucking their jerseys after wins (if only for the story behind it).

Are there any common baseball practices you don’t enjoy? And, if you play baseball or softball, do you have any rituals or traditions? Post your responses in today’s comments.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: This year’s MLB All-Star Game jerseys have a new feature: the player’s autograph along with stars representing how many ASGs he played in. Unclear where on the jersey this will be located. … A pick-off throw broke through Royals 1B Eric Hosmer’s glove Tuesday. This isn’t the first time this happened to Hosmer. Last year, a line drive tore through his glove’s webbing. … Speaking of Hosmer, the Omaha Storm Chasers are giving away a bobblehead of him this Saturday, but with the helmet’s earflap on the wrong side (from Jeff Funke). … Angels P Andrew Heaney wore Mike Trout’s batting gloves during a plate appearance the other day (from Brady Phelps). … During a windy rain delay Tuesday night, a Pirates grounds crew member was swallowed by the tarp. Someone made a memorial for him on the infield dirt yesterday. … The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their logos, fonts and colors yesterday. The blue and green is an homage to the NHL’s Hartford Whalers. … While Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays made the cut, Joe DiMaggio was airbrushed out of the cover shot of Terry Cashman’s Talkin’ Baseball album. The songwriter couldn’t find a rhyme for DiMaggio’s name (thanks, Steve Dodell). … MLB now sells game-used memorabilia from minor league games. Problem is that minor league teams don’t have multiple sets of uniforms available, so Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber, a catcher, wears a uniform that was meant for Kris Bryant (from Phil). … Two guys wore umpire uniforms and masks and pantomimed calls while they sat behind home plate at yesterday’s Mets/Giants game. … The Rolling Stones visited Detroit last night and a bunch of merch in Tigers colors was sold (from Jeffrey Sak). … You can vote for your favorite minor league baseball cap here (from Josh Claywell). … With America celebrating its 240th birthday next year, Rich Paloma suggests that MLB teams should throw back to the bicentennial year of 1976 for July 4. The six teams that didn’t exist then could wear their original uniforms from their inaugural year. Oh man, there would be so many colors — count me in! ”¦ You know how some drivers will try to cheat by putting a mannequin in the passenger so they can drive in the HOV lane? Someone in Toronto was recently busted for doing that, with a twist: His mannequin was wearing an Expos cap (from Dave Kuruc). ”¦ Clever Back to the Future promotion this Saturday for the Toledo Mud Hens. They’ll be playing a doubleheader, so the first game will be “back” and the nightcap will be “future” (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Ickey Woods jerseys, all with Woods’s number and NOB, for the St. Cloud Rox last night. ”¦ Here’s an old shot of former A’s P Don Shaw wearing a single-digit number. Clearly a spring training shot — Shaw never wore that number during the regular season. ”¦ Angels P Matt Shoemaker wears his wedding band under his fielding glove.

NFL News: What are these extra rivets on Jack Lambert’s helmet? Seth Shaw found the photos and didn’t see any other Steelers with those rivets on their helmets. … Browns CB Joe Haden has the NFL’s best-selling jersey since the draft in late April. The sales were boosted because the Browns have new uniforms (which, incidentally, former Browns WR Paul Warfield doesn’t much care for).

College & High School Football News: Georgia Tech will use this gold-and-blue GT logo and discontinue its yellow GT logo and logos with their mascot, Buzz. … Massillon (Ohio) High School has a number of uniform and helmet combinations. Makes sense: Massillon is a fairly big-time operation for high school football. They have a historic stadium (with Bengals-esque end zone stripes) and a professional-caliber practice arena. And, the team’s logo is fantastic (from Vince Guardado). [There’s also an excellent documentary film about Masillon football. You can see the trailer here. ”” PL] … New practice facility for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino). … Nike’s new Vapor Speed uniform will debut this week at the awkwardly named Nike Football The Opening Finals. … New helmets for Frankfort High School in Kentucky. ”¦ Lyon College in Arkansas is fielding its first football team this fall and has just released the uniforms (from Dustin Semore). ”¦ New gloves — all with five fingers, presumably — for Illinois. ”¦ UCLA will unveil a new jersey today, and it will apparently feature more prominent UCLA stripes.

Hockey News: The Reading Royals will again wear ugly Christmas sweater jerseys in December (from Phil). … A Blackhawks fan created a flipbook of some of the key moments of the Stanley Cup Final. ”¦ The Predators give a gold helmet to the best player each day at their development camp (from Nathan Dearman).

Soccer News: In case we haven’t seen it, Manchester City has a new home kit and Inter Milan has a new away kit. … Anecdotal evidence says that the USWNT’s jerseys are selling well (from Phil). … For a few matches in 1974, Birmingham City wore a jersey that looked like Belgium’s flag (from Graham Clayton).

Basketball News: John Wall unveiled his new shoes with a selfie video on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (from Tommy Turner). … Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss tells the story behind the iconic photo he took of Michael Jordan at the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. … New jerseys for Butler. … The Cavs’ mascot Moondog wore an outdated jersey at a kids camp the other day (from D.C. James). … @abparish found a guy playing pick-up hoops in Italy wearing a full Toni Kukoc Bulls uniform. … A glimpse of the new Raptors jersey numbers can be seen in this photo from a summer league game (from Conrad Burry).

Grab Bag: Subtle logo tweak for UFC. … A violinist created a line of athletic yet formal shirts for symphony musicians (from James Fernandez). … Here’s a quick video that shows how the US Army’s uniform has changed over the years (from Brinke). … Illinois State alum Ryan Lindemann got these great Reggie the Redbird socks after he donated to the school. … Two Tour de France notes from Sean Clancy: Here’s a good gallery of riders’ shoes, and Australian team Orica-GreenEdge wore a jersey recognizing the country’s troops who served in World War I. … Facebook altered its “friends” logo just a little bit. … Coke cans in the Middle East will be label-less.

Comments (121)

    QOTW: being a baseball guy, I’ve liked the tradition that about the 7th inning everyone sits away from a pitcher throwing a no-no or a perfecf game. I miss the tradition of rolling the ball to the mound after the final out of the half inning in MLB since they change balls for no good reason these days. Every team I played on also had some sort of ritual hand and/or foot cheers or chants the team does on the bench while batting to spark a rally.

    When I played the catcher shi guard tap was mainly catcher to catcher not any player to catcher. The old tip of the cap is a great tradition as well to acknowledge another player you have respect for or a special fan in the stands.

    One of many highlights last weekend at a Potomac Nationals game was the umpire rolling the ball up to the mound every half inning. Brought back memories of youth ball!

    Not sure if it’s just a single-A cheapness thing, or if it quirk of the one ump in particular. He called an excellent game.

    I went to an Orioles game recently with a friend and we played a game where we bet a dollar between innings on whether the ball would be left in the grass or in the dirt. It worked out just fine, even though I lost a couple bucks.

    I love the standings and W/L pennants/flags at Wrigley!

    I HATE the current chocolate sauce thing.

    Seconded on the chocolate sauce. It’s dumb, but has the added effect of making some groundskeeper clean up the mess on the field/dugout and then the clubhouse attendant clean up the uniforms.

    So dumb.

    I’ll concur on the chocolate sauce bit. I guess that’s one upside to the Tigers losing Max Scherzer this offseason.

    Well, if that UCLA preview image is accurate, then congratulations are in order for Adidas… for making their uniforms look even MORE like stretchy trash bags! Also, glad the UCLA stripes won’t be little hash marks anymore, but they look wrong pointing inward like that.

    This just makes me even more happy Michigan’s going back to Nike next year.

    Yeah… the trashbag effect is just turrible. Is everyone involved in the design process too afraid to say something or what?

    The only improvement is the metallic gold numbers; Adidas does do a decent job with that color on a number of uniforms past and present (UCLA, Mississippi State, Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series jerseys)

    The Atlanta Dream mascot, Star, always wears an outdated uniform. Specifically he wears the 2008-10 uni with the stars on the side panel. I guess when Adidas took over the W in 2011 they didn’t bother making a new uniform for the mascot. Star does wear a current design pink uniform for when they’re doing breast cancer awareness.


    Were did the information in the ticker about Georgia Tech discontinuing Buzz and the Yellow GT come from? Is there a source article or is this something from behind the scenes?

    This is the first I am hearing about it so it comes as a shock (and very VERY odd).

    I have the same question, but I’ve been hearing for a while that the GTAA has influencers inside the organization that have woken up to the fact that Navy and Black clash and should not live on the same uniform/logo (something most graphic and fashion designers would tell you is common knowledge.) Those people, I’m told, have been trying to make the GTAA make a decision between black and navy accents for a couple years now. Examples include finally changing our cleat and glove options in football to white and navy instead of white and black (the face masks have remained black, however, while the jersey and pants piping is navy…clash!) I suppose this represents a move toward some uniformity in the media logos. I wonder how long it’ll take until they realize that buzz being bright yellow and black isn’t going to be able to go with a metallic gold and navy color scheme on everything else (nor will black face masks.)

    Here we go — it came from an email sent by GT media rep Chris Yandle, as follows:

    My apologies for the mass email, but I have attached an updated Georgia Tech logo (interlocking gold GT with blue outline). PLEASE USE ONLY THIS LOGO and discontinue using any yellow/cheddar GT logos or logos that include Buzz.

    Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you this season on The Flats.

    Thanks. That’s interesting, because it seems like it’s also about the shade of gold, too. GT sanctions the “cheddar” gold and black logo for use in images of Buzz (and on the interlocking GT decals for our white alternate helmets…for some reason) and a metallic “Old Gold” for use on all uniforms. I have noticed the media using inconsistent logos for Tech in their broadcasts, and it appears Yandle is saying this Old Gold and Navy one is now the only acceptable one. A lot of fans would be happy to see that color scheme be the only acceptable one over “cheddar” and black on official uniforms. As a designer, I harp on the football uniform especially. It seems like Russell Athletic decided Navy was the accent color on the fabrics, Nike gave us Navy accented cleats and gloves, but the helmet supplier has stuck with black as the accent. I wish it would be one or the other. Maybe this year we could see a subtle change to navy face masks (something a lot of people assume we already use.)

    I didn’t notice this at first, but my brother (a GT grad) pointed out the black(ish) outline inside the blue outline in that “blue/gold” GT logo in the link. There’s no info on their media site – it’s all still black/gold:

    He also wondered if Buzz’s shoes (when he’s depicted as a biped) violate a design right or TM of Converse.

    I just love that the site has an separate link for a cake decorating logo-use request.

    I too noticed that with the images shown. I’ve never seen a double-outlined GT logo, so until is announced otherwise I tend to believe the outlines in these specific images are in error. Especially since the old gold GT logo appears to my eyes to have a green-black inner outline, which would absolutely be ridiculous.

    I suppose this news is in line with some of the other changes that have taken place in recent years. When McCamish Pavilion opened they did replace the center court logo, from the combined Buzz and interlocked GT logo, to the interlocked GT logo with a deeper gold color.

    I personally don’t mind the dualing gold shades, speaking as a GT grad. Our colors will always be old gold and white, but navy (rather than black) needs to remain as a dark accent. In my opinion, “buzz gold” is then necessary as a suitable lighter accent color to contrast with navy more than old gold does. The “buzz gold” is also a more vibrant color than the vegas gold Tech has too often used on its uniforms.

    “This record reproduces the authentic signatures of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Duke Snider.”

    That’s a sentence that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern day press release touting new uniforms.

    All these UniWatch t-shirts should just have “CASH GRAB” on the back as that’s all they are for Paul. Could charge $10 and still make a profit on these. I know how Teespring works.

    Or maybe just have “RUBE” as the NOB because that’s what anyone buying one of these things is.

    It’s sad how consistently Paul fleeces his loyal visitors. And even sadder how many are too dumb to realize it.

    “It’s sad how consistently Paul fleeces his loyal visitors. And even sadder how many are too dumb to realize it.”

    I think the $1 per reply/comment fee is quite fair.

    I think it’s really clever of Paul to adapt the Columbia House business model and send American Trench socks each month whether we want it or not.

    Boy howdy, I’m sick of not paying for any of the content on this site. How dare Paul try to make a buck on a pretty cool project! And on top of it, he has the gall to admit he’s going to use those profits to pay for a reward for people who participated in his project.

    it’s pretty easy NOT to buy something. You just don’t do it.

    I just don’t see the appeal in the shirts, so I don’t buy them. Easy. If someone does like them, good for them. Buy it.

    If I ever actually see one of them out in the wild, I will smile and maybe strike up a conversation.

    And to preempt the “Don’t use the blog to sell you wares! I thought Paul hated commerce!” response, I think the t-shirts have more value as creative works than as merch.

    Yeah, they’re not my thing either, but I appreciate the project for what it is.

    I think I was once in the “Paul’s a hypocrite” camp, but now I really don’t care. I just breeze by the sections with the tshirts.

    I just can’t imagine owning all of them. That would take over my entire tshirt drawer and no one will get the inside humor if I actually wore them out. No thanks.

    It’s amazing how many times people misinterpret Paul’s stances and paint him as this strawman anti-capitalist, and that just because he disagrees with how massive corporations go about their business, he’s somehow not allowed to make a living by selling anything to anybody, ever.

    Especially when he involves his readers in the creation of said products.

    I think Va. Tech simply has new practice facility “branding” and not an actual new practice facility.

    This is the first year for it. I was there for a game in the late fall and it was still far from being completed

    from what i know, those rivets hold the suspension parts inside the helmet in Jack Lambert’s helmet. he must have just had another model than the other guys or had extra rivets to hold the inner workings in place.

    There aren’t rivets they are screws from Lambert Rawlings helmet a JRC ‘Headliner’ model. Although many Steelers wore Rawlings (mostly different HND 9 variations) Lambert is of the few to wear the JRC which was a combination suspension and padded lined helmet.

    QOTW: A few years ago, the White Sox bullpen was so ravaged with injuries, Matt Thornton was the lone veteran with the rest rookies. As Matt and the bullpen went out to the ‘pen, he had everyone leashed together so they wouldn’t “get lost”; like a mother duck escorting her chicks.
    I thought that was cute.

    I like “Alternate” for the t-shirt club because Alternate is often a jokey term used for “bench warmer”, if anything it adds to the humour of the shirt, and one I’d proudly wear.

    I did not know that was a thing. I guess we have another reason to stop singing the damn song before every freakin game. It’s not even a good song and no one seems to be able to sing it without trying to show off.

    Watching Cubs/Cards last night I was thinking about the Cards OT memorial patch. I tried the search and could not find a discussion on this, if it has been debated please link me as I am interested in the comments. And apologize in advance for bringing this up again as I am not a full time reader of this site.

    I feel bothered by the fact, that a team is memorializing a person who acted in an irresponsible way who not only took his own life, but that of another individual. Yes, it is tragic loss and I do have sympathy for the loss of his life and his girlfriend. But should it be honored with a patch?

    I went to the game back on May 31, which the Cardinals observed as Oscar Taveras Day. They had his family out on the field prior to the game, and had a brief video tribute, as well. It was all a little weird thinking the entire time that they were honoring someone who’d made a couple of very poor decisions back-to-back last offseason.
    On the plus side, Carlos Martinez, who was close w/ OT, really got on a roll around then (4-2 w/ a 3.54 ERA prior; 5-1 w/ a 1.74 since).

    Playing high school baseball, there are many different shenanigans. When up to bat with 2 balls, 2 strikes, and 2 outs, everyone in the rubs 2 fingers (usually index and pinky) along the brim of their hat and panhandles it toward the pitcher during his windup. One of my favorites is when a batter has 3 balls, 2 strikes, and 1 out. One well practiced volunteer takes an invisible grenade, pulls the needle, and throws it out to the pitcher right before he starts his windup, and yells “Get down!” The rest of the dugout proceeds to duck down behind the partial fence in front of them. After a victory and shaking the opposing teams hands, and the person at the front turns back toward our line, and starts the chain of celebratory hand-slaps. This consists of slap up top going forward and a backward slap down low. The only hazing we do is the simultaneous cry of “Freshman” whenever a foul ball is hit. We’ve all been there before.

    Jack Lambert used a Rawlings helmet that I believe was called the “Headliner”. It had narrow leather padding instead of webbing encircling the head but it also had a Riddell-style suspension for the crown instead of the padded suspensions Rawlings used on other models. So it had double the rivets – those you would find on a Riddell for the crown webbing and the lower back of the head plus extra rivets for the padding that encircled the helmet.

    I don’t like it when broadcasters talk around a no-hitter, as in saying things like “he has yet to allow a hit” or “they’re hitless through six”, etc. Just come out and use the words “no-hitter.” It’s akin to a fan thinking a team might lose because said fan doesn’t wear his or her “lucky” shirt.

    I love the MLB All-Star Game when players are introduced and you get to see all of the players lined up in their various uniforms. I hope that tradition of players wearing their team’s uniform doesn’t go away. That’s one reason I don’t like the NFL or NBA all-star games. Also, I hope each team continues to get one player in the MLB All-Star Game. As an Astros fan, one player was usually all they got, and if every team is represented then at least I feel like I have someone for whom I can root in the game.

    Agreed. I don’t like any of the superstitions. I’d still respect the pitcher’s need to focus and not say anything within earshot of him, but on the air or in the stands or at home? Pfft. If he’s throwing a no-hitter I’ll say so.

    I also don’t like the chocolate syrup thing, or when teammates rip a guy’s uniform to shreds after a walk-off. Otherwise, I enjoy most of the rituals.

    On the one hand, I completely agree. On the other hand, it’s not actually a no-hitter until he’s finished the game. So I don’t actually mind phrases like “hitless through six” or “he hasn’t allowed a baserunner through five” or whatever. I mean, wouldn’t it be absurd to say of a pitcher who went three-up-three-down in the first, “He’s carrying a no-hitter into the second here as he takes the mound”? Yet it’s no more a no-hitter through seven than it is through one; both are equally not (yet) a no-hitter.

    I guess I’m more bothered by premature specificity with regard to a no-hitter than I am about superstitious avoidance of the phrase.

    Though once it gets late enough that announcers start talking about “watching something special here” or “witnessing history in the making” or whatnot, it’s truly absurd not to speak plainly about what exactly it is that’s so special and/or historic.


    You sir should write a manual on the subject and call it “How to call no-no’s for totally moronic broadcasters”.

    MLB should make it required reading for all color commentators too. That and a timer to teach announcers to measure ones words rather than producing copious amounts of wordvomit that passes of as “color”.

    Good god, there are legions of broadcasters (minor leaguers are horrible) that this could learn from this… or

    They can listen to any of Vin Scully’s no hitter calls that are available on the Youtube and see how a national treasure uses the spoken word and saying nothing, to create visceral images that heighten the theater of the game.


    You mean you’ve never said “There goes the perfect game…” after a first inning single? ;)

    Oh, I always say that after a first-inning hit. But I never actually mean it.

    Should have refreshed before posting; very slow 4G connection today. The other posts have better answers about Lambert’d helmet.

    They’re too big as a representation of what the shirt will really look like. I’ve only bought the BFBS shirt, but the actual size of the graphics is kinda disappointing.

    You realize the proportion of the graphics to the shirt varies by shirt size, right?

    The numbers/script/etc. on the Small shirt are the same size as the numbers/script/etc. on an XXL shirt, so the ratios vary. (Changing the size of the elements would require making new screens, which, from a cost perspective, would be the same as creating an entire new shirt from scratch.)

    Yeah, I figured it was something like that. I just think that being oversized on the S would have been a better choice than being undersized on the L.

    for the Hartford Yard Goats item, the colors are based on the Whalers colors, which look great. but also the “Yard Goats” and “YG” font that they used is based on the old logo for the New York New Haven Hartford Railroad…which is a fantastic logo in itself. link

    Re: Hartford, I like the selection of the colors, and the “railroad” font, but the goat specific visuals-ugh. Doesn’t really do it.

    I think the goat-specific visuals accomplish exactly what they’re supposed to accomplish.

    Regarding the Athletic Tux Shirt, a high school classmate of mine has a similar company–Ministry of Supply–that makes a whole range of athletic dress clothing.

    T-shirts? I come here mostly to see the uniform re-designs by readers… which I’m still waiting on the Clippers and Rays contest designs to be reveals.

    ***revealed… Whatever, right? the S and the D are next to each other, so sue me. Harumpf, Harumpf, Harumpf!

    Re Birmingham City’s shirt.
    Belgium’s flag is a vertical tricolour of black, gold and red. City’s shirts were gold, red and black. They are nearer to Germany’s horizontal black, red and gold.

    Typo alert: in the body, ctrl+f for “Wil.” [sic]. You meant “Will,” but your pinky slipped.
    As for special gloves, haha but probably not. Those modifications will probably be for the equipment manager. Speaking of which, Paul, do you still associate with Joe Skiba and does he still work for the Giants?

    This is the second time I’ve seen Eugene Volokh referred to in the comments here in a very generic way. Whatever you think of his legal analysis (he’s incredibly thorough and well respected by everyone in his field), he’s someone who’s incredibly committed to his generally libertarian view on the role of the state.

    Not mentioning that an analysis is from Volokh feels like a statement by omission (whether that’s the intent or not). It’d be like referring to Paul Krugman as simply “a Princeton economics professor” or Elizabeth Warren as “a Harvard law professor”, which is to say, he’s a big name.

    I’m probably the one who posted the Volokh link before. Your points are well taken. I didn’t more thoroughly introduce Vololkh before thinking that elongated intro about Volokh’s legal philosophy would likely bore most readers. That being said, perhaps you are right that giving more background on Volokh is appropriate to avoid “statement by omission.”
    Also, I’d agree with you description of Volokh as committed to libertarian thought. However, I don’t think that makes particularly unusual in a 1st Amendment/Free Speech context.
    Thanks for the comments!

    Thanks for the response!

    And with everything I’ve said, I guess his libertarianism doesn’t really apply to this particular discussion (even if his libertarianism informs his conclusion). It’s probably more relevant when he’s talking about freedoms (which he doesn’t deal with directly).

    MLB Tradition/Prank – On April 17th, Danny Muno of the Mets made his MLB debut with a pinch hit appearance late in the game. The at-bat resulted in his first career MLB hit. The ball he hit was thrown in to the first baseman, who tossed it to the Mets dugout for safe keeping. However, from the same area where the ball was tossed into the dugout, a ball was promptly thrown by a player into the stands for a fan. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker, thinking they threw the ball from his first MLB hit into the stands, preventing him from having that memento for the rest of his life. I was enlightened by someone in my group that it was just a gag the players on the bench were playing on the rookie, making him think it was the ball from his first hit.

    Along those same lines, traditionally, when a player gets his first MLB hit and they retrieve the ball, someone (for the Yankees, it was always Gene Monahan, the trainer) would print on the ball the name/date/pitcher/milestone in some sort of calligraphy and then it would be presented to the rookie. There were always times when veterans would take a different ball and smear shoe polish on it, write obscenities, spell the kid’s name wrong, etc as a prank and give him that ball instead.

    Yes! I love the toss of the wrong ball into the crowd. Same thing happens on the reverse: opposing team hits a home run, and the fan who catches it throws a different ball back onto the field and keeps the actual HR ball.

    I never thought of the reverse scenario. I’ll have to remember that, because if I catch a home run ball, I’m keeping it.

    As a Bradley grad, I have to admit that I’ve always loved the Reggie Redbird “thumbs up” logo and wish State brought it back. So much better and warmer than the logo they have now.

    Hosmer’s mitt, not glove. First basemen and catchers have mitts. Yes, there is a difference.

    I call bullshit with Cashman not being able to find a rhyme for DiMaggio’s name.
    He uses first names and nickname for the others, he couldn’t have found a way to use “Joe”, or “Joltin’ Joe” or “Clipper” or whatever?

    If Simon & Garfunkel could do it, so could Cashman.

    Something else had to be going on.


    Except in “Mrs. Robinson,” “DiMaggio” and “Joltin Joe” we’re not rhymed with other lyrics. Simon used the name because it had more syllables than the then-contemporary Mickey Mantle, and it better fit the rhythm of the song.

    “Where have you gone Mi-ic-key Man-tle?”
    “… Phil Ri-zu-u-to?”
    “… Harmon Killebrew?”

    QOTW: The only baseball tradition I miss is when a pitcher got on base, play was stopped until someone brought him a team jacket to wear in order to keep his arm warm.

    Two great traditions (routines?) in baseball:

    1. Throwing the ball around in the infield after a strikeout with nobody on base. Always in the same order. Third, short, second, back to third, pitcher. NEVER including the first baseman. I’ve never been able to figure that one out.

    2. After the third out of the inning, when the team is coming in, someone in the dugout throwing a ball to the first baseman as he’s coming off the field. Presumably so that he has a ball already in his glove to start warmups the next inning.

    The rationale for the 1st basemen to not get the ball post-K was that he didn’t need to keep his arm warm, as 1st basemen don’t generally make throws.


    The ball goes around the horn after any out with no one on base, not just a strikeout.

    I think it’s because the first baseman is on the receiving end of a ground out. So he doesn’t need to keep his throwing arm loose.

    QOTW – Before a pitcher gives up a hit, and when he needs a new ball because the previous one was hit foul, scuffed, etc. the ump will throw the new ball back to the pitcher. After the pitcher has given up a hit, the ump gives the ball to the catcher to then throw it to the pitcher.

    Is that true? I never knew/noticed that.

    I always thought the question of whether the ump gave the ball to the catcher or directly to the pitcher was just the ump’s preference….

    Steven is not accurate, you are. He’s cleverly made up something almost plausible to gain a reaction, it seems. Or he’s describing something that happens only in games he attends.

    I don’t know if it’s a tradition per se, but I try to abide by the rule about not mentioning an ongoing perfecto or no-no, except for to jinx a pitcher opposing my own favorite team.
    As for the Brewers’ past practice of untucking their jerseys, I remember the general reaction here in St. Louis was that is was juvenile, but appropriate for a team that hadn’t done much winning in its history.

    QOTW: One tradition/superstition I follow when playing softball, or more recently, coaching my daughter’s team, is to always step over the line (rather than on it) when entering or leaving the field. Also, whenever I would make the last out of the inning (typically as an outfielder), I would carry the ball all the way to the infield, and drop it on the mound as I came off the field.


    I like that pen-and-paper lineup cards are still used and exchanged.

    I don’t like that managers wear uniforms.

    I don’t like that managers wear uniforms.

    I have to admit that I’ve never really understood why that’s still a thing. It seems like it would just cause minor confusion for other team – is that guy heading towards home? Wait, no, that’s just the 3rd base coach. I guess it’s probably just a holdover from when player/managers were common, but there’s really no reason they need to keep doing it today.

    Baseball is the only sport where managers and coaches are regularly on the field. They should wear uniforms to come on the field.

    Wouldn’t it look stupid if a pitching coach or manager came out to the mound wearing a suit?

    Wouldn’t it look stupid if a pitching coach or manager came out to the mound wearing a suit?

    No, not really. Does it look stupid when a football coach wearing khaki pants and a polo shirt argues with a ref about a first down? Does it look stupid when a basketball coach complains about a technical foul while wearing a suit? They’re not playing the game, they don’t really need to wear the same uniform as the players.

    But they’re not on the field/court (or they’re not supposed to be). They’re supposed to stay on the sidelines.

    Baseball managers and coaches are sanctioned to be on the field of play in certain limited situations. So the uniform makes sense. At least to me.

    It’s fun to romanticize Connie Mack and his suits. However:

    1) He wasn’t just the manager; he was also the team’s owner. In other words, he was a businessman. The suit makes more sense when viewed in that context.

    2) I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a photo of a suit-clad Mack (or of any suit-clad skipper) anywhere but in the dugout or directly in front of it. I’d be interested to see him on the field of play — arguing with an ump, say, or making a pitching change. I suspect that would look a lot weirder than the dugout shots we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

    Baseball coaches are in foul territory (just outside of fair) during play, just like other sports. And I’m pretty sure football coaches are allowed to come on the field during timeouts like baseball.

    I guess what separates baseball is that the coaches are active during warmups, with fungo bats and all. Also, when a coach does come to the mound, he is standing on dirt, not grass.

    Connie Mack wasn’t the lone manager to wear business attire, as commented below Burt Shotton wore one as well:
    Or went with this less formal and more ridiculous look:

    Likewise George Stallings, manager of the 1914 Miracle Braves, was renowned for his haberdashery (dig the awesome striped socks, too):

    Those managers also shared the common characteristic of delegating any on-field activities (pitching changes, ump disputations) to their coaching staffs. Try though you might, there’s no visual evidence of any of them ever stepping venturing beyond the top step of the dugout in a game setting, even (to my knowledge) to participate in the pre-game exchange of lineup cards.

    It seems like a number of managers now wear a sweatshirt, pullover, or some other sort of top (not sure if they are really wearing their actual uniform top underneath). The Pirates’ Clint Hurdle is one who does this. Ever since I started watching baseball 30 years ago I always kind of wondered why the managers/coaches wore uniforms, when you don’t see that in any other sport. On the flip side, I think I’d have a hard time getting used to it if they stopped doing that.

    One hundred and something years of major league baseball, one guy wore a suit over sixty years ago.

    That is the virtual definition of the exception proving the rule.

    “Exception proving the rule”.
    A strange phrase that seems to make no sense until you realise that “proving” is an Old English word meaning to “test”,

    An exception puts a rule to the test. Finding an exception disproves a rule (in our parlance), not strengthen it as seems to be the belief.

    Same word is used in the phrase “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” and in the word “proofread”.


    The term “proving ground” still is used for testing vehicles. Proving has not lost its Old English meaning.

    That said, didn’t Burt Shotton dress in regular clothes on occasions as manager of the Dodgers? John McGraw didn’t wear a uniform in the later years of his managerial career as well.

    To solidify my stance on the issue, I think managers/coaches shouldn’t wear uniforms in games. But I have no doubt that baseball wouldn’t do away with it because it distinguishes baseball from other sports.


    Pregame infield/outfield practice, much more prevalent at the amateur level. The last MLB team I saw do that was Robin Ventura’s White Sox a couple seasons ago. The Twins under Tom Kelly did it, too.

    Paul, do you have an audio ad (or an autoplay video) somewhere on this site? I can hear something and I can see the music icon in my browser tab. By the time I scroll down to find it and kill it, it’s gone. It’s most frustrating, and I won’t be visiting the site if that’s the new normal.

    Kind of surprised no one else has commented on the first section of today’s blog. I think it was pricelessly written with a perfectly sardonic tone that hits the mark exactly. The spin of being flattered by their following of advice was clearly the appropriate level of sarcasm. Anyone who is willing to jeopardize multi-million dollar income for the “thrill” of setting of gunpowder or similar mechanisms with their bare hands has bigger problems than losing appendages and are deserving of the treatment Paul’s attention has given them.

    I’m not in lockstep with *everything* Paul writes about, but yeah, I agree…he summed it up perfectly. SO perfectly, in fact, that that’s probably why no one added to it.

    Harold Lloyd did much of his most rememebered stunt-climbing with a prosthetic digit.

    So, there is a precedent for these football players.

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