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Yoenis Cespedes: A Man of Many Appetites

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We already knew Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes liked shellfish. (That’s him above, after devouring a slew of crabs following a game in Baltimore last year.) Now it turns out he’s also very particular about his waffles.

I learned about this while reading the latest piece by my pal Ken Davidoff, who’s a columnist for The New York Post. He’s one of many writers who’ve weighed in this week on the topic of Cespedes’s cars. But buried within his article was something much more interesting than the boilerplate car info: “On Wednesday, [Cespedes] asked a team employee to drive to a nearby Target to purchase a waffle-maker that makes round, not square, waffles. That’s how he likes his waffles.” Then I checked and found that Newsday had done an entire piece on Cespedes’s preference for round waffles.

I think that qualifies as the most obscure detail about a player I’ve ever heard. It also raises the intriguing issue of waffle design, which is more complex than you might think (and is way more interesting than tricked-out cars). It’s not just an issue of square vs. round — there’s also small-tread vs. Belgian, and let’s not forget grommeted vs. non-grommeted.

There’s really no wrong choice to make on these variables, because there’s no such thing as a bad waffle. Waffles are awesome! That said, I do have my own preferences: I like a square, small-tread waffle. I use Bisquick to make my batter, but I add cinnamon and vanilla to the mix. I usually add walnuts too, and either raisins or chopped apples.

Whichever style you favor, everyone should own a waffle iron. They’re cheap (especially if you find a used one at a church thrift store), they last forever (I got mine in college — that’s about 30 years ago — and it’s still going strong), they make delicious waffles (duh), and they’re also good for a wide range of other culinary applications.

In a truly enlightened society, the state would just provide everyone with a waffle iron and tax us accordingly. But alas, human civilization has not yet achieved such a Shangri-La, so it’s up to us to acquire our own means of waffle production. Cespedes may not have good taste in compression sleeves, but he knows an essential appliance when he sees one. Follow his lead and get yourself a waffle iron, pronto. You’ll be glad you did.

Meanwhile, that Newsday story about Cespedes had two notes that caught my eye:

• “Cespedes has been known to smoke cigarettes in the dugout before games.” Really? I checked around and found confirmation from another beat writer. Jeez.

• “[Mets manager Terry] Collins remains a stickler for the uniform, and he said he may approach Cespedes about wearing his cap properly on the field. (He’s known to wear it backwards or even dispense with it altogether, as he’s done this week, when he has worn a black skullcap.)” At least one other Mets beat writer said the same thing, but Collins then said he’s okay with the backwards cap after all. So there you go.

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Friday Flashback: It was 25 years ago this month that the 49ers unveiled and then retracted their disastrous “Oops, never mind” helmet design (held in the photo above by coach George Seifert and team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.), and that’s the topic for my latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN. Lots of things have been written about this helmet over the years — I’ve discussed it a fair amount myself — but I’m pretty sure today’s column is the most thorough, exhaustive look the story has received to date. Check it out here.

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Not bad: In case you missed it yesterday, Vice Sports ran a big profile on me and my work. My thanks for the writer, B. David Zarley, for doing such a nice job, and to the many of you who had nice things to say about the piece after reading it yesterday.

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Ask and ye (or at least I) shall receive: Last week I mentioned how reader Dan Pfeifer had visited Uni Watch HQ and brought me some Nueske’s bacon. “And if anyone from Nueske’s is reading this,” I added, “allow me point out that the coveted title of ‘Official Bacon of Uni Watch’ is currently vacant. Just sayin’.”

It turns out that someone from Nueske’s was reading that, because yesterday a package showed up at my house with all the items you see above. The meats, running roughly clockwise from top-left, are smoked beef; smoked liver sausage; summer sausage; smoked hot dogs; Canadian bacon; smoked pork chops; and more of that wonderful bacon.

Yowza! With a haul like that, I’d say “Official Bacon” is an insufficient title. So let’s go ahead and name Nueske the Official Smoked Meat Purveyor of Uni Watch (at least until some other company comes along and dumps even more meat on my plate). Big thanks to them for sending this stuff my way.

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Gromm•It update: This is turning out to be quite a day for food-based content, what with the waffles and the smoked meats and now the grommetized sushi. Additional photos over on Gromm•It.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: With the ’Skins scheduled to play in London this October, two members of British Parliament have urged NFL commish Roger Goodell to change the team’s name or, in their words, “at the minimum, send a different team to our country to represent the sport, one that does not promote a racial slur.” ”¦ A group in Ontario wants to bar students from wearing ’Skins or Indians jerseys, or any other clothing with “pejorative indigenous names, logos, and mascots.” Further info here (from Mike O’Connor and Phil, respectively). ”¦ Here are one designer’s concepts to redesign the U. of North Dakota’s teams under their new Fighting Hawks name. ”¦ Meanwhile, due to an odd legal situation, UND recently had to market a line of Fighting Sioux merch, even though that team name is now banned (from Mike Styczen).

Baseball News: New personal logo for Orioles 3B Manny Machado (from Rick Friedel). ”¦ Speaking of the O’s, they have lots of people changing uni numbers (from Andrew Cosentino). ”¦ New uni number for Mariners OF Franklin Guitierrez, too (from @thA_Pandabear). ”¦ The Cubs’ promo schedule includes plans to wear 1916 throwbacks on July 6. ”¦ Those orange Tigers caps look so bad. ”¦ The Birmingham A’s had some very cool stationery. ”¦ Oh baby, check out this awesome 1914 Goldsmith uniform catalog cover (from BSmile). ”¦ Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that Mets P Bartolo Colon was adding an accent to his NOB, but we didn’t have a photo. Today we do (thanks to Paul Deaver). ”¦ Braves C Tyler Flowers is the first MLB backstop to try out a new kind of mask with a suspension system. The video embedded in that story is worth watching (from Michael Rich). ”¦ The White Sox announced that they’ll add a memorial patch for exec Eddie Einhorn, who passed away earlier this week. No visuals yet (from Steve Johnston). ”¦ Speaking of Einhorn, check out this 1983 shot of him wearing a warm-up jacket patterned on the Chisox’s beach blanket jerseys. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. ”¦ And speaking of the Chisox, lots of great views of their 1981 leisure suit unis in this video clip (good find by Tris Wykes). ”¦ New uniforms for Tennessee softball (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Brewers have removed the piping from their white and grey pants this year. ”¦ UNC is so argyle-happy that they even put argyle decals on their bases (from James Gilbert). ”¦ Sanvannah’s new college summer league team will be called — wait for it — the Savannah Bananas. And I think we can tell without checking that that logo is a Brandiose job (from @jeffreybigmoney). ”¦ Astros-themed alternates for the Fresno Grizzlies (from Jared Buccola). ”¦ Jarae Thurmond, who serves in the U.S. Navy, notes that the Padres’ new navy camouflage design is basically the same as a concept that he submitted to Uni Watch back in 2010. … Here’s our first on-jersey look at the Braves’ Turner Field final-season patch (from @TrenT1994).

NFL News: For reasons that aren’t clear, at least to me, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is selling a Colts “Super Bowl XLIV” champs T-shirt. The Colts, of course, lost that game to the Saints (from George Miller). ”¦ UCLA LB Myles Jack, who will presumably be drafted by an NFL team, has signed with Under Armour (from Tim Dunn). ”¦ Here’s a detail you may have forgotten: In 1986 the 49ers wore a 40th-anniversary patch on their left hip. Definitely one of the weirder patch placements in sports history. Here’s a closer look at the patch design — note that they left out the hyphen between “Forty” and “Niners” (from @familyman186317). ”¦ Check it out: Electric football is back! (Thanks, Phil.) ”¦ The 49ers sent a bunch of team merchandise to a homeless man (from Brinke).

College and High School Football News: Marshall’s team was given a set of WWE-style title belts (from @cDubya242). ”¦ A new study indicates that pricey football helmets aren’t any safer than less expensive models.

Hockey News: Colgate is moving to a new arena next season, so they’re wearing throwbacks to mark their last game at the old rink (from John Muir). ”¦ Denver’s “Mega-Boone” banner, which went missing after last weekend’s outdoor game against Colorado College, has been found (from Kary Klismet). ”¦ Not sure what the story is behind this St. Louis Blues motorcycle, but it’s pretty cool. ”¦ This latest Blue Jackets poster might be their best one yet. ”¦ Here’s something new, at least to me: a baseball cap with hockey skate laces. After I retweeted that post, Brady Phelps informed me that these caps are from a company called Lacer Headwear.

NBA News: Bulls player Mike Dunleavy referring to the team’s odd lineup on Wednesday night: “I had to look at the names on the back of the jerseys. I didn’t even recognize some of them.” ”¦ NBA team logos as 1980s cartoons? Sure, why not (from Andrew Rader). ”¦ When Bucks C Joel Przybilla’s jersey went missing for a 2002 game, he had to wear a NNOB jersey.

College and High School Hoops News: Great photo of a 17-year-old Lew Alcindor in his high school basketball uni (from Stuart Ciske). ”¦ Weber State is adding a memorial patch for the school’s golf coach, who recently passed away (from Sean L). ”¦ The Mount Vernon Mustangs — that’s a high school team in Iowa — have “Stangs” on their chest (from Jesse Gavin).

Soccer News: An Afghan boy who became an internet sensation for wearing an improvised Lionel Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag has been sent the real thing by Messi.

Grab Bag: New logos for the upcoming Nintendo games Pokémon Moon and Pokémon Sun. ”¦ Indie-rocker Sufjan Stevens has a record coming out star-shaped vinyl based on the stars in the Chicago flag (from Jimmy Lonetti). ”¦ Two Christian schools said they would stop buying their uniforms from Lands’ End after the company honored feminist icon Gloria Steinem. The company then apologized. ”¦ New logo for the Little Rock Regional Chamber. ”¦ The Spokane Empire — that’s a minor league football team — have a new mascot (from Brad Iverson-Long). ”¦ The typeface on highway signage is going to change (from Tony Tengwall). ”¦ Virginia Tech’s women’s lacrosse team has been fitted with custom-molded ear sensors that will measure head acceleration (from Andrew Cosentino).

Comments (92)

    “In a truly enlightened society, the state would just provide everyone with a waffle iron and tax us accordingly. But alas, human civilization has not yet achieved such a Shangri-La, so it’s up to us to acquire our own means of waffle production.”

    One of the best coupla sentences I have heard from Paul! So AWESOME!!!

    I wouldn’t exactly call that “keeping” it. They brought out that helmet 5 years after the infamous failed logo, and it was a different shade of red.

    That Sufjan Stevens record looks a whole lot more like a Star of David than the star from the Chicago flag.

    Some versions do use Star of David shape (link).

    I agree that when you isolate on one star, though, the connotation changes.

    The Raiders too in 1984 had a hip patch for the 25th anniversary of the AFL, all the other old AFL teams wore them on their jerseys , only the Raiders put theirs on the hip

    Must be something in the water in Georgia. I always thought the Macon Whoopee had one of the most unique names in sports. Best? Worst? Not sure.

    What I did just notice while I was looking them up, was that their logo has a bird and a bee in it. Well played.

    Can’t be stupider (greater?) than the Macon Whoopee.

    “Macon Whoopee logo from late CHL and ECHL eras, featuring a bird and a bee. The bird is a whooping crane.”

    The US Soccer logo change process seems to have begun: link

    They removed their twitter profile photo and header photo. Same with their FB page…

    That’s a terrific use of social media for a message/identity change. They’re effectively using time as a third dimension to build on the flat dimensions of screen space. A marketing case study unfolding here.

    Man, those Blue Jackets posters are glorious. I think the one for last Friday’s game against Buffalo may be my favorite though (and it’s uni-relevant!)


    Those posters are the coolest thing ever. I wish I was still 13, I would put them all over my bedroom walls. I still may do it at the age of 31.

    Vs. Montreal poster is great – but missed opportunity to put the CBJ in a fauxback uniform to match the theme of the poster.

    Regarding uniform number changes, Kevin Plaweci has changed from 22 to 26. He appears to have swapped numbers with first base coach Tom Goodwin.

    If only Miley Cyrus could show up in Savannah and reprise the role that brought her to prominence: it could be Savannah Bananas Hannah Montana Night.

    Re the 49ers: I can understand why the gunslinging Forty-Niner logo hasn’t been revived but I’ve never understood why they didn’t make more use oflink, which has both a heraldic and a Mid-Century Modern feel. At the very least, it would’ve made a nice shoulder patch.

    Two things: After Miley dances around with a stuffed banana, we’ll all need cold showers. Anywayyyyy…

    I like that shield-shaped insignia of the 49ers, and recall they used it as a shoulder patch the season they added black to their color scheme. (Admission here: my favorite Niners’ uniform) But the possibility that was never entertained appears to me the most obvious: Why didn’t they render an interlocking “49” in an oval, mimicking the existing symbol?

    If she plays at “sleepover at the park” night they can call it the Savannah Banana Pajama Drama with Hannah Montana

    I love Cespedes’ shirt, but isn’t a “strikeout looking” probably something better for a pitcher to wear?

    The shirt Cespedes is wearing looks to be a “Let’s Strike Out Cancer” shirt from the Jason Motte Foundation.

    Random thought while reading today’s entry: “Wow. When the Niners introduced that helmet, Paul’s waffle iron was already five years old.”

    Those Pokemon games are just a rumor (for now). Those logos were trademarked, but no confirmation on the games, could happen today.

    One of the quotes in the 49ers’ helmet story disparages the USFL’s iconography. I must intercede! A few of the upstart league’s logos were stinkers, but the clear majority were masterpieces. Namely, the Gamblers, Breakers, Gold, Express, Invaders, Outlaws, Federals, Panthers, Showboats, shall I go on?

    We’ve seen this before; the link was described as “USFL-ish” even though none of its distinguishing elements — big honking logo on the shoulders, slanted numerals, sublimated vertical stripes — ever appeared on a USFL jersey.

    IMHO all of the USFL uniforms were great, the only exception being the 1984 Oklahoma Outlaws’ black-over-black home uniform.

    We’ve seen this before; the Patriots’ mid-’90s design was called “USFL-ish,” even though none of its distinguishing elements — big honking logo on the shoulders, slanted numerals, sublimated vertical stripes — ever appeared on a USFL jersey.

    IMHO all of the USFL uniforms were great, the only exception being the 1984 Oklahoma Outlaws’ black-over-black home uniform.

    This seems to be a common theme when people try to talk about an NFL uniform or logo being bad – compare it to the USFL. In reality, the USFL looked *just like* the NFL of the time, with notable exception of the Panthers helmets and the Outlaws wearing mono-black 20 years before it became a popular thing to do.

    I’d say maybe the abortive 49ers helmet logo looks a little like the link, or maybe the link. Most USFL teams didn’t have wordmarks on their helmets, let alone team-name wordmarks, which two NFL teams — the Jets and Giants — did at the time.

    The Boston, New Orleans, Portland “Breakers” helmets are the finest in the history of professional football.

    Studio Simon has a much cleaner, distinctive look, and an impeccable eye for typography. The teams he’s designed tend to have shorter names, like Jammers, Nuts, or Bananas, instead of made-up compound word mascots.

    Having lived in Austin for the past 15 years, we are the proud owners of a waffle iron shaped like Texas. The panhandle is especially delicious.

    Dane Storrusten’s UND marks are things of beauty. But I worry that the pendulum of earnestness has swung so far in one direction, the university might be anxious to avoid any reference to Indians altogether, and would look for the most whitewashed green hawk available. This is the pessimist in me; hope it doesn’t come to pass.

    The waffle iron is probably my favorite word in the French language. Le gauffrier. For one thing, it just sounds so satisfying coming off the tongue. For another, it’s funny how roots work. Normally, the suffix -ier after a noun means “tree.” Pomme + ier = pommier, apple tree. Cerise + ier = cerisier, cherry tree. Gauffre + ier does not equal waffle tree, haha.
    As for my preferences, yes please they’re all delicious. But with a childhood on Eggos (whole wheat Eggos were my traditional breakfast before hockey games), I guess my ideal waffle is circular small-tread.

    The Brewer’s removal of piping is undoubtedly connected to the new alternate cap/jersey which utilized yellow gold rather than metallic. The advantage of blank pants allows the club to switch between alternate tops without worrying about whether the color of the pants piping matches.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more clubs doing this, especially ones with alternate color schemes (e.g. the Mariners). Pants have essentially become, for some teams, just a background to the jersey and a way to indicate home and away.

    Pants have essentially become, for some teams, just a background to the jersey…

    When teams unveil new uniforms, I now often see fans and even other writers referring to the unveiling of “a new jersey,” as if the rest of the uniform didn’t exist or didn’t matter. I’m certain this is yet another unfortunate ramification of jersey retailing.

    Related to the jersey retailing is the inclusion of multiple, often retro, color schemes.

    Another prime example are the Padres. If you look closely at their unveiling, the new home uniforms don’t have any pants piping. This is because the team desperately wants to wear and especially to sell brown jerseys while still using blue. The blue/yellow piping seen on the home jersey would clash with the brown alternate so they just ditched pants piping altogether.


    However, starting this year, baseball pants do have the MLB insignia centered on the back, presumably in the team’s color scheme. Maybe the brown jersey can escape the navy piping, but not the navy+khaki batter icon. That is, unless they go to the trouble of issuing pairs with a brown+gold symbol.

    Of course, this makes me wonder, why don’t they just design additional pant sets that are color-coordinated to the jersey they are wearing? Is it because they are afraid players would pay less attention to what pants they are grabbing to put on, and thus have different sets on the field at the same time? That’s probably the only “good” reason I can think of to be this lazy. That, or they see no retail potential in pants, so why bother going the extra mile? Ok, that’s probably the real reason *sigh*.

    Funny, just two years ago we were upset about the Cubs and Dodgers issuing two different pairs of grey pants.

    The DBacks are a notable exception. Going whole hog with the alternate color scheme by making 4 different types of pants.

    However I think you’re right. Teams generally don’t see an angle in having an extra pair of pants except for uniforms that are really distinct (e.g. Phillies).

    Surprised that the article didn’t mention the link as the subject of immediate and intense fan backlash that the franchise could not immediately address but un-did as quickly as it could. This was only four years after the 49ers fiasco and the Islanders might have tossed it just as quickly if they could have, but the NHL made them wait two whole years just to bring back the original logo (although they allowed it to be used as a “third jersey” in the interim year).

    That, and the link, might also be a good subject for a future FFB….

    There’e been several short-lived baseball jerseys due to fan blaclahs. The Phillies Saturday Night specials were pretty widely panned, and Dodgers, Tigers and Cardinals fans were none too happy when their teams broke out “special” dark-colored jerseys.

    Good riddance Clearview. I have a web app that makes state highway signs and I don’t have to support it any more.

    None of the links showed it, so I can only imagine how had the LEFT side of the 49ers helmet must have looked, with the “ers” morosely trickling to the back.

    That White Sox jacket that Einhorn is wearing just put those jerseys in a new light for me. They are baseball equivalents, pattern-wise, of the Montreal Canadiens! HA!!

    I’m a big fan of a circular, deep treaded waffle, quartered preferably. I fill up the treads with syrup one quarter at a time, as I devour one of the greatest food inventions. I lost my waffle maker in my divorce, but my sister gave me an Olaf from Frozen waffle maker, so once a. Week the kids and I enjoy some Olaffles.

    Just being nitpicky, but the Bananas aren’t a minor league team but a summer collegiate team in the Coastal Plains League.

    From the notepad of NFL Creative Service’s David Bloss, “The point is … Debartolo wants to emphasize 49ers, not SF. It’s THE Bay Area team …”

    This is an interesting revelation behind the motivation to change the logo …

    While the Raiders were in LA, the 49ers won over many East Bay fans through loyalty (he didn’t move the team to LA,) and winning (they won 4 Super Bowls during that period.) Debartolo was probably trying to cement the East Bay market and encompass the entire Bay Area as 49er territory.

    At that time, 1991, Al Davis was in negotiations to return to Oakland, going so far as to announce his intentions. There’s no way a business man like Debartolo was going to let go of a new fanbase, (that he worked hard to win over.) The NFL notepad quote indicates his intention was to blur the borders … much like re-naming the Warriors “Golden State,” or the Oakland Seals the “California Golden Seals.”

    On a side note, in 1991, the Giants ownership were looking like they were going to surrender the Bay Area market to the A’s, and sell to a group in Florida. It was a dodgy time for Bay Area franchise stability … and still is.

    Cognitive dissonance in action, if you ask me. Land’s End quickly learned the stridency of the right-leaning consumers in their base. I was disappointed, too, but the company knows what it has to do to keep its customers.

    Why should anyone or company apologize for including any positive role model, a person who has had a positive impact for an entire portion of our population? If they had honored Hitler, then an apology is appropriate. If a company allows small vocal wing nut groups to dictate who they use in advertising, it’s a company so weak in their convictions and self worth that I’ll be sure to stay away. There’s plenty of competition for my dollar.

    I guess that happens when you type a comment but accidentally don’t hit “submit” for like an hour.

    Good baseball stuff today.

    While viewing the 1981 White Sox clip I noticed that someone did some sloppy work, even for spring training, on Carlton Fisk’s NOB.

    At first glance the Birmingham A’s stationery looked like it was from 1955, not 1975.

    The best thing about that White Sox video is how Fisk’s NOB is not arched, but the rest of the players’ names are (which was normal for the Sox at the time). It’s very noticeable at around the 1:46 mark.

    When the Sox changed to the black and silver uni’s Fisk’s front numbers were a slightly different font than the rest of the team. I suspect he may have had custom made jerseys from another manufacturer. It could have been the case in 81 also.

    In keeping with the food based content, I have been struggling to find a good roll for my lunch sandwiches. Something not too dry or bulky, but not too soft. I recently found link in my super market. Not bad as a sandwich roll. Last night I lightly toasted one and put a burger on it…PERFECTION was achieved. You have to try it. I am going to grill a hot dog, slice it up and put it on one of these next.

    Man, the navy trim on that Braves jersey script is waaaaay thicker than it used to be.

    Also, re: the Padres blue camo jersey—the single similarity is that the guy also used a camo pattern that was blue. Other than that no resemblance whatsoever to the new alternate.

    Between the waffles and all that smoked meat, I didn’t need lunch!

    Got my shirt today! Fantastic!

    I’m a savory breakfast man. Eating waffles, flap jacks and such is like waking up to a breakfast of birthday cake and ice cream. Yeah, I like those things, but can I get some real food first?

    “at the minimum, send a different team to our country to represent the sport, one that does not promote a racial slur.”

    Now, even if you believe “Washington Redskins” is a racial slur, can anybody honestly say the team and the NFL are “promoting” it as such? In fact, they’re doing just the opposite and denying that it is.

    It’s nice to see the old-style CCM hockey jerseys in tonight’s Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game. Especially seeing the Avs’ original-style unis, which are so much better than their Edge unis.

    I read the comments in the Youtube video of the 1981 White Sox. So many hate the leisure suit unis. I love them! I thought they looked great. They looked like no other team in baseball.

    I used to read Inconspicuous Consumption regularly in the New York Press…didn’t realize until now that it was Paul! That’s, like, a quarter century I’ve been reading Paul’s work!

    As someone from Wisconsin who knows just how good Nueske’s is, I’m pretty envious of all that meat! I don’t think I’ve ever had anything from Nueske’s that I wouldn’t buy again.

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