For many of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge
We knew MLB players would be wearing a lot of pink yesterday, including pink-lettered and -numbered jerseys (first time those have ever been worn on Ma’s Day), caps with pink logos and top-stitching (ditto), and the usual assortment of pink batting gloves, bats, wristbands, chest protectors, and related accessories. But we didn’t know — or at least I sure didn’t — that high-cuffed players would be wearing pink socks and stirrups. Not every high-cuffed player did that yesterday, but lots of them did. Here are some additional examples:
There were also several teams whose high-cuffed players stuck with their standard team-colored hose. Here are a few of them (there were definitely others):
Why do these players hate Mother’s Day? (Also, for that last photo, shouldn’t Javier Baez’s faceguard have been pink?)
On some level, the pink hose worked better than their team-colored counterparts, at least in terms of chromatic consistency. If your jersey and cap and undershirt are pink-themed, it makes sense for your socks to be pink as well. So yeah, MLB gets points for consistency here. The problem, of course, is that in this case the look was consistently bad, literally from head to toe. But consistent, nonetheless.
Bonus points to Reds pitcher John Lamb, who apparently tried to have it both ways, as you can see at the base of his front leg in this photo:
Other notes from yesterday’s games:
• Teams with colored pants piping didn’t change the piping to pink — they just removed the piping altogether. And in the day’s one development that constituted an improvement, these new custom pants didn’t have the MLB logo on the back belt tunnel:
• The pink theme on the jerseys was extended to sleeve patches:
(Footnote: Seeing the Mets’ patch in pink is a good reminder that the team’s original colors were supposed to be pink and black. So yesterday’s sleeve patch was, sort of, a throwback, or a “What if?,” or something like that.)
Even the Orioles’ Maryland flag-themed sleeve patch and the Rangers’ Texas flag sleeve patch — which are based on, you know, official state flags — were pink:
But the American flag patch on the Padres’ G.I. Joe jersey was left in its usual colors, which I guess means we’ve now established a hierarchy of pandering — Mother’s Day trumps state flags but not the American flag:
• I was kinda hoping (and also kinda dreading, but mostly kinda hoping) that Mets outfielder Yoenis CÃ©spedes would wear his neon compression sleeve, just so we could see how pink and neon collided. Alas, it was not to be:
• Flower power: Now, I happen to like flowers. You probably do, too — who wouldn’t? At various points in my life (most recently about three weeks ago), assorted friends and relations have given me flowers many times on my birthday, as a gift when I’m hosting a party, as a “get well soon” sentiment, or just for the hell of it. I’m sure the same is true for many of you who are reading this. But it appears that for MLB and its promotional partners, flowers are strictly for girls ”¦ women ”¦ mothers. Which is how yesterday’s games ended up featuring footwear and accessories like these:
On the one hand, seeing all these big, tough athletes wearing flowers feels like a good refutation of standard gender stereotypes. On the other hand, they’re doing it for a reason that perpetuates gender stereotypes. Hmmmm.
• The circle-R trademark symbol that usually appears on the Cubs’ jersey logo was missing from their pinkwashed design:
• The Angels wore pink, just like everyone else — really, they did — but it was hard to tell:
• The Giants’ uniforms were white — white! — instead of their usual cream:
• The pink looked particularly bad on the Diamondbacks’ road
grays charcoals, which I guess is just another way of saying the road grays charcoals look particularly bad, which we already knew. But still:
• Think the Yankees’ uniform is sacrosanct? Then don’t look too closely at these shots:
• The pinkwashing also extended to umpires’ masks:
• And on-field graphics (shouldn’t the Reds have renamed themselves the Pinks for this game?):
• And the batter’s box (or at least the right-handed batter’s box in Miami):
• And bunting (in this case at
the Rogers Centre I still call it Skydome):
• And game notes distributed to the media:
Did I miss anything noteworthy? Probably! Feel feel to add your own observations in today’s comments.
Meanwhile: I’ve seen lots of people referring to all of these pink uni elements as a “cash grab” by MLB. That’s not accurate, because MLB is donating all of its proceeds from pink merch to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. However, that in turn raises several issues of its own:
• It would be easy enough for MLB to donate to Komen (or to any group) without furthering the merch-industrial complex, which has clearly gone too far.
• If fans are reflexively screaming, “Cash grab!,” even when no cash grab is taking place, it probably means they’ve become seriously jaded and cynical about the endless merchandising barrage. So while the “cash grab” accusation isn’t entirely accurate here, it’s a symptom of a bigger problem — a problem that MLB should be asking itself about.
In any case, the chief concern here at Uni Watch is always how it looks on the field, and in this case it looks terrible.
Finally, it turns out Batman was way ahead of the Mother’s Day trend. Remember the episode when the Mad Hatter turned his cowl pink? Right, me neither, but here you go:
And remember, kids, only six more weeks to Father’s Day!
(My thanks to everyone who emailed or tweeted photos and info my way yesterday. I hope you also managed to squeeze in some quality time with Mom. My thanks also to new Uni Watch team member Alex Hider, who was on Ticker duty for the first time and freed me up to take a deep dive on the MLB coverage.)
Photo by the Tugboat Captain; click to enlarge
Don’t tell Tucker and Caitlin, but sometimes I like to play with dogs, too. The pooch here is named Faust, and we were roughhousing duing the rooftop segment of an excellent Kentucky Derby party that I attended on Saturday.
Speaking of which, I maintained my annual custom of baking a Derby Pie but totally forgot to post the recipe on the site last Friday — sorry about that. If you want to make it for the Preakness and/or Belmont (or, really, anytime — it’s a great pie), here’s the recipe (click to enlarge):
KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is now available. It involves two Lego bricks (as shown above). Check it out here.
T-Shirt Club reminder: The Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s second release of 2016 — the hockey design — is now available. Here’s the base design (which you can click to enlarge), followed by the three shirt color offerings:
The shirt is available here from now through next Tuesday.
We also have a goalie design that’s available for sale as a bonus shirt. Here’s the base design, and the three color options:
This shirt is not part of the T-Shirt Club, does not have Club’s jock tag graphic, and neither counts toward nor is required for 2016 “Collect ’Em All” eligibility. It’s just a bonus design that we’re offering for those who want it. You can get it here.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Not to be outdone by the big-leaguers, Louisville and Stephen F. Austin also went pink for Mother’s Day (from James Gilbert and Chris Mycoskie). … Lots of readers pointed out that the Brewers’ Junior Guerra lost his helmet logo. … According to Mitchell Barbee, Braves centerfielder Mallex Smith has been switching back and forth between a single-flapped and double-flapped helmet. … Good story on the repurposed Darth Vader helmet that’s been popping up in the Mariners’ clubhouse. … A few users were kind enough to remind us of the White Sox’s egregious Ted Kluszewski NOB error, which took place 56 years ago yesterday. … They don’t make stadium giveaways like they used to. That’s a pendant the Yankees gave away for Mickey Mantle’s 500th homer on Mother’s Day 1967 (from BSmile). … Color-on-color alert: UNC-Wilmington and College of Charleston. Thank god there’s no pink (from Zane). … Lots of stripes in this Texas high school baseball photo, including some White Sox beach blanket unis (from William Banowsky). ”¦ After Mets P Bartolo ColÃ³n made history on Saturday night by becoming the oldest player in MLB history to hit his first career homer, the Mets — or maybe just the people at their TV network, SNY — had a little fun by listing ColÃ³n as an available pinch-hitter in yesterday’s game. ”¦ Kansas State’s jerseys yesterday were mostly blank.
Pro and College Football News: New uni number assignments for Eagles’ rookies. … Andrew Cosentino writes in with an interesting uni dilemma for Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds: “He’s already already had No. 19 retired by Navy. However, he’s currently wearing No. 6 for the Ravens. Why No. 6 and not No. 19? Well, the Ravens have never given out No. 19 in their history, out of respect for former Baltimore Colts legend Johnny Unitas.” … The Lions make heavy use of Honolulu blue and gray in this ad, but no black. Sign of things to come? (From Scott Frederick.) ”¦ Is West Virginia football adding pride stickers to its helmets this season? Sure looks like it (from Zack).
NBA News: ESPN used an outdated Hawks logo during Sunday’s game against the Cavs (from John Sabol). … Five female city council members in Seattle are facing sexist backlash after voting against a land-use deal that could have brought a publicly-financed basketball arena to the city. … Fashion plate and part-time basketball player Russell Westbrook wore an Anaheim Ducks alternate jersey to the stadium on Saturday (from Travis Ford).
College Hoops News: No, that’s not a black-and-white photo. It’s the new basketball floor at the University of Findlay (Ohio) (from Ryan Kovar). … North Carolina basketball players got to wear argyle one last time at graduation (from James Gilbert).
Grab Bag: Apparently, not even the PGA was immune to pink on Mother’s Day (from Pat Costello). … United Soccer League expansion team Reno 1868 will wear blue and gold when they take the field in March 2017 (via @ Members of the terrorist group Boko Haram have started wearing uniforms to identify themselves. … A rugby team in Australia wants its fans to vote on a 50th-anniversary patch to be worn next season. However, fans are upset that the club didn’t wear an ordinal patch this season. … Interesting take: Does instant replay take the fun out of watching sports? … A couple of NASCAR items from David Firestone: Throwback paint schemes for the upcoming Southern 500, and commemorative rings for Hendrick Motorsports following Jeff Gordon’s retirement. ”¦ And speing of NASCAR, here’s your latest chance to vote for the Paint Scheme of the Week. ”¦ Aussie football news: New guernsey for Richmond (from Franklin).