As of now, there are six MLB teams that have announced uniform ads for the coming season: the Angels, Astros, D-backs, Padres, Red Sox, and Reds. But there are indications that two other teams — the Orioles and Phillies — may have ads in the works.
Let’s start in Orioles camp, where the team’s Maryland flag-inspired team logo patch, which in the past has appeared on the team’s left sleeve, has been showing up on both the left and right sleeve, depending on the player:
This same patch also appears inconsistently on the home jerseys in the team’s new Photo Day pics, which were shot yesterday (additional images here):
Obviously, all of this suggests that the team is planning an alternating-sleeve uni ad. The weird thing, though, is that the team logo patch is on the more camera-visible sleeve for each player. So an ad, if the team goes ahead with one, would be on the less visible sleeve. Could they simply be trying to maximize the visibility of the team logo, with no uni ad in the works? Hmmmm.
Weird how they positioned everyone with the right sleeve facing forward, right? But if you look at this video clip, it’s clear that the left sleeves are all blank:
Did someone say karaoke??? 🎤 pic.twitter.com/27EoeRnVB2
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 23, 2023
Now, you might be thinking, “Maybe they just used blank jerseys for everyone. It’s true that some teams do that for Photo Day. But the Phillies have consistently used numbered jerseys on Photo Day, as you can see in these shots from 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. (I could go on, but you get the idea.)
It’s not surprising to learn that the Phils may be close to an ad deal, because they’ve already said they hope to have one in place by Opening Day. Until now, though, it wasn’t clear if the sleeve numbers would move to the ad-opposite sleeve, depending on the player, or if they’d just be eliminated altogether. Looks like the latter, sadly.
Update: Reader/commenter Richard Hochroth points out that the Nationals also have their team logo on alternating sleeves:
Reader/commenter Neeko notes that the same is true of the Brewers:
And reader/commenter Jim reports that the “LA” logo that normally appears on the Dodgers’ left sleeve is nowhere to be found in the team’s Photo Day shots. I never liked that sleeve element anyway, so I’d say it’s addition by subtraction — until the inevitable advertisement takes its place.
(My thanks to Twitter-er @ReallyNotOnHere for the Orioles observation and Christian Berumen for the Phillies observation.)