Good morning, and happy post-Opening Day! As usual, there was lots of late-breaking uni-related news on the first day of the MLB season, beginning with the surprise announcement that Royals had named catcher Salvador Pérez as their captain, complete with “C” on his jersey — which, as you can see above, looks just brutal next to the stupid Nike maker’s mark. Here’s how it looked on Pérez:
Pérez is, by my count, the 14th “C”-clad captain in MLB history (the other 13 are shown here), and the first since Jason Varitek in 2011 (Brandon Belt’s DIY “C” in 2021 notwithstanding). He’s also the first “C”-clad Royals captain since Mike Sweeney in 2007.
I think MLB captaincy designations are fun as long as they’re not overused, so I like this move. Or at least I would like it if not for that positioning near the swoosh — it’s just the worst. There’s precedent for teams putting the “C” on the sleeve, so why didn’t the Royals put it there instead?
Oh, wait — let me guess.
In other news from Opening Day:
- The Rays had previously announced that they’d be wearing their Devil Rays throwbacks for Friday home games, but they also wore them for Opening Day, as part of their 25th-anniversary celebration:
- In addition, the Rays waited until yesterday to announce that they’re adding a memorial rear-helmet decal for longtime radio broadcaster Dave Wills, who died earlier this month:
- Speaking of the Rays, shortstop Wander Franco had a big cross on his face:
- In a late-breaking development that, to my knowledge, was not announced by the team prior to the game (and, in fact, still has not been officially announced), the Giants have added a memorial patch for Gaylord Perry, who spent the first decade of his 22-year career with them:
- As we had suspected, the Phillies have indeed scrapped their sleeve numbers in anticipation of a uni ad. So here’s an ad that doesn’t even exist yet and it’s already diminishing the look of the Phils’ uniforms!
The Phillies will have blank sleeves today on their jerseys as they removed numbers in anticipation of having a sponsor patch. But deal is not yet complete. Phils still expect to have a sponsor on uniforms this season. #OpeningDay
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) March 30, 2023
- We knew the Astros would wear their gold-trimmed uniforms (which they’ll also wear tonight), but we didn’t know they’d also have gold-brimmed batting helmets to match their caps:
- Remember how I tried to read the sleeve-ad tea leaves a few weeks back by looking at how teams handled their team logo sleeve patches on Photo Day? At the time, the Guardians all wore their team logo patch on the right sleeve. But for yesterday’s opener, the patch was alternating based on the player’s handedness, suggesting that an ad is in the works:
- Similarly, but in reverse: The Dodgers’ left-sleeve “LA” logo was missing on Photo Day, leading us to think that a uni ad was imminent, but the “LA” was there last night (and it was consistently on the left sleeve for everyone):
- We couldn’t read any Photo Day tea leaves for the White Sox, because their home whites don’t have a team logo sleeve patch. But their road greys do, and the “Sox” was on alternating sleeves yesterday, indicating that an ad is probably on the way soon:
- We got our first look at the Mariners’ All-Star Game patch on anything other than their spring training jersey:
- Here’s how various teams handled the new debutante patches (which, in case you missed it, I wrote about yesterday):
- Umpire Todd Tichenor, who was working the plate for the Royals/Twins game, was apparently wearing an old jacket with remnants of last year’s advertising patch still visible:
@UniWatch Is this where the old FTX logos were on the umpire jackets? Seen today on the Twins-Royals game. They didn’t seem to do a very nice job removing the patches (or getting new jackets). pic.twitter.com/kUTk2WFQvP
— Ben Krause (@ben_c_krause) March 30, 2023
- Speaking of old gear, the Rangers were still using 50th-anniversary popcorn tubs from last season:
- Last but not least: The sleeve ads looked like shit.
Most of these developments have been added to my MLB Season Preview, which is now final. Phew!
(Big thanks to Christian Berumen, Patrick Maher, and Jay Mazzone for their contributions to this post.)