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Batty: Elly De La Cruz’s Knob Attachment Leads to DC Drama

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Reds rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz, who’s been tearing up the league since his call-up a month ago, has a little plastic attachment on the knob of his bat. I hadn’t noticed it, but it caught the attention of Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who asked the umps to inspect De La Cruz’s bat during the second inning of last night’s Reds/Nats game in DC.

After a five-minute delay (all of which is shown in the video embedded above), the umps ruled that De La Cruz had to remove the attachment, and he then proceeded to strike out. But they later learned that the attachment had been approved by MLB, so the attachment was back on the bat in the fifth inning, when De La Cruz did this:

Here’s a closer look at the attachment in question:

Speaking through a translator after the game, De La Cruz explained what the knob accessory is for:

“It’s something that we use in spring training. It’s just a sensor that we use, but there it’s just the plastic that covers the bat. There’s nothing else besides that. I started using it back in 2021. It just felt more comfortable using that and from there on out I asked for more of those plastic shells.”

The sensor, which is made by a company called Blast Motion, helps to analyze a player’s swing. As De La Cruz explained, he’s no longer using the sensor, but he got used to having the protective plastic knob cap, so he’s continued to use it, with full MLB approval.

The umpires’ crew chief, Adrian Johnson, gave this explanation after the game:

“Davey [Martinez] brought up the issue with the attachment on the bat. It’s something we hadn’t dealt with before. So, we used the tool we have, the rules check, to contact replay, which is in the league office, asking about the attachment. It took quite a while for them to get back to us. We had to continue to play, to keep the game going. They finally got back to us before his next at-bat and said that the attachment was approved. So, he played the rest of the game with the attachment on the bat.”

Finally, as long as we’re talking about De La Cruz, it’s worth noting that he wears a necklace whose pendant has a very uni-centric photo of himself and his parents:



ITEM! New Premium Article

A young graphic designer named Emily Morgan has generated a fair amount of buzz in recent months with her logo-redesign videos. For this week’s Uni Watch Premium article over on Substack, I have an exclusive interview with her, which I think you’ll really enjoy.

You can read the first part of the article here. To read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also give you access to my full Substack archives). My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



Too Good for the Ticker

Oh, my — look at this amazing DIY sweater (literally, not metaphorically) that was made by Twitter-er Nik Coulter. Holy shmoly! It’s based on the the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

And that’s not all — Coulter also made these:


(Huge thanks to the great Wafflebored for tipping me wise to Nik Coulter’s wonderful creations.)



Can of the Day

Gears and sprockets are very appealing graphic elements — especially on this can design.

Comments (19)

    Today’s can is perfect. Yellow and brown are such and underrated combo.

    Ironically, I chose a gold/brown stripes tie to wear with a tan suit to work today.

    Great interview with Emily Morgan!

    Question for you, Paul. Do you consider UniWatch (and specifically, our ability to comment and interact) as a form of a social media site, and do you consider yourself, in addition to being a journalist, as a social media influencer?

    Glad you liked the interview, Marcus.

    While Uni Watch has a social/community aspect, I don’t consider it to be social media in the way that term is generally used and understood. Similarly, while my work may have had some influence in various quarters, I do not consider myself to be an influencer in the way that term is generally used and understood.

    I’ve never really understood what a social media influencer actually is. Best I could tell is that it is typically a non-famous person who somehow started getting lots of followers (often times attractive upper middle class females), and then uses said large number of followers as a captive audience to advertise products from companies that pay them.
    Paul is quasi-famous in that he is the most prominent journalist in his field. He likewise really does not pitch products to people. Influencers have advertisement that are masked as content. Given how much Paul rallies against the tail wagging the dog in the uniform/merch battle, if anything he is an anti-influencer.

    “Influencers have advertisement that are masked as content. Given how much Paul rallies against the tail wagging the dog in the uniform/merch battle, if anything he is an anti-influencer.”

    I definitely agree with this. So maybe I’m thinking that Paul is more of a “cultural influencer” (and not purposefully). One who is articulate with his explanation of how he thinks and why he has the opinions he has, and people naturally gravitate to and embrace his articulation of thoughts because they are similar to their own.

    There is a term for what you’re describing, although I’m hesitant to claim it for myself: “public intellectual.”

    Looked around but didn’t see it mentioned in the past. Eric Young Sr. (first base coach for the Braves) as some wings on his helmet he wears in the field. Over his right ear I believe. I was trying to get a screenshot and failed. Anyone know what it is?

    My son uses Blast Motion at home. Without the sensor, it’s literally just a silicon cover for the knob. There’s no way in the world it would help Elly other than what he said: Basically as a placebo effect to make him comfortable.

    I will say, I love when this stuff happens. The Bruce Bolt decal on the Cubs helmet was a great advertisement for that company (and it became the reason I became aware of them and multiple pairs of their batting gloves). Hopefully, this helps Blast Motion, which is another really interesting company.

    It may be worth identifying Nik’s second sweater as being based on the Hull Festivals (1973-76), the predecessor to the Hull (1976-2003)/Gatineau (2003-present) Olympiques. The logo definitely screams 1970s Quebec to me!

    I have followed Emily on instagram for a few months. Algorithmed to my feed based on my interest in sports and fashion and design pages no doubt.
    She is very talented. I like how she makes fairly significant changes yet reamins true to the current brand. I also like her “easter eggs” they are usually subtle and enhance the logo (my favorite example being the torch flame from the Indiana state flag is turned into the mane of the Colt in her redesign).
    Additionally, she reacts very positively to commenters, and she accepts it as constructive feedback.

    Agreed on how she responds to feedback. (Fortunately, most of the people in her comment section are respectful, even when they’re not crazy about a design.) The New York Giants one she posted a couple weeks back was cool, but it was exponentially better after she tweaked it based on commenters’ suggestions.

    Holy Moly indeed! Those QMJHL, er LHJMQ, sweaters, plus the Seattle Metropolitans, are the best things I have seen in a long time! The Q has had some especially great uniforms over the years. See the Chicoutimi Saguenéens for some great shoulder stripey goodness.

    The oil can is perfect. So are the sweaters. Martinez was clearly overreacting, De La Cruz is charmingly superstitious.

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