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Can’t Make It Up: MLBer’s Pants Come Apart at the Seams

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Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder on the MLB uni front, Detroit outfielder Riley Greene’s right pant leg literally came apart at the seams when Greene slid into home during the ninth inning of yesterday’s Tigers/Pirates game in Pittsburgh.

Here’s another video clip, this one showing Greene in the dugout following the play at home:

Let’s shift into Q&A mode:

Have you ever seen anything like this before?

No.  We’ve seen lots of instances of players tearing their pants in the knee, thigh, or hip areas, but I’ve never see a pant leg just open up like this.

This proves that they’re obviously using a different fabric for the pants this year, right?

Nope. For starters, multiple sources have confirmed that this year’s pants fabric is the same as last year’s. Moreover, this incident wasn’t a fabric failure; it was a seam failure, because the whole pant leg opened up right along the side seam.

So what does that indicate?

While the pants fabric hasn’t changed this year, the tailoring specs for the pants have changed — that’s why the belt loops are different, for example. It’s possible that other production specs were also changed, including the thread being used on the seams and/or the sewing specs (i.e., the number of stitches per inch). I’ve asked a Fanatics rep about that and will post an update if I hear back.

If the thread or sewing specs were changed, who would be responsible for those changes?

Nike. In that case, this would be an(other) instance of the factory just following Nike’s specs, right down to the stitch.

Isn’t it also possible that this was just shoddy workmanship by the Fanatics factory?

Sure. But remember, that same factory with the same staff has produced all of MLB’s uniforms for the past 20 years or so (including the first four years of Nike’s MLB uni stewardship).

So what are you saying?

I’m saying that the two most likely scenarios are (a) Nike changed the thread and/or sewing specs or (b) this was a random factory error that could have taken place in any year, but just happened to take place in the same year that Nike rolled out the new template.

It’s obviously Fanatics’ fault. Their merchandise sucks!

Again, that same factory in Pennsylvania, which was originally owned by Majestic but has been owned by Fanatics since 2017, has made all of MLB’s on-field uniforms for 20 years.

Why do you always defend Fanatics? You’re obviously biased!

My only bias is toward facts and reality. I’m not for or against any company.

Anything to add?

Two things:

  1. Regardless of the actual cause of this wardrobe malfunction, it’s obviously a really bad look, and people are almost certainly going to lump it in with the rest of the current Nike/MLB fiasco (even if it’s unrelated). That could end up being a good thing, because the growing groundswell of bad PR could help persuade Nike and MLB to roll back some of the template changes next season.
  2. Speaking of which: If you watch those videos again, you can definitely see the color mismatch between the Tigers’ jerseys and pants.



Purp Walk Reminder

In case you missed it on Monday, the 2024 Purp Walk T-shirt is out, and it’s a doozy. Full details here.



Century Mark

My indestructible mom turned 100 years old yesterday! My brother, E, and I took her out to a nice restaurant to celebrate, and the waiter was nice enough to snap this picture of us.

Here she is blowing out the candle on her tiramisu:

My mom has lived an amazing life. Her creativity, drive, passion, and love have helped make me who I am today. I’m super-proud of her, and equally proud to be her son. I love you, Mom.



Can of the Day

This can’s in rough shape, but you can still see that it’s a really nice design. I especially like the tag line at the bottom.

Comments (60)

    I think it’s funny that they made such an emphasis on lightweight and performance enhancing for a sport where there’s very little sustained action. And a sport where players wear padded sliding shorts under their uniforms and slide on dirt. Durability has always been a consideration with baseball uniforms. At every level. In Japan, they sell padded patches to be worn over high wear areas of pants. And growing up I remember double knee pants being sold too. I know the pants haven’t changed but I don’t think Nike’s emphasis on lightweight works for baseball.

    Totally agree. As I’ve said several times over the past few months, “performance fabric” doesn’t mean much in a sport that mostly involves just standing around.

    Remember John Kruk’s famous “I’m not an athlete, lady, I’m a baseball player”? Well, someone needs to say “This isn’t ‘performance athletic gear’, this is a baseball uniform.”

    @Dave. I think Kruk’s most famous line is “If you don’t let me play, I will take my ball and go home.”

    You’re right. And the point was never to be practical for playing baseball, it was to market something cool-sounding to dimwitted MLB execs. It’s exactly the same as companies that peddle “tactical” shades/phones/pocketknives/whatever to wannabes who want to playact as combat veterans.

    A Happy 100th Birthday to your mother, Paul. Glad you and your family took the opportunity to celebrate.

    Happy 100 to you mom. Hope she is doing well, as she looks to be in good shape for 100.
    I find it sort of amazing the changes in what people of various ages generally look like now, as opposed to say 20 or 30 years ago. When my grandmother was in her 80s back in the 1980s she looked similar in age to you mom at 100. I have aunts and uncles in their 80s now who would look how people did in their 60s or 70s about 30 years ago.
    I suppose it is a combination of lifestyle factors, modern medicine, and life experiences, but it is very astonishing.

    Most importantly, Happy Hundred to your mother!

    Minor typo issue: it should read “…an(other) instance…”

    I’ll be honest, my interest in the Nike/Fanatics/MLB issue now is seeing how long Nike and Fanatics and the MLB can flat out ignore it.

    As a Tigers fan, it’s been rough to watch road games this season. The greys are very mismatched, the split on their chest script goes right though a cursive ‘t’, the NOBs look minor league, and their traditional belt loops are gone. Went from one of the best looking road greys to an absolute mess. Terrified for the City Connect later this season. Was hoping they’d opt out.

    Happy 100 to your mother, Paul!

    Stretches the point of coincidence that it happened this year.

    I still don’t see mismatched grays. I think I’m being gaslighted on that one. (Gaslit?)

    I do and don’t see the mismatched greys. In Paul’s recent post on the greys, some were obvious, some were visible with a lot of focus and moving my phone to different lights, and some looked well matched. The fact that many are discernibly different tells me that they all are to some degree because it would be weirder if only some were. There are studies that have shown that not all people see the same amount of colors, meaning subtle variations are simply not visible to some people to varying degrees. Perhaps that is the issue, given how subtle the difference can appear on electronics screens.

    A century, wow! Good to see your mom celebrate this very special occasion. As for the Tigers pants you are right: could have happened to any player on any team sliding towards a base or trying to make a catch. But it adds to the malfunction storyline and I hope that things will be much improved next season.

    Happy Birthday to your Mom, Paul! May we all live so long to be a positive influence to the ones around us, as she has been to you.

    Happy birthday mom!

    You’d have to have quite a large family to properly appreciate 70lbs of molasses.

    My mom turns 90 in July, and she looks and acts 20 years younger.
    I can easily echo Paul’s sentiments, and I’d like to wish Mrs. Lukas a very happy birthday.
    Paul, we get along so well, and I am proud to call you a friend. I think it all starts with our moms.

    The dugout video is interesting. I wonder if more players are wearing the long dark undergarments.

    I wonder how long this poor guy will have to wait for new pants given the manufacturing schedule issues and fanatics prioritizing of specific individual uni sets. “Sorry, buddy. AL central road primary replacement pants aren’t shipping until august, we haven’t even got to the first shipment of NL west CC jerseys, yet.”

    There is no mention of it on the MLB website, and the video of the play they posted has does not show the slide. it was clearly clipped out of the video. MLB wants to censor this, and act like it never happened.

    I’m confused? I thought Nike has been saying it’s lighter and more breathable? How is this possible if if’s the same fabric as last year? Also, why the color difference from the jersey? Does the jersey now have different fabric than last year? Are they using a different dye lot?

    Paul, congratulations to your Mom and to all your family for her 100th birthday celebration! A momentous event, to be sure. Thank you for sharing.

    Congratulations to your mom, Paul. My own mother is 90 and I am constantly amazed at how well they look!

    Happy birthday to your mom! She appears to be at least 10 years ago — must be great genes and healthy living. As someone who deeply values who you are, Paul, I appreciate all the ways that your mom shaped you as a person.

    Happy birthday to your mother!

    Also, I gotta say, it feels kinda strange to see you in a shirt and tie, not sure I’ve ever seen that in a photo you’ve posted.

    Also a Tigers fan and also agree that their road games are now a very tough watch after decades of being very easy on the eyes. In addition to their jersey being powder blue-adjacent, the “Detroit” and the number are now scrunched way closer together. And as with all the teams, the tiny NOB looks sporting goods store remainder bin.

    Wow! Congrats to your mom turning 100. I wish my mom was still here. Great pic of the group looks like you are all coordinating color wise.

    Happy Birthday to your mom, Paul! I love those pictures you shared; they really warm my heart.

    They made me text my mom, who lives here in the Dallas area, too, as well as my new mother-in-law, whom I met for the first time two weeks ago right before my wedding. She lives in rural NC and I’ve been missing her since she went back home.

    Happy 100th to your mom! As a good friend who had long-lived parents likes to say, “choose your ancestors well.” Clearly you have followed that advice.

    Too bad Nike uniforms aren’t as durable as Mrs. Lukas.

    And to think Auburn just signed up for 10 years of swoosh-induced madness.

    Congratulations, Paul and Paul’s mom! And my condolences, Tigers fans.

    I wonder which team will have their City Connects or (mariners case) their beautiful 4th alternate creams with royal blue and yellow delayed because of this (sarc).

    Absolutely incredible that your mom has lived to 100 and seems so healthy and vibrant. You are a lucky man that you have had her for so long, and I’m sure your (and your brother’s) care of her has contributed to her longevity. Here’s to many more years for Mrs. Lukas!

    Wishing Paul’s Mother a very Happy Birthday! 100 years old is amazing. Keep going strong! how about a few tips for the rest of us? It looks like the family had a good night, that is nice to see.

    Happy birthday to your mom, Paul, and congratulations to her on her impressive centenary.

    BTW, nice beard!

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Lukas – 100 is quite the accomplishment!

    What team/player will be next to suffer from Seamgate? LOL

    First and foremost, Happiest of birthdays to Mrs. Lukas. 100 years and best wishes for the next year.

    Regarding the MLB uniforms, and especially the pants: how can they look at the pile of evidence (mismatched colors, see-through whites) and say that “nothing about the fabric has changed” with a straight face? Of COURSE it’s changed.

    Thanks for the kind words, Paul.

    But no, the pants fabric has not changed.

    I’ve already reported on why the greys don’t match (new jersey fabric, lax quality control standards by Nike). And it’s been widely demonstrated that the see-thru issue was also apparent in previous years during Photo Day sessions, not just this year.

Comments are closed.