No athlete looks better in a uniform than a Major League baseball player getting ready for a game. His clothes are all neat and clean, his cap sits perfectly on his head, and his cleats are shiny and free from any clumps of mud on the bottoms. Even after a game, the dirt on his uniform is indicative of how hard he played and how exciting the game was, so that still makes him look OK. However, no one looks more foolish in uniform than a baseball player sporting a "retro" look. This past weekend, some Major League teams paid tribute to years past by wearing replicas from "way back then." The Nationals and Padres, for example, wore replica uniforms from the 1936 season, when the Washington Senators were the local team and the Padres played in the Pacific Coast League (they didn't join the Majors until 1969, in case you care). These uniforms were dull, ill-fitting, and just plain ugly. From the high stripey socks to the baggy tops, these guys just didn't look good. I guess the only team that would not suffer from wearing retro uniforms would be the Yankees, whose uniforms have remained unchanged throughout baseball history. Then in today's game, the Padres wore their "Sunday Camo" shirts, which are downright hideous. Last I knew, a Padre was a priest, not a soldier or a hunter or a redneck. I couldn't follow the game very well because the Padres players were camouflaged against the grass - who thought of THAT look? Then to make it worse, we thought we'd get a reprieve from the bad uniforms by going to a Frederick Keys game. Boy, was I wrong! The Keys were paying homage to the Negro Leagues, and they wore uniforms from the different Negro League teams. Now I'm all about recognizing the Negro Leagues - players like Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson who played an integral role in baseball history - but did the Keys have to wear uniforms representing the Choo Choos, the Monarchs, and the Cubans? Plus no one had their names on their backs, and you know how I don't like that! Luckily both the Nationals and the Keys won their games, and it was a lovely night at the local minor league park. I guess it could be worse; the Astros aren't wearing the multi-colored horizontal stripe tops from the late 70s and the Pirates aren't bringing out the ball caps with the flat tops. Let's hope the Braves, Phillies and Royals don't decide to wear the bright blue unies from years past!
In other games today, there is a new leader in the NL Central, because the Brewers swept the Cardinals. They are half a game above the Cards, and 4 games above the Reds, who all of a sudden stink (I think I jinxed them by mentioning them here a few weeks ago). The Cardinals are going to be very angry when they visit DC this coming week; that will be an interesting series to watch. Let's see...what else?... The Yankees beat the Indians 9-1, so the suddenly-struggling Indians are tied with Detroit for first place in the AL Central. Derek Jeter is now at 2,993 hits, so by next week he should be at 3000. The Red-hot Red Sox have won 9 in a row and beat Toronto 14-1. And in Baltinore, the Rays beat the O's 9-6, which included an inside-the-park home run by Evan Longoria. Oh, and Francisco Liriano was 6 outs shy of pitching a no-hitter in the Twins' victory over the Rangers 6-1. It was definitely an action-packed Sunday in the Majors today!
So now I'm off to finish the laundry, which includes my son's baseball uniform. His regular season has ended, but he will be playing in a tournament tomorrow. Let's hope that Little League doesn't employ some sort of "retro uniform" day anytime soon; I couldn't bear to watch my little boy wearing a bright yellow jersey and green pants, reminiscent of the 1980 Oakland A's.