Thursday, April 14, 2016
No, no, no, no, no, no, no ... no ... no
This affront to quality, history and everything that is good about my favorite sports team is apparently a thing.
Yesterday, MLB released news and images on a bunch of special uniforms for special occasions. Team will wear uniforms that honor Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, etc.
I don't have much of a problem with that. The uniforms and caps are a little different, and it's obviously a money grab (fortunately some of it is going to charity), but you can still tell what team it is despite the addition of red or blue or stars, etc. Some people have called them ugly, and maybe they are, but they still don't come close to the horror that is the above image.
Perhaps you had to grow up in the '70s to be as irked by this as I am. After all, I expected this cap to be a huge issue on Twitter yesterday and few seemed to care. To me, this cap, and the accompanying uniforms, go beyond "that's ugly."
The cap and uniforms showcase the Padres, who are hosting the All-Star Game this year. Anyone familiar with the Padres' late '70s uniforms knows the orange, yellow and brown McDonald's unis and the bubble letters, which the Padres displayed from 1978-84.
Those uniforms and caps are distinctly Padres, because who on earth else would wear uniforms that looked like that?
Well, MLB is going to make everyone wear uniforms that look like that. The special retro-Padres uniforms and caps will be worn by all of the All-Stars on Home Run Derby day. Every team has a cap that looks like the Dodgers one above, except with a different team name.
That will be worst-dressed group of ballplayers this side of the shorts-wearing White Sox from 1976.
But again, it goes beyond fashion tastes.
The disgusting part of this is I don't want the Dodgers looking like Padres.
The Dodgers and Padres have a long and fractured relationship. The Dodgers are one of the all-time classic teams with a storied history. The Padres have 2 World Series appearances, Dave Winfield and Tony Gywnn and an inability to choose a uniform color/design and stick with it. To me, there is a vast difference between the Dodgers and Padres, and I know other Dodgers fans think the same way. Why would a Dodger want to look like a Padre? Free french fries at McDonald's?
But that's what's going to happen.
Players have worn different uniforms for the Home Run Derby day for a few years now. I've never cared for it much. I like to see players on the field in their respective uniforms, not some special one-off jersey that will be hanging in a souvenir shop at the ballpark.
But at least the uniform here is blue.
This is more of a problem. The Dodgers do not wear red jerseys. And I know I had an issue when these were first trotted out. But at least they don't look almost exactly like the Reds or the Cardinals. It's nondescript enough that it seems like "The National League Home Run Derby Uniform."
But I can't make that connection if everyone is running around in 1979 Padres bubble-letter, mustard-and-chocolate uniforms. There's only one team that does that. It's the one that keeps finishing in last place.
Here is another reason these Home Run Derby uniforms bother me: I don't associate the photos of Dodgers wearing these uniforms as Dodger cards. It takes an extra effort for me to process that this is a Dodger card, because Joc Pederson is wearing red and black, which ain't Dodger blue.
This card in particular is a problem because I just realized that I don't have this card in my Dodgers binder. It's possible it's sitting in the giant dupes box, but it's probably not in the binder because it doesn't look like a Dodger on that card.
I don't even want to think what will happen with this year's Update set. I'll probably be mistakenly sending Dodgers to Padres fans.
Maybe you think I'm carrying on a bit for something that is only going be worn once, in an exhibition.
But what if this tradition continues? How would Cubs fans like their players wearing a uniform that has a tiny birds-on-the-bat logo somewhere on the jersey? How would Red Sox fans like their players wearing Yankees-style pinstripes for the HR Derby?
Jerry Seinfeld's old bit about "rooting for laundry" applies. Players change teams so often that fans end up rooting for the uniform, the look. That's all they have, because the star player is going to be around for only 5 years and new people will come along.
Well, now MLB is taking that away from us. With this:
This does not want to make me root for anything. It makes me feel sorry for all those teams because they're obviously finishing sixth every year.
I've heard some people differentiate between the HR Derby uniforms and the caps -- the uniforms are supposedly great while the caps aren't.
One person on Twitter compared these uniforms with "a warm hug."
I suppose if you're a Padre fan, and you were brought to Jack Murphy Stadium as an infant, and your mom sang you a lullaby for every one of the Padres' 93 losses in 1979, then, yeah, these uniforms are a warm hug.
Otherwise, it looks like someone threw up. Why would anybody think that looks good for anyone who isn't a Padre?
But if that's the way MLB wants it, I can't wait for the Dodgers to host the All-Star Game so we can fit Buster Posey with a beautiful Dodger blue-like uniform.