The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Atlanta Braves

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We continue our trek through the NL East’s best unis. Next up: the Bravos:

The Best: Let us first specify that the Braves’ use of Native American iconography is problematic. Yes, the uniforms look good, but that tomahawk, while nothing as offensive as Chief Wahoo, does present a bit of a problem for me. Not one that I think should lead to boycotts or petition drives, but it’s something with which I’ll never be 100% comfortable.  All of that said,  the current home jerseys — which are much like the classic 1946-67 Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta uniforms, minus the big Indian head on the sleeve — are easily the best of the bunch. Of course, the Braves have gone and messed with a good thing quite a bit in recent years, adding in an alternate road uniform that looks like batting practice stuff, and that home Sunday red jersey that — thanks to our last image of it in 2010 — should be burned and never seen again. Well, it was awful before Brooks Conrad too, but he just adds to it.
The Worst: Man, the Braves have had some awful uniforms in their history. The 1929 numbers were notable for having a giant Indian head on the back instead of a number. The 1936-40 uniforms have an excuse for being ugly — the Braves had renamed themselves the “Bees” and adopted yellow accents. Many people hate the mid-70s getups, but I kind of like them. A bit of a dead end, sure, but at least they were trying something new and, God knows, there were teams who did way worse in that decade.  Ultimately, though, the early-to-mid 80s look is the worst in my mind. Not because they’re terrible, but because they are so bland and uninspired.
Assessment: There is nowhere else to go with any historical basis that’s worth a damn if the Braves want to change things up, so if they ditch the current duds, they need to go off in a new direction.  I don’t think they will, though.  Those tweaks aside, they’ve kept with the classic look for nearly a quarter century now, so it’s probably here to stay.  Just go back to the gray roadies and ditch the red alternates. Please? Pretty please?

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.