Phillies blue uniform

The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Philadelphia Phillies

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A couple of years ago I wrote a couple posts at my old Shysterball blog running down what — in my opinion anyway — were the best and worst all-time looks for each team.  It was pretty popular as far as my old Blogspot posts were concerned, so I figure that, in the absence of any fun news, it was worth dusting off the idea and doing it again.

The only difference: attention spans have gotten way shorter since the ancient days of 2008, so I’ll be taking it team by team, rolling this baby out over the next few days.  First up: the NL East, starting with the World Series champion — er, what’s that?  Wait, they had Hallday, Hamels and Oswalt! What happened?  Wow, you just never know in this game, do ya! — N.L. East Champion Philadelphia Phillies!

The Best: Thanks to recent success, their current look — or the Whiz Kid look — is probably considered the classic.  I like it, but I like it when they mix in the blue on Sundays too. I may even like it better and if you put a gun to my head I’d say that the current alternates are their best look, even if it’s somewhat jarring, historically speaking. Along those lines, my mind hasn’t changed on these underrated 1930-40s numbers with the blue accents. It helps that Philly lost a hundred games year-in, year-out back when they wore those numbers, as everything is better about the Phillies when they’re losing.

The Worst: I never liked the big-P stuff they wore in the 1970s and 80s. The 1979 numbers — with the alternate all reds — were pretty terrible themselves.

Assessment:  The Phillies have landed on a good, classic look and will likely stick with it for a good long time.  To the extent they’ve gotten crazy over the years it’s just because they’ve had a really spotted history and, hey, why not experiment?  And at least their unfortunate 70s look — which almost every team had — was accompanied by a lot of good play on the field, and that takes the edge off of such things.

David Ortiz had the Rays cancel his pregame ceremony out of respect for Jose Fernandez

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 23:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox salutes a fan before his turn at bat during the first inning of their game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 23, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images
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The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.

Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:

Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.

There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.

Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.

Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.