The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Chicago Cubs

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The Best: The Cubs have stayed pretty close to a classic look, at least in living memory. Like a lot of teams, they did the minimalism thing pretty well 100 years ago. They experimented some here and there, but they’ve never strayed too far from the big C on the home uniforms. Choosing among relatively minor variations, I’ll take the 1960s set over the current model if for no other reason than I like the cuddly little bear better than the cub walking out of the “C” on the sleeve on the road uniforms. Which is dumb, I know, because the cartoony things are, well, cartoony. But I’ve always had a soft spot for it. You’ll see this again when we get to the birdie teams in the AL.

Worst: They were doing some funky stuff in the early 40s. Some of it may have even involved satin. The 1918 road uniforms were . . . interesting. They may be the most forgotten practitioner of the powder blue look. Really, if you ask your friends to list all the teams who sported powder blues, I bet the Cubs get named last, even though they were doing it before just about anyone else. I wish they wouldn’t wear the solid blue road alternates, but I’ll grant that they’ve been doing that lot longer than most other teams have, so if anyone gets a pass for it, the Cubs do.
Assessment: All in all, Chicago has stuck with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” model more than any of the teams who haven’t slavishly adhered to their classic look like the Yankees and Dodgers.  They’ve experimented, sure, but they always seem to come back to sanity soon enough.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.