Day three of our sartorial survey takes us to the National League West where we start off with the World Freakin’ Champs.
The Best: In recent years the Giants have kept a classic look. Not always so in the old days. You know what’s gangsta? Writing “World’s Champions” on your uniforms, that’s what’s gangsta. If the Giants did that for 2011 I would consider dropping the Braves as my favorite team on the basis of pure awesomeness. They had a lot of different looks in the early day, sometimes with pinstripes, sometimes with red. They first went to the now-classic black and orange in 1933. That didn’t stick immediately — there was more blue and red in their future — but they eventually realized that it was a good look and settled on it for good in 1947. For the best you can pick basically any year between then and 1976, and from 1994 until the present day. I’ll go with this as the best anyone has ever looked in a Giants uniform, but really, you can’t go wrong. I dunno, maybe it looked better on Willie McCovey. Longer lines and all of that.
The Worst: They’ve gone to plaid! And check out the Yankee-envy they were rocking in 1924. Must have worked because the Giants won the pennant that year while the Yankees stayed home, though I wouldn’t call that a great look for what we now know as the Giants. The late 70s stuff was unfortunate, with the script, black and orange just killing a team that looks best in a timeless ensemble. And that mid-80s-to-1993 look, complete with the bolder, blockier “Giants” on the home jerseys and the interlocking “SF” on the roadies puts me in mind of a 1990s NBA team, and no one in sports looked worse than poorly-dressed 1990s NBA teams. None of those are the worst though. These are. Please banish them now. You looked ridiculous in them, and I don’t care if you think they helped you win it all or not. Go get those plaid jerseys back.
Assessment: I love the cream colored homies. I love the simple lettering. Orange and black — when used as accent colors only, not the main color — are really nice. Just a great look overall. Among the best in baseball. Keep it simple. That is, unless you want to go with “World’s Champions” next season. In which case I’d buy two.
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.
The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.
It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.