The Best: The Red Sox are always included in lists of franchises with proud and grand traditions, but even if they are a classic organization, they have mixed it up a little bit over the years. Red hats, for one thing. Changing the lettering on the road unis from blue to red. All in all, I prefer the unadulterated classic, with the navy cap and the blue “Boston” on the roadies. Which, to their credit, they’ve maintained most of the time over the past 75 years.
The Worst: The Red Sox’ flirtation with doubleknit pullovers — while briefer than most teams’ — looked particularly bad for the same reason the Cardinals’ did: trying to update a classic. I know some of you feel differently about that, but that’s just because you’re in your 40s and you grew up watching those 70s Sox teams. Sorry, it looked bad. Beyond that, it’s possible to get a bit too literal with a team nickname. Still, the worst Red Sox uniform earns the title less due to aesthetic considerations than symbolic ones. In a word: pinstripes. Could you imagine that today? If the Sox announced a switch to pinstripes the city would be burning by sundown.
Assessment: When I did this a couple of years ago, the only suggestion I had was that they switch back to the blue “Boston” on the road uniforms. Which they have since done. Behold the power of basement bloggers.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.