The Best: The Blue Jays came out of the gate in 1977 with a bird’s head smack dab in the center of the jersey. And you know what? I liked it! No, it wasn’t totally sharp in an absolute sense, but it’s certainly better than anything they’ve worn since. It has character, and it’s pretty unmistakable. And I liked their old powder blues too. The newer teams that came up in the age of powder blues tend to look pretty good in them. Yes, I know they’ve brought them back as an alternate, but they should be a road jersey. The gray roadies still look wrong to me, even after all these years.
The Worst: I hated the caps with the big maple leaf they wore in the Roger Clemens era, but I really hate the “Jays” lettering on the current duds, especially the black alternates. Like so many teams searching for a sartorial identity, the Blue Jays have settled on something that is simply generic. If you were making a movie about baseball and couldn’t get the rights to use real major league teams, you’d come up with something that looks a lot like what they wear these days.
Assessment: If they’re not going to embrace the big Jay head in the middle of a pullover shirt, they should at least try to do something memorable and maybe even a little audacious. What they have right now is so blah.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.