The Best: As if there was any question. It looks good in any decade, and on any body type. Well, almost any body type. The whites seem brighter than any other team’s whites. The English D is perfection. It’s the perfect shade of blue. A hair darker than navy, it seems, even if it’s called navy. Aside from one crazy “what in the hell were they thinking?” year in1960, the Tigers have stuck with that look since 1934 (though the English D was in use as early as 1904). With apologies to the Yankees and the Dodgers, this is the best uniform in baseball history.
The Worst: Putting an actual tiger on the back is a bit audacious. Pinstripes are just not right on the Tigers, but they do at least help show why I like their current look better than the Yankees. And I don’t care if it was 1903 and they were still trying to figure things out: a block D on Red was a sartorial dead end. But the all time worst, however, has to be the mid-90s orange-bill cap numbers. They looked like a USFL team in them.
Assessment: I already called them the best, so let’s dispose of an assessment here and talk about road uniforms for a minute. Personally speaking I like their doubleknit roadies of the 70s and 80s, probably because I grew up with them. Hardly anyone agrees with me on this, even Tigers fans who are my age. Even when I point out that they improved them at the very end, getting rid of the pullover, elastic waistband version, slapping a belt and buttons on them and taking them out of that 70s look. Downright sharp if you ask me. But still, people disagree with me. They like the current roadies the best, almost unanimously. They’re nice enough, but bah! Bah, I say! I put them third, behind both the Alan Trammell-era grays and the 1960s number-on-the-sleeve jobbies, which I find totally cool for some reason.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.