The Best: For my money their original look was their best ever look. Why? The font on the jersey. It’s unlike anything that we had ever seen before and unlike anything we’ve seen since. No, it’s not the greatest possible look of all time – if they could put that font on a more modern looking uniform without the racing stripes we’d be approaching the ideal — but it was distinctive and that counts for something. When they gave it up in the mid-80s they lost something.
The Worst: This all boils down to how you feel about red vs. blue. I think the detour into red they took in the mid-90s — and with which they have continued to dabble as an alternate — was a mistake. The Rangers should wear blue as their primary color in my view. I mean, this happened in a white-and-blue jersey, so why don’t you stick with it? The classics never go out of style.
I forgot to touch on the Senators in the Minnesota Twins entry, so I’ll double up on both iterations of the Senators here. Yes, I know it’s two different franchises, but I think you can handle it.
The Senators’ Best: Because of the 1960s version of the team is more prominent thanks to more plentiful color photography and baseball cards and things, I would not be shocked if most people thought of the Senators as always being a primarily red team. Nope. They really didn’t go with that look until the last four years of their existence. It was a good look — one the Nats seem intent on recapturing, curly-W and all — but it’s not the best. For me it’s the late-version of the original Senators’ run. Which, not surprisingly, looks a lot like the early Twins/current Twins’ alternates.
The Senators Worst: The plain jane uniforms the Senators wore in the 30s and 40s were neat and clean — kind of like the Penn State football uniforms in terms of satisfying minimalism — but they were something less than inspired.
Assessment: For years I was shocked that the Rangers didn’t co-opt the Cowboys’ big star in order to try and get some of that uber-popular juju working in their favor. Given how awful the Cowboys are in just about every respect these days it’s probably a good move that they didn’t.
If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.
Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.
The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.
At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.
Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.
Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.
Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.
Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.