Padres unveil new road and camo uniforms for 2011

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Back in November of 2003, the Padres decided to abandon the traditional road gray uniforms that most teams used and continue to use.

Instead, they decided to play away games in a sand-colored jersey, meant to represent the beaches of San Diego.

The change was met with immediate criticism.  The Padres’ new sand jersey looked like a khaki suit more than a baseball uniform.  But the Friars stuck with the look for a whole seven seasons.

Today, the Padres announced that they are going back to the good old days of gray and they even tweeted a picture of outfielder Will Venable rocking the new duds which look, well, normal.

The club has also come up with a new version of their camouflage uniforms, this time with a digital spin.  They will be worn, as usual, during Sunday home games as a tribute to the many U.S. Marines who populate the San Diego area.  Whether you like the look of those or not, it’s hard to argue with the sentiment.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.