2011’s uniform changes are minor, but mostly positive

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Paul Lukas has no peer when it comes to the world of cataloging and commenting on sports uniform design, and today he has a post I look forward to every year: all of the uniform changes heading in to the new baseball season.

Nothing really major. The Blue Jays have trashed the powder blue alternates. The Dodgers have that light blue home alternate. The Pirates have trashed the pinstriped vest.  Lots of memorial patches are floating around.  The Padres are — inexplicably — encouraging everyone to use their secondary logo “whenever possible,” instead of their primary logo, yet are still keeping the primary logo and are continuing to call it primary.  It’s like the logo has a guaranteed contract or something and can’t be released.

All in all, a quiet year on the uniform front with most of the moves being tasteful enough. No terrible missteps. And though I love the Blue Jays’ powder blues, the fact that they never wore them on the road like God and Nature intended made me rather blah about the whole enterprise.

Good stuff from Lukas. Check it out.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.