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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.