Takahashi Mets

How the Mets got black in their uniforms

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I really hate the black Mets uniforms. It screams “we want to sell these so, so bad!”  And it’s not like there was anything wrong with the classic Mets unis. Indeed, they are among the best in baseball, being both handsome and — with their stylistic nods to the Yankees (pinstripes) Giants (orange) and Dodgers (blue) — highly symbolic of New York baseball history.

Yet they went with black.  And today Paul Lukas — ESPN’s uniform expert, die-hard Mets fan and supreme hater of the black Mets jersey — tells the story of how the Mets got their black on.

He does it via an interview with the man who created the look, Bob Halfacre. There is a lot of talk in there about how the idea came to fruition — the disgraced Charlie Samuels played a big role — but Halfacre’s own inspiration is at least somewhat less craven than I imagined the decision to be:

My thought was this: I’ve only been to New York three or four times in my life, but what I remember is shadows. You have all these skyscrapers, so everything has shadows. You live there, so you probably take it for granted, but to me it was unique. City of shadows. One side of the street is sunny and warm, the other side is in shadow and cold. Everywhere you go in New York, there’s shadows. So I thought it was the perfect logo for a drop shadow, just to add a bit of depth.

Nice, but the black jerseys still suck.  Go to the classic look all the time. Please.

Pete Mackanin on Phillies’ bullpen: “Somebody else has to [bleeping] step up.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Manager Pete Mackanin #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a pitching change in the eighth inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on June 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays won 7-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.

The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.

Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.

The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97.  Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.

In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.

Report: White Sox will offer Robin Ventura a new contract if he wants to return

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 04: Manager Robin Ventura #23 of the Chicago White Sox in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on October 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.

The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.