I’m not sure what hipster came up with the ugly Christmas sweater craze, but he and his waxed mustache have a lot to answer for. Sure, I’m guessing it was pretty funny to see at the first holiday party he wore it to, but he had to know that the idea would be mainstreamed and commercialized eventually.
I mean, look at this stuff. Your aunt and grandma were probably unironically wearing stuff like this AS they were ironically buying stuff like this. Culturally, we have crawled up our own rear ends.
But at least some folks are making somewhat creative ugly Christmas sweaters. And are using the proceeds for charitable causes as opposed to enriching Kohl’s stockholders. People like David Ortiz and Teespring, who have come out with this beauty, the proceeds of which will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund:
They’re $34, too. Which is appropriate given the man on the shirt.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.