UPDATE: I received a statement from a Diamondbacks spokesman:
“At the time of purchase, we ask that those fans sitting in the home plate box, which is visible on TV, wear either neutral colors or D-backs attire which the team will provide.”
So that’s what that was. Jackets are required, as it were. And gambling is illegal at Bushwood. I never slice.
7:57 AM: Two years ago there was a little to-do at Chase Field in Phoenix in which a group of fans were forced/asked/coerced/who knows to change into Diamondbacks gear because they were in front of the cameras in Dodgers gear and Dbacks’ ownership didn’t much care for that. The move was reportedly ordered directly from team owner Ken Kendrick who subsequently had an animated discussion with the fans about it.
The Dbacks were criticized as small-time for that kind of move, as they should’ve been. You take thousands of dollars from some people for primo, behind the plate seats, you shouldn’t care what they’re wearing as long as it doesn’t violate decency standards.
It seems, however, that criticism didn’t bug the Dbacks all that much. At least based on this video. Watch the guy in the background with the Dodgers hat and shirt:
This exchange seemed friendlier than the 2013 exchange. And it’s possible that it involved his friends or something giving him that Dbacks jersey. Maybe it was all an in-joke with coworkers or something. I have sent an email to the Diamondbacks asking for comment regarding the exchange and whether or not it was something directed by the club. Pending that comment, I’ll observe that it certainly fits the pattern we’ve seen with the Dbacks and other sports teams who have, in the past, made a point to get opposing team fans into home team gear when they can be seen on TV. I’d be curious to know if the Diamondbacks are up to their old tricks again here.
If they did give this guy a jersey to wear, I suppose they’ll talk about how it was free or else how he was given some merch or something given to him for his trouble rather than it being some sharply coercive situation. The P.R. in Arizona is better than it used to be, after all. Still, if you own a baseball team and you’re at all concerned that the fans who can be seen on TV are wearing opposing team gear you are, by definition, petty and small time. No matter how friendly the process of getting the fan to change actually is.
We first heard about these kevlar domes that can be place inside pitchers’ caps a few years back. They’re made by a company called Unequal Technologies. At the time, Major League Baseball was looking into the product and it was said that they were trying to accelerate the timetable of their production. They have yet to be approved, however, as the product has undergone changes in the past couple of years. In the meantime, MLB has introduced a padded cap made by another company that, at present, no player is wearing.
Over the weekend, CSNChicago.com mentioned that White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi was wearing the Unequal Technologies padding in his cap. Today Willie Weinbaum of ESPN.com reports that six different pitchers were using it:
An MLB executive told “Outside the Lines” on Sunday that it was looking into the use of the Dome inserts and was reserving comment. Pitchers are free to wear protective headgear of their choice, as long as it doesn’t interfere with competition or with MLB licensing agreements.
Interesting stuff. And not just because “Unequal Technologies” sounds like the name of a company from a lost Ayn Rand novel or, like, a G.I. Joe cartoon.
The Cubs’ third baseman, Mike Olt, was smacked on the wrist with a pitch over the weekend but luckily didn’t break anything. He’s also 2 for his first 13. The heir apparent, Kris Bryant, is cruising in Iowa. This from yesterday:
On the young season Bryant is 5-for-16 with two homers, a double and seven driven in. Only one walk, though, so it’s probably good that he’s getting that highly necessary seasoning.
Just figured you’d want an update.
I saw the headline from this Daniel Drezner column at the Washington Post and immediately thought “they both attract a lot of white dudes and have serious delusions about how good they’ll do in the long run.” But apparently it’s not about that.
Rather, it’s about how trying to form coherent, explanatory analysis in the early stages of political races is every bit the folly that it is to form coherent, explanatory analysis in the early stages of a baseball season. Small sample sizes, noises in data and the realization that the contest in question is marathon and not a spring render almost all early-going analysis dumb and/or empty.
Yet both baseball writers and political writers still do it. They try to tell us “what we’ve learned” after five games or one week’s worth of speeches. They try to frame the narrative now, before someone else does, when no narrative of any substance whatsoever could possibly have formed yet.
I’ll leave the political analysis to people who know it better than me. But I’ll offer that, in almost all cases, summaries of where teams stand and what we’ve all learned in the baseball season so far aren’t worth your time.
I am a sucker for old baseball programs. I once wrote a long, rather high-minded thing inspired by them which sort of explains that fascination (and I think it actually holds up). But most programs these days are boring. Posed shots of the three best players, maybe. A logo and some TV sports production-level graphics. I realize that programs are really revenue generators and advertising delivery devices, so if the artistry of the past seems mostly gone with these things, it’s because form is following function. But I do sort of miss that old artistry.
Which makes me so happy to see the Cardinals’ latest scorecard. It’s quite the throwback to those old ones, and it gets bonus points for taunting:
The “learn to score the Cardinal Way” in the upper righthand corner made me roll my eyes, but it’s more than made up for by that absolutely hilarious empty-handed Pirate. And I’m screen-capping the miserable Cub for future reference.
This is all kinds of fun.