As is the case every year, there will be a lot of players putting on new uniforms for the first time later this month. To some extent they always look a bit off at first. I mean, there are fewer things in life that looked weirder to me than seeing Robinson Cano in Mariners get-up last year. It always takes a while for it to look normal.
The first glimpse of anyone in a new uniform (non-press conference edition) is Billy Butler of the Athletics, who was apparently filming a commercial yesterday and thus donned some A’s Gold:
I dunno man, that just seems odd. And not particularly flattering.
A slow news day so let’s link something good. This from Mike Axisa at River Ave. Blues, going over the career of Willie Randolph, who was way better than history remembers. And better than the guy an awful lot of people call the best second baseman in Yankees history, Robinson Cano:
You needn’t take WAR at face value to argue Willie Randolph, not Cano or Hall of Famers Joe Gordon and Tony Lazzeri, is the best second baseman in franchise history. Randolph is just behind Lazzeri on the all-time hits (1,784 to 1,731) and on-base percentage (.379 to .374) leaderboards at the position while ranking first in walks (1,005) and steals (251). The gap between Willie and second place is 175 walks and 100 steals, so it’s not close either.
It’s not just a numbers case, of course. And the biggest takeaway, I think, is the notion that skills valued and recognized in one era are not always valued and recognized in another, which makes looking back and reassessing players a really useful enterprise. Randolph got on base at a great clip, was a smart base runner and played excellent but not necessarily flashy defense. In the 70s and 80s that sort of mix was often overlooked.
And, really, it makes Randolph awfully overlooked. Go read Axisa’s article and take a new look at Willie Randolph.
Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano will be tuning in for Super Bowl XLIX tonight as both play in the represented cities. As one would expect, Ortiz thinks the Patriots will emerge victorious while Cano expects the Seahawks to win.
Check out what they had to say in the video below: