The Best: The 70s and the early 80s were a disaster for so many teams, but man, I really like the old Harvey’s Wallbangers look. Lose the pullovers if you must — that’s what they do for throwback day now — and I suppose the powder blue is negotiable, but the Brewers without pinstripes, yellow accents, and that mitt logo on the cap just aren’t the Brewers to me.
Worst: I don’t like what they wear today. It looks like a uniform designed by a focus group. It’s stock baseball clothing: “Tasteful, Inoffensive Ballclub #2” or something. Milwaukee is a city with a colorful history and citizenry. Their uniforms should have a some pizazz. More to the point, at one time they sported a definitive look that was unmistakably their own and which no one had a problem with that I’m aware of, and they shouldn’t be rocking any other looks. Oh, and since we’re going with the entire franchise’s history, can we stipulate that the Seattle Pilots looked terrible? To the extent we have any affection for those duds — including the scrambled eggs on the cap — it’s misleading nostalgia based on our love of “Ball Four,” not because they stood up on their own merits.
Assessment: I know some Brewers fans have a prickly relationship with the Yount-Molitor era uniforms, thinking that embracing them is to look backwards rather than forwards. But really, it’s just clothes. As long as they’re looking ahead on the important stuff — who to hire how to build their team — I think they can be excused for returning to their classic look. Not that they will. Just wishin’.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.