The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Houston Astros

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The Best: I angered fellow HBTer Drew Silva with my dissing of the Cardinals’ powder blues earlier today.  I have this feeling I’m going to step in it with some Astros fans now too. But here goes:

I know I’m supposed to be all hip and say I liked the crazy 70s-80s getup the best, but despite the fact that I am steeped in irony appreciation, they’re not my favorites. I hate white shoes on baseball players. I don’t like the numbers on the pants. There are all kinds of things wrong with that ensemble separate and apart from the rainbow design. My favorties: the late 60s-early 70s shooting star unis. Those things are just as pleasing as can be. Honorable mention: the Colt .45s gun uniforms. Which, if introduced today, would create a political crisis which would no doubt carry over into presidential campaigns and Supreme Court confirmation hearings. What a drag the modern era is, no?

Worst: Even if the day-glos weren’t as great as everyone now ironically says they were, the 1994-99 overreactions were far worse. Like the Brewers, they looked like a committee put them together. The current ones are better, but not that much better, especially when they wear the brick red batting practice jerseys. Just uninspired and blah. And a Texas team should not wear pinstripes any more than a city slicker should wear a Stetson.

Assessment: Isn’t there a middle ground between gonzo rainbows and corporate calculation?  I’d like to think Houston could find it.  Oh, and one other thing: the best thing ever about those day-glos was the cap with the block H over the star.  That has to return, even in a more muted color scheme.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

Tim Warner/Getty Images
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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.