It’s time for the Padres to bring back the brown

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Being in San Diego for the Winter Meetings last week made everyone think more about the Padres than most of us do, well, most of the year. And when you’re not an everyday Padres person, the first thing you tend to think about when you think about the Padres is the old brown and mustard uniforms. There was a lot of talk about those things last week.

Today Mike Ferrin of Sirius/XM radio was talking about how the Padres should return to that color scheme. I couldn’t agree with him more. The Padres had an identity once. They should embrace that identity again.

But this does not mean retro or kitchy 70s and 80s homages. Sure, that can be fun, but no one should seriously expect a major league team to turn back the clock to thoroughly and completely that they turn a fun throwback uni into their everyday duds. So, at the outset, let us specify that no one is expecting or even desiring a return to this sort of thing:

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But what’s so crazy about, say, this?

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Or even this (but with a belt, not elastic waist pants)?

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Those — from 1969 and 1974, respectively — are pretty standard or even conservative uniforms, not unlike the sort you may see today. And, of course, there are any number of variations the Padres could do with this color scheme. Things they never did with it before and which would not be tacky or kitschy.

The key is that they should embrace the one unique thing the Padres always had going for them before they decided that identities were overrated, oh, a decade ago: their own colors. The brown, which is appropriate for a friar, and the mustard which was different, much like the city of San Diego is different from most other cities. Certainly fine in small doses as an accent color, even if we got a bit overloaded on it later.

But I’d even take the overload over this:

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I mean, my God. There are unlicensed 1990s baseball video game teams dressed with more imagination than that.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.