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MLB issues statement, considers the Astros sign-stealing investigation closed

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Last night a report emerged that a Houston Astros employee was removed from the area around the dugout at Fenway Park by security after he was seen using a small camera and texting frequently. The suggestion being that he was spying on the Red Sox’ dugout. Later in the evening a report came out that the Indians complained about similar behavior during the ALDS.

Major League Baseball has just issued a statement on the matter. Short version: it has found nothing amiss with what the Astros have done and considers the matter closed.

Long version:

“Before the Postseason began, a number of Clubs called the Commissioner’s Office about sign stealing and the inappropriate use of video equipment.  The concerns expressed related to a number of Clubs, not any one specific Club.  In response to these calls, the Commissioner’s Office reinforced the existing rules with all playoff Clubs and undertook proactive measures, including instituting a new prohibition on the use of certain in-stadium cameras, increasing the presence of operations and security personnel from Major League Baseball at all Postseason games and instituting a program of monitoring Club video rooms.

“With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations.  A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules.  All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution.  We consider the matter closed.”

I have to say, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the “we were not violating any rules, we were just checking to see if THEY were violating rules” excuse has worked. Heck, the guy who just got out of jail for breaking in to the Astros own system tried that and got laughed out of court and straight to the slammer for four years.

But like the man said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Nike Swoosh to appear on the front off every uniform in 2020

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SAN DIEGO — We knew as of last January that this was coming — and the new uniform designs teams like the Padres, Brewers and Rangers have released in the past few weeks have shown it — but today the images were all released: all 30 teams will wear jerseys with the Nike Swoosh prominently placed on the front starting in the 2020 season.

The move is the result of the deal in which Nike has taken took over from Majestic Athletic as Major League Baseball’s uniform supplier. While Majestic’s logo had long appeared on MLB uniforms — they were making BP jerseys as early as 1982 and were the exclusive game uniform supplier for the past 14 years — that little M had appeared on the sleeve.

The Nike Swoosh, however, is a lot more prominent:

You can see all 30 of them here.

They aren’t all that bothersome on most uniform styles, particularly the newer and busier ones. But to my eyes the Swoosh is a desecration of the more classic, cleaner uniforms like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Tigers as shown above. Yeah, that’s some traditionalism on my part talking — OK, a LOT of traditionalism on my part talking — but it does, objectively, throw off the balance that some of the better uniform designs have long had.

Not that anyone is gonna do anything about it. That ship sailed long ago and the money has already been put in the bank. And, yes, like most things along these lines we’ll likely all get used to this pretty quickly. By May someone will likely have to remind me that I was pissed off about this here in December. I’ll grant that this is a me issue.

Still, at some point down the road, someone at Major League Baseball is going to broach the idea of advertisements on uniforms and a lot of people are going to get angry about it. When they do, I hope you’ll remind them that we’ve already got prominent advertisements on jerseys. We Just Did It.