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Nationals use mannequin to keep uniforms correct

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I try to avoid “back in my day-ism” as much as possible because it’s simply not a good look on a person. Or a logical approach. Stuff changes, Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and a default assumption that it’s always for the worse blinds you to the better. Be open to the possibility that new things can be good before reflexively, and inaccurately, assuming that everything was perfect for a two week period when you were 12 or 22 or whatever.

One has to work at this, however, and we all have areas in which we need to work harder. A particularly tough topic for me is uniforms.

I’m a classicist when it comes to baseball livery. Yes, there are new styles and patterns that I can appreciate once I work through my predispositions, but I have to work and since no one likes to work I tend to default to the basics: clean white home uniforms, basic gray road uniforms and a minimum of solid-colored alternate tops which, frankly, only the Oakland A’s tend to do particularly well. My list of best uniforms skew sharply traditional: I think the Dodgers, Tigers and Yankees — the teams whose uniforms have changed the least over the ages — tend to look better than most teams and always have.

The Nationals are interesting on this score because, while a newer team, I think their basic uniforms are actually pretty sweet. They have a number of alternates for which I don’t much care, but the basic home whites — especially since they went to the curly-W in 2011 — and basic grays look like they could’ve been lifted from 1960 or 1940 and are tastefully timeless.

They, like a lot of other teams, have gone a bit crazy with spring training duds, however: they have three caps, three jerseys and two different pairs of spring training pants, giving them 18 possible uniform combinations. That’s gotta be confusing for players, but as ESPN’s Eddie Matz reports, the Nats have found a way to deal with it — a mannequin that sits inside the clubhouse every day to show the players what to wear:

One of the Nationals’ clubhouse attendants, inspired by a 2015 image of mannequins modeling the Arizona Diamondbacks’ new uniforms, decided a dummy was the smart move. So in the cold of winter, as staffers packed up a tractor-trailer in preparation for the club’s annual migration to Florida, they added a mannequin on loan from the team store in Washington.

As the story notes, no one could find any evidence of a team using a mannequin to tell players what they’re supposed to wear each day, to the Nats are being novel here. Well, mostly novel:

Starter Jeremy Hellickson says that when he was in Tampa, manager Joe Maddon did have a mannequin in the locker room, but not for business purposes.

Like I said at the beginning: we need to be open to new things. Let us not judge, OK?

 

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.