Chris Archer
AP Images

Chris Archer won’t appeal suspension

4 Comments

Pirates right-hander Chris Archer will not appeal the five-game suspension that was issued by Major League Baseball last week, the pitcher told reporters Sunday. It’s less an admission of guilt and more a logistical decision, however, as the Pirates’ two off days will push his next scheduled start to the weekend, effectively nullifying the club’s need for a spot starter in his league-mandated absence.

The right-hander played a pivotal role in the Pirates-Reds fracas last weekend after he intentionally threw at Reds infielder Derek Dietrich for hitting — and admiring — a two-run, splash-hit homer in the second inning. The dispute led to a benches-clearing brawl, at which point Reds manager David Bell, outfielder Yasiel Puig, left-hander Amir Garrett, and Pirates relievers Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez were ejected for their respective involvement in the fray.

On Tuesday, suspensions and fines were handed down to Archer (five games), Bell (one game), and Puig (two games). Both Bell and Puig served their suspensions immediately, while Archer was reportedly set to appeal his suspension before it became clear that he would not experience any interruption in his regular pitching schedule.

That’s an awfully light sentence for something as serious as throwing a 93.3-m.p.h. fastball at another player. As both Bill and Craig pointed out, it makes no sense for the league to hold starting pitchers to the same kind of suspension system that applies to regular position players, given that starters only pitch every five days and do not suffer the effects of a multi-day suspension in the same way that a position player might. Worse, not punishing Archer for his very punishable offense suggests that MLB is still willing to look the other way when it comes to the ‘unwritten rules’ of baseball — rules that continue to put players’ health and lives in jeopardy.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

Getty Images
27 Comments

The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.