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It’s international signing day

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Today is the day when the signing period for international free agents kicks off. We may as well call it “signing day,” of course, seeing as almost immediately after the starter’s pistol went off dozens of international prospects signed. It’s almost like they worked these deals out ahead of time!

Which, of course they did, even if no one ever admits it. Some of these 16-year-old kids have had handshake (or more formal) agreements in place with clubs for months. But let us dispense with that for a moment and assume it’s all on the up-and-up. If baseball can do it, why can’t we? And we don’t even have a federal grand jury looking into our treatment of the whole affair!

Most of you are likely unaware of most of these international prospects. As, frankly, are we, as we do not have any international and prospect experts on hand. But thank goodness we know folks who do know this stuff. One of the best is MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, who has a full story about all of this as well as a frequently-updated rundown of who has signed where and for how much. Follow him on Twitter for real time updates.

The big dog in this year’s international class is 16-year-old outfielder Jasson Dominguez, who Sanchez compares to Mike Trout. Which, yikes. The Yankees have an agreement with him for around $5 million, which is the most they’ve ever paid for an international signee, by far. Here’s Sanchez’s detailed story on Dominguez, in which some slightly more reasonable comps — Ozzie Albies, Rougned Odor — are made. Still, he sounds like a stud. Which is a super weird thing to say about a 16-year-old kid, illustrating how unseemly all of this can come off frankly.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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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.