For the third year running, there will be a “Players Weekend,” in which players are allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, wear colored spikes and gloves, add personalized patches on their uniform and stuff like that. Think of it as extra free time for kids near the end of the school year. Or a means of helping the players forget that they’ve bargained away substantial rights in the past few CBA negotiating sessions. Free agency was nice, but hey, colorful wristbands!
The biggest change this year: the jerseys are monochromatic:
You can get a better look at all of the teams’ uniforms here.
Which seems a bit odd for a weekend in which the players are supposed to stand out. The stated rationale is so that the 15 pieces of flair (or whatever) the players will be wearing stand out. Not that you can really see the details on the customized cleats and wristbands and what have you, but I suppose it’s “Players Weekend” and not “Fan Weekend.”
As Fisher’s tweet above notes, this year there will also be more latitude given players to use mobile devices up until the national anthem, so figure there will be more social media stuff associated with it.
Players Weekend is scheduled for all games over the August 23-25 weekend.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: