In the past couple of years several teams have brought back a retro powder blue look. The sort of which were fairly common as road uniforms from the 1960s through the early 1990s and then just died out. The looks are coming back these days as an alternate jersey rather than a road jersey so they’re not true throwbacks, but they are certainly retro-inspired.
The Royals, if I remember correctly, were the first team to do it. Since then the Phillies and the Cardinals have joined in with nods to their old look. The Rays use a light blue too, though it’s not a throwback since they don’t have any “back” which to “throw.”
The latest team to don the downy-hued duds is the Minnesota Twins, who wore “baby blue” uniforms on the road from 1973 through 1986:
The 2020 alternate uniform, the club says, can be worn by the Twins either at home or on the road, but my guess is that you’ll see it at home more often.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?