Carl Keenan posted a comment yesterday about the American flag patches worn on MLB caps for Memorial Day. In case you missed it, he wrote: “During the 9th inning of the Royals/A’s game, Ambiorix Burgos came into the game to pitch for KC with his flag upside-down and on the back of the hat covering up the MLB logo, not on the left side like every other player’s.” I hadn’t seen this, so I looked at the game video. And sure enough, all the other Royals had the flag on the left side of the cap, but the left side of Burgos’s cap was blank, and he had an upside-down flag where the MLB logo would normally be.
Given all the other problems the Royals have, I don’t have heart to ask their P.R. staff about this. Plus I’m fairly certain they’d say it was simply a case of the flag patch falling off (they’re glued, not embroidered) and Burgos slapping it back on in the wrong place. That’s probably what happened, but considering the state of the team, we can’t dismiss the possibility that Burgos was sending out an S.O.S. signal. Then again, maybe it was just another case of the Royals’ legendary attention to detail.
And wait, it gets better: Steve Trachsel’s flag patch was perfectly fine in the 4th inning. But as he prepared to start the 5th, his flag had started to come loose. Eric Byrnes then hit Trachsel’s first pitch of the inning out of the yard, and he must have knocked the flag off his cap too, because Trachsel’s cap was flag-less as Byrnes circled the bases. (Thanks to Josh Hirsch for the tip.)
Meanwhile, our ongoing discussion of catchers getting their fingernails painted white drew this completely brilliant response from Andy Head: “One player who immediately jumped to mind was Kurt Suzuki, who caught for the Cal State Fullerton team that won the College World Series in 2004. He not only painted the nails, but ran stripes up the center of each finger, so it almost looked like he was dressing up as a skeleton for Halloween. Suzuki’s in the A’s organization now, playing for their AA team, the Midland RockHounds, but I couldn’t find any photographic evidence to confirm whether he still does this.”
Uni Watch News Ticker: Interesting note from Scott Merzbach, who writes: “The New Haven County Cutters of the independent Can-Am have unusual uniform numbers — they aren’t on the same plane. Players who wear double-digit numbers have the left numeral set above the right numeral.” Anyone ever seen anything like this before? Closest thing I can think of are the unequally sized numerals worn by the Quad Cities Swing (or maybe the fractional uni number famously worn by Eddie Gaedel). … Yesterday I wrote about Chad Cordero’s “Chief”-inscribed underbrim. But he’s not the only one with a message lurking beneath his visor — check out Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson. … Latest case of striped hose (good) being rendered in purple (bad): James Madison‘s baseball team (thanks to Patrick Reed). … I’m not paying attention yet to the French Open, but Alisa Carrigan is. She writes: “Right before the Martina Hingis/Lisa Raymond match, the chair umpire sent Hingis off the court for a moment. Hingis came back, grabbed a pair of scissors, and left again. The commentators were guessing that she had been told to cut off one of her sponsor patches, but (apparently) I wasn’t watching closely enough, as I hadn’t noticed anything terribly egregious before she was sent off. You’ve mentioned in the past that sponsor logos can’t be larger than 4 square inches — are there any other tennis rules and regulations that might have come into play here?” Not that I can think of. And I looked at a lot of photos from Hingis’s match but couldn’t find anything amiss. … More French Open observations from Carrigan: “I noticed that all the Adidas-sponsored players are still wearing the triple-stripe [recently the subject of litigation]. Justine Henin-Hardenne even wore long sleeves, making her stripes extra visible.” This dispute is so annoying, it’s enough to make you wish Serena was playing. … No new team name — and, therefore, no new uniforms — for the Devil Rays next season. I happen to like their current design (look the color theme of this web site and you’ll understand why), so that’s jake with me. … Anyone else notice that Greg Maddux appears to wear no undershirt in warm weather? … Our recent discussion of players who wear necklaces might need some serious updating now that highly touted Mets prospect Lastings Milledge has made his MLB debut. … Latest team to have their pinstripe pattern ruined by the gussets in the new Cool Base jerseys: the Phillies. … With Ricky Williams now washing dishes in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts, Mike Sherman points out that the Argos have a proud history of serious sleeve stripe-age. … Jeremy Brahm notes that Hungary’s goaltender appeared to be wearing sweatpants during yesterday’s England/Hungary friendly match. What gives?