Broadcasters Ignore Game, Finally Focus on Unis

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The spirit of Uni Watch was alive and well in Major League Baseball broadcast booths two nights ago, as several announcers turned their attention away from the play-by-play and toward weightier uni-related matters. It started in Denver, where Rockies broadcasters Drew Goodman and George Frazier engaged in the following bit of chatter about Anthony Reyes’s stirrups:

Goodman: Anthony Reyes, he’s gone old-time, George — looks like Red Schoendienst!

Frazier: You didn’t have a choice when I came up with the Cardinals. That’s the way you had to wear your uniform, with all the stripes showing.

Goodman: You know what? That’s blinding.

Frazier: I think it looks great.

Goodman [clearly unable to cope with the magnificence of baseball hosiery]: It, it just looks different.

Frazier: That’s ’cause everyone’s used to looking at the baggy pants, and…

Goodman [flustered, stuttering]: Even when the guys wear the — I mean, look at Jamey Carroll. He has ‘em pulled up, but it’s all black.

Frazier: Those stripes on those socks have been there an awfully long time. When a call-up came up with the Cardinals, Red Schoendienst said, “Show the stripes. You haven’t been here long enough.”

Let’s not dignify Goodman’s stupidity with further discussion. In any case, this banter was nothing compared to what took place in the top of the 4th inning of the Mets/Cubs game, as Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez held forth on a wide variety of uni-related topics. It started with Greg Maddux at the plate and Juan Pierre on deck, as the camera zoomed in on Pierre’s shins:

Cohen: Hey, look at those!

Darling: Those are like football socks.

Cohen: Stirrups! Nobody wears stirrups anymore.

Darling: Maddux right there, he has the…

Cohen: Faux stirrups. Which is also old-fashioned — just not as old-fashioned as the actual stirrups themselves. [Maddux strikes out, Pierre comes to bat.] Now explain for the youngsters, who’ve never seen this before, how you wear stirrup socks. [Camera shows a stadium poster of Tommie Agee's stirrups.] Are you guys old enough to remember?

Darling: Absolutely. Yeah, I wore stirrups — didn’t know anything but that.

Hernandez: I was a guy who’d cut ‘em under the soles, where the seam was. They’d always give you the ones like Pierre has — too low, they’re ugly. You gotta get ‘em higher. So you’d put an elastic band, you’d sew it in at the bottom of the stirrups, where you cut ‘em. Then you get a little elevation! You always gotta show your stripes. That was the one thing, when I came over here, the Mets didn’t have stripes on their socks, and it so disappointed me, because I was used to the Cardinals’ stripes

Cohen: The Cardinals are famous for the stripes. Rick Ankiel, before he melted down, used to wear those striped socks.

Hernandez: The Red Sox and the Cardinals have the best socks in baseball. [Hernandez is apparently unaware that the Red Sox hose have been stripe-free for several years.]

Cohen: But nobody sees them anymore.

Hernandez: Exactly.

Darling: You talk about stirrups, I bet there are a lot of young players now who wouldn’t know what sanitaries are. You’d come in and there’d be a big box of sanitary socks that you would wear underneath your stirrups.

Hernandez: The clubhouse guys would all have about six pairs of sanitaries in our lockers, on the hooks.

Cohen: They still have sanitary socks. But you know what they’re used for now — putting balls or bats in, to protect them.

Darling: Or rosin. They use it on the on-deck circle. [Camera focuses on Jose Reyes's shins.]

Hernandez [sarcastically]: That’s a great style right there.

Cohen: You can’t even see the shoes, much less the socks.

Hernandez: Who’s his tailor?

Darling: There’s a seamstress somewhere saying, “You’ve gotta bring that up a notch!”

Cohen: These days, you walk around the clubhouse and all you see are guys stretching out their pants and taking the elastic out of the bottom.

Darling: The one thing that’s different now, a lot of the players wear their uniforms a lot baggier than they did in the ’70s and ’80s. [Pierre walks. Camera shows the ballboy.]

Cohen: There are the solid-colored socks.

Hernandez: Is that how you wore yours, Ron?

Darling: No, I wore my pants kind of low, and I had stirrups. [Image of Darling, circa mid-'80s, appears on the screen.] See, there’s the stirrups. [Image of Daring is replaced by contemporaneous image of Hernandez.]

Hernandez: There, look at that! Now that is…

Darling: You look like you’re doing the merengue!

Hernandez: I like my socks. That looked pretty hot. [Camera shifts to a fan wearing a Hernandez jersey.]

Cohen: Bet that guy’s not wearing stirrups.

Darling: He’s just hoping for Livan Hernandez to be traded here.

Cohen: If that happens, he won’t be wearing 17 [Hernandez's old number], I can tell you that. Because if Keith got upset when Jose Lima wore 17

Hernandez: When [Dae Sung] Koo wore 17 last year, I got hot. I read Charlie the riot act. [This is a reference to Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels, who assigns the uni numbers.]

Darling [cracking up]: Well it really worked, because then he gave it to Lima!

Cohen: Y’know, talking about Juan Pierre, he doesn’t just have the stirrups, he also does something else that nobody else does: He wears his hat under his helmet, which guys used to do, but I can’t think of anyone else who does it now. [Pierre is in fact the only current MLBer who does this.]

Hernandez [getting back to socks]: Another thing, look at that shot there, it gives the umpire a good look at your knees for calling balls and strikes. There’s a difference in color there. If you wear the long, baggy pants, he might…

Cohen: Misinterpret where your knee is?

Hernandez: Yeah, it’s gonna be camouflaged.

Cohen [a tad dubiously]: Yeah.

Hernandez: I’m serious! The umpire needs to know where the knees are!

Cohen: Then he should wear his pants up around his thighs.

Hernandez: Well…

Cohen: Then the umpire would think the strike zone was even higher.

Hernandez: Then you’d have people fainting in the stands. You can’t have that. [Inning ends.]

Cohen [as camera shows Pierre's legwear one last time]: Take your stirrups and go to the bottom of the 4th.

It’s hard to know what to say about all this, except that Hernandez is actually right for a change. (Indeed, compare to his stirrups to mine and you’ll see a marked similarity.) The real problem, which you can’t really discern from the transcript, is that the entire discussion was held with this sort of tongue-in-cheek, “Can you believe we’re actually talking about this?” tone. This, of course, just trivializes the issue, instead of treating it like the national security matter it so obviously is. Rest assured none of these guys will work for the forthcoming Uni Watch Network, which should be launching shortly.

As if all this Monday-night uni chatter weren’t enough, there was still more last night: According to Chris Andringa, “In the top of the 3rd inning, the WGN announcers (Brenly and Kasper) mentioned how fans may notice that Juan Pierre was no longer wearing his ‘blue camo’ undershirt, because Pierre received a letter from the ‘fashion police.’ Therefore, his undershirt was solid blue. Brenly had a minor conniption about it, sarcastically commenting how he was glad Pierre was allowed to wear his normal shoes, because the shoes ‘were at least 51% solid blue’ and added a disgusted sigh while questioning how ‘they’ (the fashion police) could actually come up with a quantitative percentage of the amount of blue in an undershirt.” (Big thanks to Andringa for that report, and bonus points for his excellent deployment of “conniption.”)

And just to exemplify Gary Cohen’s mention of players stretching out their pants, this item appeared yesterday.

Underbrim Update: Good analysis by Andrew Dillon: “Both Detroit daily papers have run little features [here and here] about Marcus Thames and his mother, Veterine. She was paralyzed when he was five years old and has never seen him play ball in person. I imagine the ‘VET’ on his underbrim is some sort of tribute to her.”

Meanwhile, lots of readers have pointed out that our latest underbrim scribe is Bobby Howry of the Cubs. James Huening provided this large screen-grab — “not that you’ll be able to decipher anything,” he wrote. But thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I brightened up the shot to reveal the word “Kids,” which is presumably part of a larger message (like, say, “Kids, don’t grow up to be Cubs fans”).

Uni Watch News Ticker: Big thanks to everyone in yesterday’s comments section who identified John Pacella as the mystery Met whose cap always used to fall off, as seen here and referenced here. … Good catch by Dan Lichterman, who notes that Nick Punto wears a Cool Flo helmet when batting right-handed but uses a conventional lid when batting from the left side. … Interesting note from Curt Wilson, who writes: “This year marks the 100th game between two high schools — Easton, Pennsylvania, and Philipsburg, New Jersey — played annually on Thanksgiving morning. To celebrate the 100th game, the two teams will be wearing throwback uniforms.” … Someone really needs to button up. … Mike MacDougal made his White Sox debut last nite, threw 11 pitches, and kept his cap on his head for every one.

Tomorrow: Full coverage of Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s Japanese All-Star Game antics.

 

83 comments to Broadcasters Ignore Game, Finally Focus on Unis

  • Andrew | July 26, 2006 at 8:23 am |

    Wow, those high-schoolers look absolutely thrilled about those throwback unis!

  • Keith | July 26, 2006 at 8:30 am |

    On a non-uni related note, great picture of Chuck and Brooks!

  • Andrew | July 26, 2006 at 9:04 am |

    From Deadspin, a picture of Mark Hendrickson talking on a cell phone.

  • Andrew | July 26, 2006 at 9:05 am |

    Sorry; screwed up the first link.

    Deadspin

  • The Dude | July 26, 2006 at 9:11 am |

    Some great socks in the Cape Cod Baseball league. Can the younger kids rise up and over take the vet MLB players and keep the cool socks.

    http://www.harwichma...

    http://www.hyannisme...

    http://www.hyannisme...

    http://www.brewsterw...
    (click on the photo of the diving player)

  • bill | July 26, 2006 at 9:13 am |

    I went to Easton and those pants are from my mother’s era. The front of the pants are white and the back are black. There are more pictures at the Easton football site. The kids may not be excited, but I am.
    Non uniform note; it will be the second time the Turkey Day game will be televised on ESPN.

  • steve | July 26, 2006 at 9:27 am |

    Frank DeFord’s sports crumudgeon complained about long baseball pants this morning on NPR.

  • Brandon T. | July 26, 2006 at 9:28 am |

    Those Philipsburg unis remind of the throwbacks the Steelers wore in ’94 with the vertical lines and all, horrible for a jersey pattern but nice for a throwback.

  • Donny | July 26, 2006 at 9:31 am |

    Looks like another team doesn’t know the diffence between “year” and “anniversary”

  • bill | July 26, 2006 at 9:33 am |

    Full page article (page C3) on baseball cops in today’s USA TODAY. Kind of fluffy but not too bad.

  • bill | July 26, 2006 at 9:36 am |

    Sorry ment “caps” not cops. Thats what happens when you post on vacation!

  • casey shaeffer | July 26, 2006 at 9:47 am |

    The folks at texasfootball.com did it again, this time with the 4A helmets (that’s the second to highest classification)

    4A Texas Helmet Bowl

  • Matt Dub | July 26, 2006 at 9:55 am |

    i’m from easton as well and i cant wait to see the game on national television.. those unis look great

  • Joe Hilseberg | July 26, 2006 at 10:02 am |

    Paul, your killing us…soccer cleats to play softball in! hehe

  • zac | July 26, 2006 at 10:07 am |

    Good article here in Today’s Tribune that talks about MacDougal’s hat.

    MacDougal’s Hat

  • Brett | July 26, 2006 at 10:08 am |

    Several things…
    1. Paul are those sweat pants with the legs pulled up? mine
    2. In the photo of Red Schoendienst, LaRussa is wearing faux stirrups. Red Schoendienst!
    3. Ron Darling is wearing the old Kangaroo shoes. The zipper pockets. Darling, circa mid-’80s

  • Warren Thompson | July 26, 2006 at 10:14 am |

    Easton v. Philipsburg throwback uniforms: wide sleeve stripes (per #99 in the photo) look nothing but classy. I wish more teams sported them.

  • Miguel | July 26, 2006 at 10:24 am |

    What about Paul using an outfielder’s glove in the infield?

  • Burrill | July 26, 2006 at 10:25 am |

    I love the Easton/Philipsburg throwbacks; the one thing that catches my eye is the mix-and-match of helmets and jerseys. I’m inclined to see some consistency.

    But it’s still a great idea.

  • dhc | July 26, 2006 at 10:29 am |

    My son started Little League this year & I lost it when I saw the faux stirrup socks he got. Very long white socks with an orange stripe (Orioles) dyed into the fabric. Points for the style, but, come on, let’s teach the kids the traditions.

  • bill | July 26, 2006 at 10:47 am |

    Burrill, The uniforms are mix and matched to honor several eras and not just one timeframe. Usually I like consistancy also, but I think this is a good way to honor all 100 games.

  • Robert Eden | July 26, 2006 at 11:17 am |

    I like the sweats pulled up to the knees. That’s the way we wore them when I was in high school (early ’80s), since we were trying to look like big leaguers even when we weren’t wearing baseball uniforms. And we pulled out white tube socks up to our knees, too. All that we were missing were the stirrups.

  • Lincoln | July 26, 2006 at 11:36 am |

    [quote comment="3370"]What about Paul using an outfielder’s glove in the infield?[/quote]

    There really is no such thing as an infielder’s glove vs an outfielder’s glove in “beer league” softball. You just play the game. Big kudos to wearing stirrups for softball.

    [quote comment="3365"]Paul, your killing us…soccer cleats to play softball in! hehe[/quote]

    I do have to agree with Joe. Come on Paul, are you going to kick the ball?

  • whiteshark17 | July 26, 2006 at 11:47 am |

    [quote comment="3378"][quote comment="3370"]What about Paul using an outfielder’s glove in the infield?[/quote]

    There really is no such thing as an infielder’s glove vs an outfielder’s glove in “beer league” softball. You just play the game. Big kudos to wearing stirrups for softball.

    [quote comment="3365"]Paul, your killing us…soccer cleats to play softball in! hehe[/quote]

    I do have to agree with Joe. Come on Paul, are you going to kick the ball?[/quote]

    That or he is going to kick that kid on the bike. What gives Paul?

  • nybatt | July 26, 2006 at 11:57 am |

    another comment on the USA today article on caps…

    there is a photo of spike lee with the caption that he is given credit for starting the baseball cap craze in the US… ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??!! long before his terrible movies and taunting of reggie miller we were proudly wearing our caps…

    what a joke!!! as a native NYC metro guy, trust me….NOONE took him seriously…..

  • The Dude | July 26, 2006 at 11:58 am |

    Also, brutal tie job on your shoes. Wrapping the laces under the spikes.
    Great articles and blog though.

  • The Dude | July 26, 2006 at 12:21 pm |

    It was just announced on the radio that the Duquesne Dukes (A-10 conf) are going to unveil their new athletic logo at 3:00 pm today.

    http://www.goduquesn...

  • Kevin Z | July 26, 2006 at 12:34 pm |

    [quote comment="3372"]My son started Little League this year & I lost it when I saw the faux stirrup socks he got. Very long white socks with an orange stripe (Orioles) dyed into the fabric. Points for the style, but, come on, let’s teach the kids the traditions.[/quote]

    The faux stirrup stripe socks were little league standard issue at least since 1992 when I started playing, too. Luckily my dad had stirrups and I was exposed to the right way to wear socks and play baseball.

  • Greg | July 26, 2006 at 12:50 pm |

    Brett: Actually, both LaRussa and Shoendeist are wearing faux socks. You can tell on Shoendeist because of the angled lines around the ankle.

    Those high school throwbacks look sick! I’d wear either in a heartbeat.

  • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2006 at 12:51 pm |

    Good to see everyone taking an interesting in my footwear. Look, cleats are cleats — if you really think there’s a qualitative difference between baseball cleats and soccer cleats (esp. in a Sunday beer league), you’ve swallowed the Nike/Reebok mentality whole.

    That said, I should have gotten shorter laces….

    I usually play LF, but every now and then I’m pressed into service at 3B. Yes, even though I’m left-handed. It happens….

    But c’mon, my stirrups — they look great!

  • Lincoln | July 26, 2006 at 1:11 pm |

    [quote comment="3386"]Good to see everyone taking an interesting in my footwear. Look, cleats are cleats — if you really think there’s a qualitative difference between baseball cleats and soccer cleats (esp. in a Sunday beer league), you’ve swallowed the Nike/Reebok mentality whole.

    That said, I should have gotten shorter laces….

    I usually play LF, but every now and then I’m pressed into service at 3B. Yes, even though I’m left-handed. It happens….

    But c’mon, my stirrups — they look great![/quote]

    Come on, Paul. How you look is important and soccer cleats don’t look good on a softball (or baseball) diamond.

  • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2006 at 1:21 pm |

    [quote comment="3388"]Come on, Paul. How you look is important and soccer cleats don’t look good on a softball (or baseball) diamond.[/quote]

    Fair enough, I guess. I bought those cleats about five years ago, because they were on sale. At the time, I knew virtually nothing about soccer (as opposed to now, when I know, um, a teeny bit more than vitually nothing about soccer), so I honestly didn’t even realize I was buying soccer cleats. Really. I’ll get baseball cleats when this set wears out.

    Meanwhile: I’m watching the Mets/Cubs game, and Keith Hernandez just said, “Catchers don’t have the luxury of wearing sunglasses.” To which Gary Cohen replied, “Yes they do — lots of catchers wear them now.” And Keith said, “They do?”

    Does this guy actually watch the game? The Mets’ catcher today, Ramon Castro, is wearing sunglasses under his mask!

  • Brandon T. | July 26, 2006 at 1:29 pm |

    Paul, I’m with you on the fact that a distinction of cleats per sport is bogus. Don’t get me wrong sports fans, I don’t want to play football with those wearing spikings, but for most part, cleats are cleats.

    I wear football cleats for softball, does that make it wrong? Grass is grass, folks.

    Also, I was roaming around Eastbay yesterday, and whadyaknow they’re selling soccer cleats on their football cleats page

    BT

  • Brandon T. | July 26, 2006 at 1:31 pm |

    That’s supposed to be spikes, not spikings (not for sure what “spikings” are), above. Sorry.

    BT

  • Steve | July 26, 2006 at 1:33 pm |

    How many games in a row is this for the Mets in blue caps?

  • Kevin | July 26, 2006 at 1:42 pm |

    [quote comment="3390"]Paul, I’m with you on the fact that a distinction of cleats per sport is bogus. Don’t get me wrong sports fans, I don’t want to play football with those wearing spikings, but for most part, cleats are cleats.

    I wear football cleats for softball, does that make it wrong? Grass is grass, folks.

    Also, I was roaming around Eastbay yesterday, and whadyaknow they’re selling soccer cleats on their football cleats page

    BT[/quote]Those are actually real football spikes

  • mike | July 26, 2006 at 2:05 pm |

    [quote comment="3392"]How many games in a row is this for the Mets in blue caps?[/quote]

    Did you notice the Mets aren’t wearing their pinstripes though with the blue caps for the second game in a row? This is weird because their non pinstripe home unis are suppose to go with their black/blue caps. Anyone know the reason for this?

  • Matt | July 26, 2006 at 2:06 pm |

    “Meanwhile: I’m watching the Mets/Cubs game, and Keith Hernandez just said, “Catchers don’t have the luxury of wearing sunglasses.” To which Gary Cohen replied, “Yes they do — lots of catchers wear them now.” And Keith said, “They do?”

    Does this guy actually watch the game? The Mets’ catcher today, Ramon Castro, is wearing sunglasses under his mask!”

    I think its all part of the character he has in the booth… he’s says crazy things just to get a reaction…

  • BA | July 26, 2006 at 2:06 pm |

    [quote comment="3363"]The folks at texasfootball.com did it again, this time with the 4A helmets (that’s the second to highest classification)

    4A Texas Helmet Bowl[/quote]

    The winner’s helmet isn’t exactly original, as stated in the chart. Unless it existed before 1984 and the Houston Gamblers of the USFL “borrowed” the idea for their helmet design.

    Houston Gamblers

  • mike | July 26, 2006 at 2:14 pm |

    [quote comment="3396"][quote comment="3392"]How many games in a row is this for the Mets in blue caps?[/quote]

    Did you notice the Mets aren’t wearing their pinstripes though with the blue caps for the second game in a row? This is weird because their non pinstripe home unis are suppose to go with their black/blue caps. Anyone know the reason for this?[/quote]

    Doing some looking at the the Mets photo galleries I guess once in awhile they wear the blue hats with the non-pinstripes like they did in the 16 inning game with the phillies and they sometimes wear the blue/black caps with pinstripes like they did July 5th against the Pirates. But why mix them up?

  • a arauz | July 26, 2006 at 2:28 pm |

    [quote comment="3381"]Also, brutal tie job on your shoes. Wrapping the laces under the spikes.
    Great articles and blog though.[/quote]
    Dude, as you say, that’s how football players tie their boots, fool. Go back to your XboX

  • Micah | July 26, 2006 at 2:50 pm |

    Kevin is correct; the Speed Vapor TD (aka: Touchdown) is a football cleat based on Nike’s Mecurial Vapor cleat, the same last and cleat patterns mated to a more traditional football upper.

  • Keith | July 26, 2006 at 2:52 pm |

    Paul, I’m actually going to defend you for the soccer cleats. And also, those won’t wear out. I got a pair freshman year of college, and used them for five seasons of lacrosse with no problems. The tops of the insoles may get a little curled, but those things will hold up. I did cut my laces though.

  • Jaret | July 26, 2006 at 3:01 pm |

    I umpire youth baseball and I have a disturding message for you. The centerfielder for one of the teams came out for the first inning with his jersey completely unbuttoned AND untucked. Not only did this look ridiculous but it was a disgrace to the game. He actually didnt do anything about it till I told him to correct the situation.

  • Brett | July 26, 2006 at 3:21 pm |

    [quote comment="3403"]I umpire youth baseball and I have a disturding message for you. The centerfielder for one of the teams came out for the first inning with his jersey completely unbuttoned AND untucked. Not only did this look ridiculous but it was a disgrace to the game. He actually didnt do anything about it till I told him to correct the situation.[/quote]
    Was this kid eating a candy bar when he came to the plate a la Engelberg

  • Mark in Shiga | July 26, 2006 at 3:31 pm |

    [quote comment="3390"]Paul, I’m with you on the fact that a distinction of cleats per sport is bogus. Don’t get me wrong sports fans, I don’t want to play football with those wearing spikings, but for most part, cleats are cleats.

    I wear football cleats for softball, does that make it wrong? Grass is grass, folks.

    Also, I was roaming around Eastbay yesterday, and whadyaknow they’re selling soccer cleats on their football cleats page

    BT[/quote]

    This is because there’s one American and one Brit coding the web pages.

    Maybe.

  • Pedro | July 26, 2006 at 3:35 pm |

    [quote comment="3404"][quote comment="3403"]I umpire youth baseball and I have a disturding message for you. The centerfielder for one of the teams came out for the first inning with his jersey completely unbuttoned AND untucked. Not only did this look ridiculous but it was a disgrace to the game. He actually didnt do anything about it till I told him to correct the situation.[/quote]
    Was this kid eating a candy bar when he came to the plate a la Engelberg[/quote]

    You beat me to the punch on the Engelberg comment, thats the first thought that came to my head too. Im looking for a pic.

  • nybatt | July 26, 2006 at 3:39 pm |

    just noticed #45 on the mets (our favorite uni-pant offender) wearing his pants high during the game-winning hit celebration for john valentin…

    could it be that martinez got the uni watch letter and “contribution”??!!??

  • PDX clark | July 26, 2006 at 3:40 pm |

    OK- two things on Paul’s cleats, and I can’t believe I’m the first to say this.
    1) Soccer cleats are different from baseball & football cleats in that by rule they can’t have a “toe cleat”. Check it out: Link Name vs Link Name and Link Name I think its a safety thing. So soccer cleats can “officially” be used for other sports, but not the other way around if you want to get picky about it.
    2)The laces are long on soccer cleats in order to allow you to wrap them around the bottom & tie down the lace protector flap dealy. Baseball cleats all used to have this too, but it looks about 50/50 these days.
    So what if he’s a left handed third baseman who wears an outfielders glove and soccer cleats. He’s got stirrups!

  • Gregg | July 26, 2006 at 3:42 pm |

    [quote comment="3392"]How many games in a row is this for the Mets in blue caps?[/quote]

    This is the fifth game in a row for the blue hats, dating back to 7/22. The uniforms have been white/pinstripe/pinstripe/white/white. I have kept meticulous stats of the Mets uniforms dating back to the beginning of the season in an elaborate Excel spreadsheet, that includes starting pitcher, win/loss, day/night, sleeve color, runs for/runs against, opponent, etc. (Paul can vouch for the depth of my insanity). If anyone has an interest in my “research,” drop me an e-mail.

  • Gregg | July 26, 2006 at 3:42 pm |
  • C.J. Andringa | July 26, 2006 at 3:48 pm |

    Royce Clayton (Cincinnati) apparently chose to wear RED socks last night in Houston, despite wearing a BLACK undershirt and BLACK helmet. Talk about ridiculous. It’s so ridiculous I couldn’t even find a decent pic of it.

    It was very noticeable on the highlights when he got picked off third base by Brad Ausmus.

  • Brian | July 26, 2006 at 3:56 pm |

    It also sucks to kick in non-soccer cleats, but it doesn’t suck to run the bases in soccer cleats.

    Those nike “soccer” cleats that were linked were inspired by the Mercurial Vapor line from Nike Soccer. However, they didn’t worry nearly as much about the upper material, which makes them cheaper ($119 vs $175) and marketable as football cleats.

  • Paul Lukas | July 26, 2006 at 4:03 pm |

    [quote comment="3407"]just noticed #45 on the mets (our favorite uni-pant offender) wearing his pants high during the game-winning hit celebration for john valentin…

    could it be that martinez got the uni watch letter and “contribution”??!!??[/quote]

    I saw — and thought — the same thing. I’ll be watching my bank statement for that canceled check!

  • Brandon T. | July 26, 2006 at 4:23 pm |

    [quote comment="3401"]Kevin is correct; the Speed Vapor TD (aka: Touchdown) is a football cleat based on Nike’s Mecurial Vapor cleat, the same last and cleat patterns mated to a more traditional football upper.[/quote]

    Yes, I realize Nike put a TD in the name of the cleat, but c’mon, I’ve played both football and soccer for many years now and you can’t tell me that you would notice a huge difference between this cleat and this cleat. I think it’s more of a psychological mindset instilled by Nike, etc. than a “oh, you know, this cleat actually works better for baseball”. Everyone has their preferences, and for advanced competition it’s okay to have these special cleats but…I think it’s okay for Paul to wear soccer cleats. And I’ll wear football cleats while I play softball. Fun conversation.

    BT

  • Brandon T. | July 26, 2006 at 4:28 pm |

    I don’t however forgive Paul for wearing purple sleeves and a purple-brimmed cap. C’mon Paul, practice what you preach! (J/K, I’m sure that’s probably faded Navy or something)

    BT

  • Greg | July 26, 2006 at 4:33 pm |

    [quote comment="3390"]Paul, I’m with you on the fact that a distinction of cleats per sport is bogus. Don’t get me wrong sports fans, I don’t want to play football with those wearing spikings, but for most part, cleats are cleats.

    I wear football cleats for softball, does that make it wrong? Grass is grass, folks.

    Also, I was roaming around Eastbay yesterday, and whadyaknow they’re selling soccer cleats on their football cleats page

    BT[/quote]

    As many have mentioned already, those really are football cleats. Here’s last year’s model. Very popular in the college ranks. Yes, they do look eerily similar to Nike’s recent Mercurial vapor soccer cleat. The only difference being the placement of the toe cleat: with (football) and without (soccer). Hard to tell, but you know what they say: location, location, location.

    But it is right to compare these two. The football version is straight out of soccer. The idea behind it was to incorporate the look and the idea of the extremely lightweight speed cleat from soccer to football. So, Micah, both the upper and the cleat plate were borrowed, though the cleats moreso. The upper is slightly different on the football cleat, since touch must be accounted for on the soccer version. It’s more for lightweight and aerodynamics. (smooth)

    The football version seems to be a niche in american football, not quite as popular as it’s cousin, the Speed TD.

  • Jared | July 26, 2006 at 4:43 pm |

    [quote comment="3390"]Paul, I’m with you on the fact that a distinction of cleats per sport is bogus. Don’t get me wrong sports fans, I don’t want to play football with those wearing spikings, but for most part, cleats are cleats.

    I wear football cleats for softball, does that make it wrong? Grass is grass, folks.

    Also, I was roaming around Eastbay yesterday, and whadyaknow they’re selling soccer cleats on their football cleats page

    BT[/quote]

    Ummmm, those Vapor TDs ARE Football Cleats

  • Richard | July 26, 2006 at 4:52 pm |

    Not all little leagues were handing out the striped socks as stirrups in the 90′s. I played in the early 90′s as a beginning teenager (aging myself as a young Uni Watch reader), and we got the stirrups we pulled on over our socks, most of my teams wearing the high sock look thinking we were real major leaguers. And times were changing when I hit high school as we got the solid socks and I was one of only 2 people to wear high socks when everyone else was pulling a Manny with their pants.

  • Micah | July 26, 2006 at 4:58 pm |

    Brandon, I agree with you in that aspect; there is not that much of a difference between the two, other than location of the cleats. However, using different shoes for different sports IS essential. Trying playing a basketball game in actual tennis or running shoes (something that I see at the gym a lot), using cross-trainers for hard-core running, or any other cross-over. There really is a difference in material, cushioning, outsole design, and more.

  • Greg | July 26, 2006 at 5:06 pm |

    Micah, you took the words right out of my mouth. I had this big elaborate post going explaining structural differences and why and my browser quit. :( You make a very good point. NEVER do anything other than run in running shoes! You’ll hurt yourself. I cringe everytime I see someone playing basketball or lifting weights in running shoes. Also guys going out for a run in basketball shoes does it too.

  • Jared | July 26, 2006 at 5:12 pm |

    [quote comment="3386"]Good to see everyone taking an interesting in my footwear. Look, cleats are cleats — if you really think there’s a qualitative difference between baseball cleats and soccer cleats (esp. in a Sunday beer league), you’ve swallowed the Nike/Reebok mentality whole.

    That said, I should have gotten shorter laces….

    I usually play LF, but every now and then I’m pressed into service at 3B. Yes, even though I’m left-handed. It happens….

    But c’mon, my stirrups — they look great![/quote]

    Actually there are several DISTINCT differences between football/baseball/soccer cleats…. cushioning, stability, protection, and most noticeably the absence of the “toe cleat” on a soccer boot.

    This being said, in Softball (beer league or otherwise) it doesn’t make THAT big a difference. I play 2-3 nights week and 2 tournaments a month and wear turf shoes (usually football turfs) exclusively I haven’t worn a pair for cleats in 3-4 years …

    Lastly, I wear my pants LONG (The HORROR!!)

    http://i39.photobuck...
    http://i39.photobuck...

    And I Look GOOD ;)

  • Kevin | July 26, 2006 at 5:15 pm |

    These are kinda like soccer cleats to but i liked playing in them for football

    http://www.eastbay.c...

  • Lincoln | July 26, 2006 at 5:17 pm |

    Not really uniform related, but how come the Cubs can never hit rookie pitchers? Damn them….

    As to the soccer cleats in softball, I admit I wear football cleats most of the time because that was what I always wore when I was younger and, am, therefore, most comfortable with those. But, for the most part, football cleats can and do look like baseball cleats. Soccer cleats look like soccer cleats. Not a good look on a diamond.

  • Jared | July 26, 2006 at 5:22 pm |

    [quote comment="3414"][quote comment="3401"]Kevin is correct; the Speed Vapor TD (aka: Touchdown) is a football cleat based on Nike’s Mecurial Vapor cleat, the same last and cleat patterns mated to a more traditional football upper.[/quote]

    Yes, I realize Nike put a TD in the name of the cleat, but c’mon, I’ve played both football and soccer for many years now and you can’t tell me that you would notice a huge difference between this cleat and this cleat. I think it’s more of a psychological mindset instilled by Nike, etc. than a “oh, you know, this cleat actually works better for baseball”. Everyone has their preferences, and for advanced competition it’s okay to have these special cleats but…I think it’s okay for Paul to wear soccer cleats. And I’ll wear football cleats while I play softball. Fun conversation.

    BT[/quote]

    The upperon the Soccer shoe is made with a much thinner material to allow for more “feel” on the ball. I would conced that THIS example is the LEAST differnt. (basically EXACTLY the same)

    This is the exception, not the rule ….

  • Jared | July 26, 2006 at 5:28 pm |

    [quote comment="3421"]Brandon, I agree with you in that aspect; there is not that much of a difference between the two, other than location of the cleats. However, using different shoes for different sports IS essential. Trying playing a basketball game in actual tennis or running shoes (something that I see at the gym a lot), using cross-trainers for hard-core running, or any other cross-over. There really is a difference in material, cushioning, outsole design, and more.[/quote]

    [quote comment="3423"]Micah, you took the words right out of my mouth. I had this big elaborate post going explaining structural differences and why and my browser quit. :( You make a very good point. NEVER do anything other than run in running shoes! You’ll hurt yourself. I cringe everytime I see someone playing basketball or lifting weights in running shoes. Also guys going out for a run in basketball shoes does it too.[/quote]
    [quote comment="3421"]Brandon, I agree with you in that aspect; there is not that much of a difference between the two, other than location of the cleats. However, using different shoes for different sports IS essential. Trying playing a basketball game in actual tennis or running shoes (something that I see at the gym a lot), using cross-trainers for hard-core running, or any other cross-over. There really is a difference in material, cushioning, outsole design, and more.[/quote]

    You guys beat me too it ….

    Also, did you cringe thatPaule said he bought those 5 YEARS AGO????? Shit I bought 3 pairs of Softball shoes THIS YEAR!!!!!

  • Greg | July 26, 2006 at 5:53 pm |

    Haha! Jared, that did make me laugh. Trust me, I’d be buying shoes every day if I had the money. But alas, I am a starving college student. I miss working at Niketown and getting 40% off. That helped.

  • Brandon | July 26, 2006 at 7:29 pm |

    [quote comment="3424"][quote comment="3386"]Good to see everyone taking an interesting in my footwear. Look, cleats are cleats — if you really think there’s a qualitative difference between baseball cleats and soccer cleats (esp. in a Sunday beer league), you’ve swallowed the Nike/Reebok mentality whole.

    That said, I should have gotten shorter laces….

    I usually play LF, but every now and then I’m pressed into service at 3B. Yes, even though I’m left-handed. It happens….

    But c’mon, my stirrups — they look great![/quote]

    Actually there are several DISTINCT differences between football/baseball/soccer cleats…. cushioning, stability, protection, and most noticeably the absence of the “toe cleat” on a soccer boot.

    This being said, in Softball (beer league or otherwise) it doesn’t make THAT big a difference. I play 2-3 nights week and 2 tournaments a month and wear turf shoes (usually football turfs) exclusively I haven’t worn a pair for cleats in 3-4 years …

    Lastly, I wear my pants LONG (The HORROR!!)

    http://i39.photobuck...
    http://i39.photobuck...

    And I Look GOOD ;)[/quote]

    check out the kid behind him in the second pic. I used to have the faux stirrups cuz my real ones unraveled after a cleating. i have no real striped socks but was somewhat creative for my softball league. picture coming soon

  • Trent | July 26, 2006 at 7:56 pm |

    I work at a soccer store in Houston, and I’m pretty sure Paul’s cleats are the Copa Mundial by Adidas. Nice kangaroo leather, but particularly well built, won’t wear out nearly as fast as other kangaroo leather shoes. Also run for $90, where most other kangaroos are at least $120. It’s the classic Adidas soccer shoe, that they’ve made for ever, another one of those “if it ain’t broke” things.

    Also, soccer cleats not only don’t have a “toe pick,” they also tend to have a lighter chassis, because soccer is more constant running, as opposed to the explosive start-stop-start-stop action of football. As for the tongue flap tie-down, most shoes now either have an elastic band attached to the end of the flap specifically to hold it down, or velcro between the laces to hold it down. Those without either (like the Copas) have such short tongue flaps that they don’t need to be tied down.

    In case you have soccer uni questions, email me, because we do both replica jerseys (more than you can imagine) and team orders for the kids’ clubs. jtdees@uh.edu

  • Chris Pendleton | July 26, 2006 at 8:56 pm |

    A little off topic, but the Cincy Reds wear red socks with black sleeves on the road (example: Royce Clayton in the 7/26 game at Houston). I’ve always thought that the color of a team’s socks, belt, and sleeves should match. But it would be strange for the Reds to not to wear red socks (ala the redstockings and redlegs days). What does everyone else think?

    If anyone can find a photo, it would be much appreciated.

  • David | July 26, 2006 at 9:09 pm |

    To add to the discussion about soccer shoes, has anyone noticed how weird the new style of laces on soccer shoes are? They’re off-center and really ugly. I know that they’re made so that when you kick the ball, the laces don’t mess up the path of the ball when it comes in contact with your foot, but it looks HORRIBLE.

    This is a women’s shoe, but I couldn’t find any other examples.Note the “adidas.com” written on the bottom of the shoe

    Also, I am present at alot of high school basketball games (JV and Varsity), and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on teams without warm-up tops of kids wearing really big shirts over their basketball jersey. Usually the shirts are just long white t-shirts, but on occasion, they’re not, for example, there was a kid wearing a (I think) Fat Albert shirt as a warm up. Sick, just sick.

  • David | July 26, 2006 at 9:12 pm |

    Also, the White Sox don’t always wear white socks. Urgh…

  • Noonan | July 26, 2006 at 10:09 pm |

    For what it’s worth, my home town is hosting our own interstate football game, and we’re celebrating the 100th game too! Over 100 years, but state regulations stepped in and forced a ‘break’ a few years ago, so it’s not 100 continuous games.

    http://www.mmfootbal...

  • Adam | July 26, 2006 at 10:47 pm |

    [quote comment="3441"]Also, the White Sox don’t always wear white socks. Urgh…[/quote]

    The White Sox never wear white socks. As far as I know, there isn’t even a player on the current roster who wears black stirrups over white sanitaries.

  • David | July 26, 2006 at 11:08 pm |

    [quote comment="3446"][quote comment="3441"]Also, the White Sox don’t always wear white socks. Urgh…[/quote]

    The White Sox never wear white socks. As far as I know, there isn’t even a player on the current roster who wears black stirrups over white sanitaries.[/quote]

    What about white stirrups over solid covered sanitaries? This isn’t really in relation to the White Sox matter, it’s just an interesting idea.

  • Chris Pendleton | July 26, 2006 at 11:18 pm |

    [quote comment="3439"]A little off topic, but the Cincy Reds wear red socks with black sleeves on the road (example: Royce Clayton in the 7/26 game at Houston). I’ve always thought that the color of a team’s socks, belt, and sleeves should match. But it would be strange for the Reds to not to wear red socks (ala the redstockings and redlegs days). What does everyone else think?

    Finally found a photo

    Does this look funny to anyone else?

  • C.J. Andringa | July 26, 2006 at 11:28 pm |

    [quote comment="3449"][quote comment="3439"]What does everyone else think?

    Does this look funny to anyone else?[/quote]

    That’s what I was talking about from Tuesday night’s game (comment #52). Why the hell would they not be wearing black socks to match?!?

  • Corndog | July 26, 2006 at 11:40 pm |

    Check the close-up of Juan Pierre’s legs…the stirrups don’t match front and back. When I played ball back in the 60′s & 70′s, the higher stirrup arch went in the back, the lower in the front. Pierre has one each way.

    As for soccer shoes on the diamond, on my senior HS baseball team (’72) our 2nd baeman (Jimbo) was an all-state soccer player and he wore his soccer cleats to play baseball. Our coach hated them; and since the coach was a jerk, Jimbo kept wearing the shoes to piss him off, even after he was temporarily benched for wearing them.

  • Lee | July 27, 2006 at 1:56 am |

    due to the abnormal amount of soccer kits/cleat discussion on this page as of late ill ad this bit of trivia. Inter Milan, who won the Coppa Italia and was awarded the league due to the top 2 teams fixing more games, unveiled their jersey last week. http://img445.images...
    the target shaped italian flag on the arm is for winning the Coppa Italia. Normally that would be put between the swoosh and the clubs crest but tat spot was left open because Inter was so sure that they would be rightfully awarded lo scudetto that they left that spot open for the scudetto to be added to their kit. now that is ballsy.

  • Greg | July 27, 2006 at 4:46 am |

    Personally, David, I think that offcenter lacing is genius and looks fantastic! I’m a big fan of asymmetry in sshoes.

    What’s with the 2 on Reggie’s jersey? It looks quite thin on top to we, like they squeezed it in.

    Here’s a thought: What if the not-White Sox actually wore white socks? How seriously cool would that be? Though maybe not with the away grays.

  • Greg | July 27, 2006 at 4:54 am |

    Sorry, only one s in shoes. & Reggie’s jersey looks thin to me, not we. Though now that I point it out more will think the same. ;)

    Let’s try that asymmetry link again.

  • alex | July 27, 2006 at 8:26 am |

    new member of the two ear-flap helmet club – Shin-Soo Choo – just dealt to the cleveland indians by seattle and hes a non-swith hitter too

  • Jeff | July 27, 2006 at 9:11 am |

    Paul would have loved out high school baseball uniforms. Purple vest with black undershirts, skin tight purple pinstripe pants, purple hats, and of course purple socks… no stirrups. If we had batting gloves they were supposed to be purple or black. Only half way redeeming thing was the pants ended at the calf, so the sock showed.