Our lead item today is short but packs a big punch, because reader Drew Samuelson has noticed something that the rest of us all missed: Looks like Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito has a lucky belt buckle — an oversized gold design that he appears to wear pretty consistently (at home, on the road, even back in spring training). Back when he pitched in Japan, his belt was gold-toned but conventionally sized, at least in this photo. Anyone know anything about this, before I pester the Dodgers PR office about it?
Moving down below the belt, as it were, here’s something that’s been bugging me: Last Thursday I ran this photo of Eddie Lantigua wearing those under-the-shoe elastic straps. But the more I look at it, the more annoyed I get over something else: Look closely and you’ll see that there’s a patch of fabric in the middle of each pant leg, with the seams clearly visible just above the knee and at the lower shin.
These seams never appeared in baseball pants back when cuffs were worn hiked up. But now that the pants are long, I see the seams all the time — in TV close-up shots, on the softball field where I play, in sporting goods listings and catalogs, etc. They all have one thing in common: They look like shit.
What’s the thinking behind this patch/seam design? Is it an extra layer of fabric to protect against rips and tears when sliding? Is it a tacit acknowledgement that a long length of polyester is incapable of draping correctly without some reinforcement? When did it start infiltrating the baseball diamond? And how can we eradicate it as soon as possible?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Genius catch by Matt Reilly, who notes that the visor Drew Bledsoe was wearing in Sunday’s post-game press conference had an upside-down star (instead of one like this). … Looks like Moises Alou’s helmet doesn’t quite fit (with thanks to John Furstenthal). … Purdue mascot Purdue Pete usually wears No. 1 (at least the live character does — the cartoon version is usually wears a “P”). But this is his 50th season, so he’s wearing No. 50 — except during the school’s recent game wearing 1966 throwbacks, when he wore No. 66. (With thanks to Bill Donovan.) … Soccer news, courtesy of Walt Keys: “FC Barcelona played in their Champion’s League opener in shirts featuring the Unicef logo. While it’s customary for Euro soccer clubs to wear corporate sponsorship, this is the first time in the club’s 107-year history that they’ve worn a third party’s logo. But instead of receiving a fat corporate payoff, FC BarÃ§a has agreed to donate a portion of their yearly proceeds to the international children’s charity.” Further details here. … Fifteen-letter nameplate! (Thanks to Fred Schlect.) … Some guy from USA Today interviewed me yesterday about Oregon’s uniforms. We spoke for about 20 minutes, covering a lot of interesting aspects and nuances. Somewhat predictably, the two most boring things I said are what made it into the finished article (and they got this site’s URL wrong to boot). Sigh. … Update: They just fixed the URL in the online edition of the article.