New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: There’s something fucked up about Opening “Day” taking place on Sunday night. ESPN’s Sunday-evening season opener isn’t a new phenomenon, natch, but this is the first time the Mets have been involved in it, and it messed with my head something fierce. Opening Day usually means I blow off work, take the phone off the hook, and revel in that sense of playing hooky that weekday baseball provides (granted, I work out of my home, don’t have a boss, and usually take a nap in the afternoon anyway, but still …). It feels like a special event, because you actually back-burner other stuff to make room for it. But what sort of crucial Sunday-night plans could I possibly postpone in order to make room for watching a ballgame? Like, cleaning the grout in my bathroom or something? So even though I watched the game in the fine company of Uni Watch design director Scott M.X. Turner, his lovely wife Diane George, and Watch Your Back honcho Brian Corrigan (who does an excellent imitation of the Fitzy’s Wicked Pissah guy), something felt oddly askew the entire night. This wasn’t quite as bad as 2000, when I had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to watch the Mets open their season in Japan (I swear, it took months before I got my internal clock back in order after that one), but it still felt really strange, sorta like being jet-lagged.
Anyway: The big uni news last night was that the “Y” on Shawn Green’s jersey was inexplicably superscript (big thanks to Jason Mattina for the screen grab), an error that can presumably be laid at Majestic’s door, although let’s also blame Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels for not catching it. Since Green had more hits last night than he had all of last season, I expect we’ll see everyone else on the team adopting this same typographic quirk pronto.
Other notes from last night’s game:
• The gold outlining on the Cards’ jerseys (which is just a temporary thing for the first three games of the season) was mighty subtle, although I’m told it was more discernable in HD. Additional views here and here.
• Cap patches always look so totally lame-o.
• Judging by all the gray underbills that were visible out there, several of the Mets were clearly using last year’s caps.
• Paul LoDuca has always worn his uniform number on his chest protector collar (with the Dodgers and Marlins, too). But his new protector has “LoDuca 16” on it (sorry, no photo yet), which I think makes him the first MLB catcher to have his name and his number displayed on the collar.
Okay, go enjoy your Opening Day games, your Seders, and whatever else you’ve got going on today. And remember: My team’s magic number is already lower than your team’s.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Someone in the MLB office finally woke up. … Speaking of cap pins, longtime Uni Watch comrade Clay Luraschi, who works for Topps, has provided a much bigger, better view of the 1985 card that shows Mark Davis wearing one of those Croix de Candlestick pins (in case you missed it last Thursday, full details on that phenomenon are here). Meanwhile, what’s with the black armband that Davis is wearing in that shot? I can’t find a record of the Giants having memorialized anyone in the ’83-’84 range. … My brain is so far out of college football mode that I can’t remember if we’ve covered South Carolina’s new Under Armour uniforms yet. Anyway, Mackay Smith reports that they’ll look like this, this, this, this, this, and this (most of which seems like a real downgrade from this). … Reprinted from Friday night’s comments: The Rangers will use a new crew of ballgirls this season — and they’ll be outfitted with True.com jerseys. Details here. … Also from Friday: Good Q&A here with the equipment manager of those other Rangers (the ones who play on ice). … Davey Baron notes that the Marlins sent Ryan Bear up to the plate in a totally blank double-flapped helmet on Friday. … “I thought you might appreciate some of the uni details of the Lawrence (KS) High School baseball team,” writes Ron Shaver. “Their mascot is the Chesty Lion, which you will see perched on the ends of the baseball bat, like on the Cardinals’ unis. The graphics on the hat are a little too modern for the rest of the uni, but I think the stirrups make up for that.” … Alarming news out of Cincinnati, where, according to this news item (brought to my attention by M. W. Strother), the Reds are switching from sewn-on numbers to heat-transfer. That anguished cry you hear in the background is Joe Hilseberg blowing a gasket. … You know this personal branding thing has gotten out of hand when Shaq is adding a “®” symbol to his signature. … Jeremy Brahm reports that the Chiba Lotte Marines are wearing a Hartford Insurance sponsorship patch.