Well, that didn’t last long. Two games into the season and my Opening Day high has already been flushed down the crapper, thanks to what will probably go down as the ugliest game of the year. Or at least I hope it is, because if there’s anything worse than this, I might just have to pluck out my eyeballs.
I’m referring, of course, to yesterday’s retina-frying proceedings at Coors Field, where the Rockies were decked out in the you know what. In the opposing dugout: the Diamondbacks, debuting their red alts. Put these two together on the same field and we’re talking a major buzz-kill. Like, seriously, does this look like a major league ballgame to you? Or this? Or this? Or this? No wonder they were playing like Little Leaguers — they looked like Little Leaguers.
Things were almost as dire a few hours later in Anaheim, where the Angels unveiled their new red alts against the Rangers, resulting in an unseemly spectacle that was only slightly less garish than the scene in Colorado (and as an aside, whose bright idea was it to put big red numbers on a red jersey?.
Leaving aside the question of whether two teams wearing solid-colored jerseys in the same game should even be allowed, what’s the deal with a team wearing its alternate jersey in the second game of the year? The whole point of an alternate uni is that you wear it occasionally. With the bunting still hanging from the grandstand and those “Opening Day” logos still painted on the field, couldn’t these teams wait just a few days before changing up their looks? Grumble-grumble, stomp-stomp, and get the fuck off my lawn while you’re at it.
And Now a Word From Vince: The NCAA tournament has finally come to a close, which means the Uni Watch NCAA Distant Replays contest is also over. There were a variety of strategies involved from the over 300 entrants. Do you go with all upsets, or just a few (Winthrop, VCU, etc.)? Do you stick with mid-level seeded teams and hope they go on a winning streak (USC, Vandy, etc.)? Do you throw in a few 8 or 9 seeds, since that means big points without much risk (Michigan State, Purdue)?
The winning strategy turned out to be that of Eric Smallman, who took home first prize and a cool $200 Distant Replays gift card. If you’re curious, his five teams were UNLV (14 points), Kentucky (8), Michigan State (9), Vanderbilt (12), and Louisville (6), for a total of 49 points — not bad, considering the highest possible score was 58, which would have meant picking UNLV (14), Vanderbilt (12), VCU (11), Tennessee (10), and Winthrop (11).
Second place and a $150 Distant Replays gift card goes to Jonathan Gillis, who tallied 43 points. And third place and a $50 in Distant Replays card goes to Jon Smith with 42 points (just enough to edge out the minor logjam of people with 41 points, which would have put the tiebreaker into play.)
Thanks to all who entered. There’ll be another raffle next week.
Back to Paul for Today’s Uni Watch News Ticker: Extremely disappointing sight at yesterday’s Giants/Padres game, where Jose Cruz Jr.’s stirrups looked like this — not bad, but a far cry from the perfection of his spring training look. … Somehow those huge Giants uni numbers look even bigger when the number itself is a high number. … The little number tags on Justin Spier’s socks were clearly visible the other night, although it looks like his number isn’t actually written on them. … Hate to say it, but does Willie Mays look totally friggin’ diseased or what? … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Michigan State wore throwbacks (not sure what vintage) for a game against the Lansing Lugnuts last night. The “MAC” on the jersey and cap stands for Michigan Agricultural College, which was the school’s original name. … Bad; worse; worst. … Despite extensive Uni Watch coverage and a day off in between games, Shawn Green’s superscript “Y” still hadn’t been fixed for last night’s game.