Astros phenom Hunter Pence made his big league debut on Saturday night and drew immediate attention from readers John Ryan and Kevin Gee, both of whom noted that Pence wears only one batting glove. As you can see in the photo at right, Pence also takes pains to hike up his pants, which led to a spirited discussion between ’Stros announcers Bill Brown, Jim Deshaies, and Greg Lucas during the top of the 6th on Saturday evening:
Bill Brown: Hunter Pence was very excited tonight, because he got to pull up his uniform pants and show some socks. The Astros do not allow their minor league players to wear the uniform pants that way. But he asked Tom Wiedenbauer, the field coordinator of the minor leagues, “Now, in the major leagues we can wear the pants the way we want to, right?” And he said yup.
Jim Deshaies: Why can’t they wear their pants like that in the minor leagues?
Brown: I don’t know.
Deshaies: That’s the way you’re supposed to wear your pants! That’s how it’s been done for 100 years!
Brown: That’s the rule.
Greg Lucas: But that’s my point. My point is I’m old-school — I wanna see the white sanitaries, which they don’t wear anymore.
Lucas: I wanna see the stirrups. Not those soccer socks.
Brown: Well, you can probably find a league where they wear those somewhere, Greg.
Lucas: Y’know, I remember when I first was coming in, and a lot of Latin players started doing it. I was working with the Rangers and I asked the equipment manager, “Do you supply them with these?” And he said, “No way, they get ’em on their own.” Of course, that’s changed now.
Deshaies: Those two-in-one socks, those are kinda bogus.
Lucas: Little hokey.
Deshaies: Little stripe painted on the side of ’em. … I’ll have to do some further research on minor league dress codes.
[Johnny Estrada, who wears stirrups, comes up to bat and promptly singles.]
Deshaies: There you go, Greg — Johnny Estrada’s old-school.
Lucas: See, good things happen to guys who wear stirrups.
Deshaies: He doesn’t have his pants bloused, but he’s got ’em up. I remember when I was coming up in the youth leagues and the minor leagues, you had to blouse your pants. In the Yankee organization, yeah. You had to kind of fold ’em under and put your pants on inside-out. And then you’d fold your stirrup down over the pant leg.
Lucas: Most of the players now don’t have any idea how to do that. Even if they wanted to.
Deshaies: That was a ritual.
The big news there, of course, is that the Astros don’t allow their farmhands to go high-cuffed. We’ve all heard of organizations that require their minor leaguers to show plenty of sock (the Reds, Cardinals, and Mets have all done this in recent years), but this is the first I’ve heard of a team instituting a low-cuff policy. Lots of people in that front office who Don’t Get It™, apparently. John Ryan, who first brought this matter to my attention, is so distressed that he says he’s “seriously considering writing the Astros front office to complain,” and who can blame him? If you want to do likewise, you can reach the Astros at 501 Crawford Street, Houston, TX 77002, and (713) 259-8000.
A Few Comments About Comments: For those of who you participate in the comments section (something that everyone is welcome and encouraged to do, of course), here are some pointers, suggestions, requests, and things to keep in mind:
• If you try to post a comment and it doesn’t appear in the listing, and/or if you get message saying that your comment is a “duplicate,” it probably means your comment has mistakenly been captured by our spam filter. Sometimes this is because a comment had a lot of links (a common spambot tip-off); at other times it’s because, um, I really have no idea. In any case, I realize how frustrating it is — my apologies to anyone who’s had to deal with this problem. If it happens to you in the future, try posting under a different user name (just put a space in front of your usual name, for example) and/or a different e-mail (it can be a fake one) — that sometimes helps. If you still can’t get your post to appear, e-mail me and let me know that one of your comments may be caught in the spam filter. I’ll deal with it and restore your post as soon as I can. And believe me, if you could see the hundreds of spams that get caught in the filter every day, you’d agree that the inconvenience is worth it.
• If you’re composing a long comment, it’s always good to highlight it (command-A) and then save it (command-C) before posting it, just in case something goes wrong, so you won’t have to type it all over again. Basically, treat a comment like you’d treat any other document that you don’t want to lose: Back it up.
• Interpersonal etiquette in the comments section is pretty good these days, but every now and then an asshole shows up. If you see a comment that’s abusive (toward me, toward another reader, even toward you), please-please-please resist the urge to respond in kind. The best way to frustrate a blowhard who’s seeking attention is to not give him that attention. Instead, just e-mail me and let me know what’s up. I’ll delete the offensive post and, if necessary, block the offender from posting again.
• I can’t tell you how thrilled I’d be if the terms “threw up in my mouth” and “not so much” and “tool” never appeared in the comments section again. Ever. These mindless buzz phrases are, to me, much more irksome than the occasional vulgarity.
• Please, I beg of you, try to avoid the predictably stupid comment. If someone links to a photo of sexy female athlete and comments on her uniform, ask yourself if you really want to be the moron who then posts, “What uniform? I didn’t notice any uniform!” It’s lazy, pointless, and embarrassing for everyone. Also, please remember the simple rule I instituted a few months ago: If you post, “Whoo-hoo, first post of the day!” as the first post of the day, it will be deleted.
Uni Watch News Ticker: In case you missed it on Friday, the Steelers’ new throwback uniform will look like this (additional pics here, here, here, and here). … Torii Hunter got a facelift the other day (okay, he actually he got hit by a pitch and had to get bandaged up). … Uni Watch intern and proud Cleveland resident Vince Grzegorek reports that the city’s Terminal Tower has been bedecked with giant Cavs jerseys, weighing over 100 pounds each, in honor of the team’s playoff run. Further details and pics here and here. The name on the back of each jersey reads, “Rise Up” (ugh), which is part of a marketing plan discussed in greater detail (somehow with a straight face) here. … Vince also notes that Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga has an eyebrow piercing. … New uniforms for the Japanese Table Tennis Association (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm, who notes, “This is the first time that the women have had a skirt to wear with their top instead of shorts”). … Jeremy also reports that Celtic FC in Scotland will be wearing special commemorative uniforms next season, to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1967 European Championship team, and that the Houston Dynamo wore a jersey patch yesterday, in commemoration of their 2006 MLS Cup. … Not truly uni-related, but there’s a good article here about how the reliever with the least service time has to stock and carry the bullpen bag full of snacks and supplies. … Major shirt-tag issues the other night for Rockies starter Jason Hirsh (with thanks to Andrew Bashuk). … Uni Watch singer-songwriter czarette Jules Verdone reports that Vin Scully referred to the Padres’ 1970s design as “those ugly taco- and mustard-colored uniforms” during yesterday’s broadcast. … DC United wore Virginia Tech colors and a memorial patch on Saturday. Further details here. … The London College of Fashion is redesigning Scotland Yard’s uniforms (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Here’s something I’ve never seen before: Japanese catcher Tomoya Satozaki has his name and uni number on the side of his shinguards (yet another great catch by Jeremy Brahm). … Nice work by Sara Corman (that’s her in the navy cap), who attended a rainy Springfield Cardinals game on Friday night and snapped several pics of Cory Rauschenberger, whose 14-letter surname would be an MLB record if he ever makes it to the bigs (unless Braves prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia gets promoted first). “Like I said in the comments section a few weeks ago, Cory legally changed his last name from Meacham to Rauschenberger before the start of this season,” Sara writes. “It would be interesting to find out if he changed his name with that record in mind.” … I have no idea what this is, but they linked to Uni Watch. Anyone know what language that is? … My condolences to all Cardinals fans regarding the loss of Josh Hancock, who’ll be memorialized with a “32” sleeve patch for the rest of this season.