I don’t mean to pick on Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy — he’s been with the team for nearly 50 years, and he probably has his hands full finding caps to fit Barry Bonds’s ever-enlarging cranium — but the team had some major slip-ups on the uni front last week. First, as reported here last week, Dan Ortmeier’s left-sleeve team logo patch was missing; then Fred Lewis’s right-sleeve All-Star Game patch was similarly unaccounted for. The kicker came on Friday, when Randy Messenger made his Giants debut with no name on his jersey.
Messenger had been traded late the night before, so the Giants had less than 24 hours to prepare a jersey for him. And yes, the trade happenedjust as the team was leaving New York and heading to Philly. Still, it shouldn’t have been that hard to get a jersey lettered and ready to go. Couldn’t they just have gotten one made at the local Sports Authority or something? Messenger didn’t pitch on Saturday or Sunday (no doubt due to embarrassment), so it’s not clear if his jersey has finally been brought up to code.
Interestingly, the Messenger nameplate snafu took place almost exactly a year to the day after the Giants misspelled Eliezer Alfonzo’s name on his jersey. Maybe the team should just take a week off every season during this time of year.
To be fair, the Giants aren’t the only MLB team with uni-related problems lately. As noted in Friday night’s comments, the Brewers’ right-sleeve anniversary patch was missing from Jeff Suppan’s jersey on Friday.
And whatever quality control issues MLB teams are having, it’s nothing compared to what’s happening to the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL. Reader Rob W. was at Philly’s Friday-night game and snapped pics of several players with numerals that had peeled off, as seen here, here, and here. First time I’ve seen anything like that since the Colts’ 2005 opener, when lineman Corey Simon had one of his numerals ripped off of his jersey (an oddity I no longer have a photo of, unfortunately, although I do have shots of of Miguel Tejada with the “1” coming off of his jersey after a head-first slide in early 2005 [he played the rest of that game as No. 0]).
(Special thanks to Chris Shastid for the Messenger screen shot.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Colorado’s new football uniforms, unveiled over the weekend, will look like this and this. Additional pics, info, and video links here, and still more pics here, here, here, and here. … Amusing teal manifesto here (with thanks to Rob McCallum). … Check out Softbank Hawks pitching coach Tadashi Sugimoto, who appears to be wielding the world’s longest fungo bat (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … “I found my old high school volleyball practice shirt the other day,” writes Jeff Bethune. “I never really liked them, but now looking back I see it’s because of the extreme radial arching. I don’t know what my coach was thinking.” Actually, I think that looks pretty sharp, except for the uni number, which looks way clunky. … Great catch by Uni Watch intern Vince Grzegorek, who notes that the MLB logo at the base of Mike Rabelo’s mask is patterned on the American flag (here’s a close-up from the All-Star web site) — never seen that treatment before. … More from Vince: (1) Serious decal crowding on the back of the Northwestern softball team’s helmets. (2) Josh Beckett appears to be wearing everything but a noose. (3) Trevor Hoffman’s trophy room, complete with jerseys on the wall. … The guy in the center of this photo is a young Barack Obama, shown on the JV hoops team of his high school in 1977. Here’s another shot, from 1979. … Maybe the reason Carlos Zambrano took a swing at Michael Barrett the other day is that the “C” appliqué on Barrett’s helmet was peeling off, a uni transgression that might move anyone to violence. … Looks like Jorge Posada was wearing white-out on his nails on Friday night (good catch by Mike Foreman). … “Found this picture from this gallery of an American football (as opposed to soccer) team in Germany,” writes Tom Langan. “Note the team names (in English) on the backs of jereseys, what appears to be No. 57 memorial sticker, and some logos on the bottom of the jersey numbers, à la the EPL.” … Todd Burus and Chris Mahoney both note that Wily Mo Peña, who wears uni number 22, is wearing No. 26 wristbands — perhaps a holdover from his days with the Reds. Plus Burus adds that Manny has been wearing his skullcap backwards, with the MLB logo facing front. Not only that, but the Red Sox logo on the back is backwards, which means either he’s also wearing it inside-out (although it doesn’t look that way, because the backwards logo looks raised) or else it’s yet another quality-control issue. … Brinke Guthrie recently stopped in at McCovey’s Restaurant and snapped a buncha pics of the many jerseys on display. Check out his full slide show here. … Anyone know what Troy Glaus was wearing on his leg while running the bases in the 7th inning of last Monday’s Yanks/Jays game? David Chisholm says Glaus wasn’t wearing it while batting, but he apparently strapped it on once he reached base. … Interesting commentary here about how the Trail Blazers need to start fresh with new uniforms (with thanks to Aaron Wiens). … Latest volley in the discussion of the Orioles’ road uniforms can be found here (kudos to Zach Smith). … See that tiny white-ish smudge on the left edge of Terry Francona’s cap brim? You can’t tell from that photo (or from any other that I’ve been able to find), but on TV it clearly appears to be a small “11,” apparently a shout-out to former Sox player Doug Mientkiewicz, who was injured in that collision with Mike Lowell on Saturday night. … Looks like Johnny Damon picked up a first baseman’s mitt on the way to the ballpark last night (with thanks to Michael Basu). … Actual quote from Cincy pitcher Kyle Loshe, when told May 28th could be his day, since he wears No. 28 and the Reds were playing home game No. 28: “I hate my number. I’d rather be 21, 22 or 23.” (Nice find by Jeff Barak.) … Faaaaascinating reminiscence from Paul Hirsch, who writes: “When I was a ballboy for the 1974 Angels, we wore pants without belt loops. However, there was a pocket on the inside of the waistband where a belt could be snaked through, using a special plastic tool that guided the belt through. Not everyone used it, but it was available and it did help keep one’s pants up.” … John Moist reports that Saturday was Price Is Right Night in Fresno, with the Fresno Grizzlies wearing some truly bizarre jerseys. Additional pics here and here. … More minor league zaniness, this time from Matt Nelson, who notes that Memorial Day found the Binghamton Mets using red, white, and blue jersey insignia and bases.