It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of how the Mets market themselves. But I had high hopes — okay, maybe naïve hopes — for yesterday. It was the old girl’s last coming-out dance, and the team had promised to make the Shea family a big part of the festivities. A few days ago, they announced that they’d be unveiling a logo — their term, not mine — in honor of William Shea during the pregame ceremonies.
Sigh. You can get a glimpse of the “logo,” if you want to call it that, above. That’s the only photo of it I could find, but you get the idea: It’s an NOB. Now, there’s nothing wrong with putting Shea’s name next to the retired numbers, and I’m very happy to hear that his name placard will be displayed at the new stadium next year. But why tell fans you’re gonna unveil a logo if it’s not a logo?
Also: At first I was annoyed to see that the “Shea” lettering had a black drop shadow. Shea died in 1991, long before the team adopted the accursed black trim, so why render his name that way? Then I noticed that the retired numbers now have black drop shadows as well — something they didn’t have last year. So now the occasion of honoring William Shea has become an excuse to debase the whole roster of retirees. Just another thing that other teams do right but the Mets do wrong.
Other things they did wrong yesterday: They wore their black accessories instead of blue; they borrowed Madame Tussad’s wax figure of David Wright, put it on the subway, and let it keep wearing a numberless jersey instead of a proper one; they didn’t let this guy throw out the first pitch; they didn’t exhume Lindsey Nelson’s corpse to do the play-by-play; and a key member of their bullpen missed most of the game because his route from the last road trip to Opening Day somehow went through Puerto Rico.
Oh, and they played like shit and lost. Sigh.
On a brighter note: Today’s my mom’s birthday, so I’ll be spending most of the day with the ’rents. Everyone behave while I’m gone. Mom, if you’re reading this (or, more likely, if Pop is reading it to you), have a great birthday morning — I’ll be there in a couple of hours.
Uni Watch News Ticker: “My wife just qualified for the paralympic swim team, which will be heading to Beijing this summer for the Paralympic Games,” writes Pat Kerley. “I guess nothing says you just made a swimming team like giving you a hockey jersey. These championships were in Minneapolis, so what makes this a little funnier is that they then wore their hockey jerseys to pregame introductions at a Twins game. I have more photos here.” … Nike has unveiled some Olympics gear. … Awesome ABA ref’s jersey for sale here (with thanks to Jason Dulin). … Yesterday I mentioned something about the Akeem-era Houston Cougars wearing different uni numbers at home than while on the road. That led to this note from Ken Singer: “It used to be a high school rule in New York that the home team wore even numbers and the visitors wore odd numbers. When my dad first started taking me to games in the late ’60s, I remember noticing that the visitors always had odd numbers. My number in JV basketball from 1975–77 was 14 at home and 15 away. These were leftover jerseys from the varsity team. But when I played varsity in 1978, my number was 14 for both home and road, so the rule changed in there somewhere.” … The Red Sox championship rings look like this. “You can’t see it in the photo, but one side displays the name and number of each player with the B logo flanked by trophies won during the current regime,” explains Brian Corbett. “For instance, Tek has two trophies and Beckett has just one.” … Still more confusion regarding the Rangers’ home and road caps, as Joe Poll provided this photo of two ushers during the team’s home opener. As you can see, one’s wearing a white T, and the other one has the red T.” … Several readers (and one of my ESPN editors) have complained about Orioles reliever George Sherill and his flat-brim cap. I don’t like the look either, but it’s hardly unique — just ask Chad Cordero. … Second entry on this Q&A page has some good info on the Royals’ powder blues (with thanks to Matt McLaughlin). … Remember this? Looks like we’ll be seeing more of it next week, which I count as good news. The 42 celebration is one of the few unqualified successes of Selig’s tenure. … More city-specific logo mashups, this time for Denver (by Denver Gregg) and Atlanta (by Mike Duchock). … Truly outstanding vintage track uni available here (nice find by Michael Kimmins). … Tyler Kepner points out that Leo Nuñez has “El CD” printed on his glove (plus he apparently wore two undershirts yesterday). Anyone know what that’s about? … Tyler also reports that the Yanks have new road dugout jackets with a “New York” insignia. I like. … Ben Nickerson notes that Jose Calderon of the Raptors threw out the first pitch for last Saturday’s Jays/Bosox game and wore a Blue Jays jersey with a ribbon of some sort. Anyone..? … Jersey-o-rama at Fenway yesterday, as various Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins were on hand for the ring and trophy ceremonies. And Billy Bucks threw out the first pitch — good for him. … Advance word from an anonymous source regarding the new Team Canada hockey jerseys that will be released later this month for the World Championships: “Basically, it’s a ‘vintage’-style jersey that looks like something you’d buy a four-year-old. The white jerseys have red shoulders, which would look nice if it was done traditionally, but it comes off looking cheap. Same Canada crest as usual on the front, but cheapo little crests NOT on the shoulders but the elbow-area. Bad striping (you’ll see). Oh, and like all Nike stuff, it’s got the swoosh on the upper right chest. Overall it’s plain, in a bad way. The red jerseys are a little better, but it’s like comparing a pound of crap to a spoonful. In the end, they both stink.” … Turns out the University of Wisconsin folks aren’t the only ones who like to sue people over uniform trademark infringement. … MLB footwear notes from Mark Mihalik: Yuniesky Betancourt wore silver cleats in yesterday’s game in Tampa, and Manny Ramirez wore these cleats for the pregame ceremonies but changed into these for the game (here’s another view).