Quite a few of you have been sending me notes saying, more or less, “What’s with all the attention to Josh Outman and Corey Wimberly? Where’s the love for Brendan Ryan? His stirrups are striped, y’know!” Really? I hadn’t noticed!
As I’ve patiently explained to these people, I haven’t mentioned Ryan so much this season because (a) I’ve given him plenty of attention in past seasons, and (b) I wish he’d show more of his white sanitaries. But Mets announcers Gary Cohen and Ron Darling apparently had no such compunctions yesterday, as they used a Ryan at-bat in the bottom of the 7th as the launching point for a wide-ranging, often awkward discussion of lower-leg stylings. Here’s a transcript:
Ron Darling: This kid brings some nice energy to the ballclub, doesn’t he? Old-timer with those socks pulled up. I think those socks by the Cardinals have to be one of the best in baseball, don’t they?
Gary Cohen [apparently unaware of current uni specs in Boston]: Those and the Red Sox.
Darling [equally clueless]: Red Sox are good. Trying to think, who else..?
Cohen: Did you see, by the way, I was watching, uh, uh, I was watching part of the Yankees/Oakland game yesterday, and one of the kids for Oakland, I think it was Outman, was wearing the stirrups — the green with the gold? Oh my! It looked like a picture out of the ’60s!
Darling: That’s right. I, I, they’re great, because they have the sanitary socks for, I mean… Guys don’t wear it now. They more wear the kind of soccer kind of sock, which is all one color. You see Delgado has it on, Reyes have [sic] them on. But it is, I, I used to wear that, that green and gold, and it’s pretty funny. See look, they’re more like soccer socks now. Just one full sock that they wear under their uniform.
Cohen: Right, but generally, when guys wear stirrups, they’ve got white socks, white sanitary socks underneath the stirrups. But this is the gold sanitary sock under the green stirrup. I, I, I, I’ve never seen look. Not for a long time anyway.
Darling: I tell, I tell you the hardest thing about getting used to in going to Oakland was not only that, the gold sanitary sock, was the white shoe.
Cohen: Mmm, the white shoes, yeah. Well, you felt like Joe Namath.
Darling: Exac… [Chuckles so hard he can’t complete the word.] By the way, when I was playing football, everyone had to get those Riddells that Joe Namath had.
Cohen: Joe Willie White Shoes. [Long pause; one can almost hear both men’s brains recalibrating.] And then there was Billy White Shoes Johnson.
Darling [clearly relieved to have something to respond to]: There you go.
Cohen [wandering far off the reservation now]: Everyone wanted to spike the ball like Billy White Shoes Johnson.
Darling: You know what’s pretty funny is, is that, you know, the NFL has stopped all the, uh, uh celebrating, or tried to stop all the celebrating. I couldn’t wait for Billy White Shoes Johnson to score a touchdown.
Cohen: Well, that’s because it was unique. I think, you know, when it starts to become a little over the top, they had to rein it in.
Darling: You weren’t an Ickey Shuffle fan? [Chuckles heartily at this reference.]
Cohen: You know, but even that was cute at the time. But you know, when guys are retrieving cell phones from goalposts, it’s, y’know, it starts to get a little out of hand.
Darling: Signing the football?
Cohen: Yeah, exactly. [Both men snicker to themselves, very satisfied to have identified this cultural microtrend and established their superiority to it. A long pause ensues.]
Darling: My favorite, and I won’t remember his name, it’s too bad. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he scored a touchdown, and he used the goalpost as a heavy bag. [Chuckles. Cohen chuckles back.] He just stood there and uppercutted the heavy bag. It was great.
Cohen: That’s great as long as you don’t break your hand. [Both men chuckle. Discussion moves on to other matters for about 70 seconds.]
Darling: I was given the name of the Eagle. It was Vai Sikahema.
Cohen [clearly nonplussed to be back on this topic]: Ah. I would’ve had trouble just pronouncing that name. [Darling laughs heartily. Discussion mercifully moves on to other topics.]
So the morals of the story are as follows: (1) Mets announcers are incapable of discussing uni-related matters without making fools of themselves. (2) Gary Cohen apparently never saw Barry Zito pitch while he was with the A’s. (3) Even in broadcaster discussions, Josh Outman’s stirrups get more attention than Brendan Ryan’s. Sorry St. Looie fans, but whaddaya gonna do.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Remember Ozzie Guillen’s “OPD” cap from spring training? It sold for $400. … “Just wanted to let you in on the stupid way our baseball team at Marksville High (Marksville, La.) wears/ secures their pants,” writes Chris LaHaye. “Most started doing this last season and, sadly, it carried over to this year. No one can give me a good reason for wearing them like this except it looks ‘tight.'” Of course, once you see the team’s full uniforms, you realize that the pants are the least of their problems. … Oh. My. God. Details here (with thanks to Jim Ransdell). … “Versus did a piece about the Sutter brothers in between periods on Wednesday night, and they showed them in these Rawlings jerseys,” says Doug Keklak. “I hadn’t known that Rawlings actually made any hockey gear.” … Also from Doug: Check out this 1972 shot. “That’s the pee wee team that won the Greater Johnstown School District elementary school league. Apparently, uniforms weren’t a priority, as I’m pretty sure those numbers are made with tape!” says Doug. … The Oilers are redesignating their classic throwbacks as their primary home uni for next season. … A few days ago there was some chatter in the comments about the common use of red and blue on the electoral map, which is interesting in light of this photo — why are so many people wearing red? There was no mention of it in the article, so I did a bit of googling and learned that red is the color of the same-sex marriage movement in Maine. I am not trying to start a debate on the merits of same-sex marriage, so let’s not go there, thanks, but I do think it’s interesting that they’re using what’s usually thought of as the right-wing color to advocate what’s usually thought of as a left-wing cause. … John Grupp of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interviewed me yesterday on the topic of Nyjer Morgan’s stirrups (I resisted the urge to suggest that he talk to Gary Cohen and Ron Darling). Article will run on Sunday, I’m told. … It’s that time of year again (courtesy of Matt Sajina). … Okay, I think the human race — or at least the advertising/marketing community — has now officially hit rock bottom (with thanks to Jim Roddy). … Lenny Dykstra, classy as always. Note the flapless Darren Daulton catcher’s helmet. Caption says the photo is from 1990, which was before the Daulton/Dykstra car crash, so it’s not like this was a “Sorry, dude” move or anything like that. Hmmmm (with thanks to Andrew Dixon). … Nicole Haase thinks she’s found the secret to Manny Parra’s problems. … Yesterday’s Jags coverage prompted this from Jared Pike: “I’ve been a Jaguars fan ever since they were announced in 1993, when family members bought season tickets right off the bat. As a result, they got insider newsletters, detailing the team’s early history (with interesting headlines like, ‘Jaguars Soon to Have Players’). Here’s one when they unveiled their new non-automotive logo and uniforms. The article claims that the uni is distinctive because it is the first ever to feature three-color numbers. Interesting, huh? Verifiable, maybe — but moot, since they’ve taken a step backwards with their new two-color numbers. I’ve also attached some promotional artwork, showing a prototype Jaguars helmet being raised in hypothetical victory, and a Sporting News cover showing the original uni design that was later scrapped.” … Ben Fortney sent me this shot from the 1981 World Series and asked if I knew what the patch was for. Answer: That’s the Los Angeles bicentennial patch that the Dodgers wore that season. … Joe Alvaro tried his hand at a NYC logo mash-up. Here’s a version in which he swapped out the Knicks in favor of the Giants. … Now that’s a program cover. Lots of similarly wonderful CFL programs displayed here and here (big thanks to Terry Paffenroth). … In a remarkable feat of glandular control, Ex-Phillie Kevin Millwood has managed to create a Harry Kalas memorial sweatstain on his cap.