Deep down — okay, maybe right at the surface — everyone knows there are always better things to do than watch the Pittsburgh Pirates, am I right? So I think I can be forgiven for being several weeks behind the curve regarding today’s topic. Maaaaybe I can even forgive all of you for not having brought it to my attention.
Here’s the deal: D.J. Carrasco has been wearing some nice stirrups this season. Early in the year they were basic black — I knew that. Then he switched to a set that included the team’s cap logo. I’m pretty sure I knew that too.
What I absolutely did not know is that at some point — I think around mid-June — Carrasco started wearing stirrups featuring the Buccos’ sleeve logo. But he didn’t retire the “P” version, which he wore as recently as July 3rd — he’s been switching back and forth between the two logos. I’ve tried to figure out of there’s a rhyme or reason to which set gets worn for which games (primary logo at home, secondary logo on the road?), but there doesn’t appear to be one — he’s all over the place. I even found a few games where he went low-cuffed, which means he’s had at least four different lower-leg looks this season. Hey, Pirates fans, one of your players actually leads the league in something!
Personally, I think the solid-black version is best — keep it simple, right? — but he should really pick one and stick with it. Still, that’s not the point. The real story here is how Carrasco exemplifies and reinforces the point I made two weeks ago when the Rays broke out their striped stirrups: Baseball hosiery is now so irrelevant, so far under the radar, that it’s treated more like personal equipment than like a genuine uniform component. The Pirates no longer have any official hose, so Carrasco can wear whatever style he chooses, just like he can wear a wristband, a Phiten necklace, or batting gloves. After all, it’s not as though the stirrups have anything to do with his uniform, right? Hey, why not slap the Pirates’ wordmark on there next time! Sigh.
And if any of you out there think I have a cushy job, you try poring over hours’ worth of Pirates video just to see what some journeyman middle reliever has been wearing on his socks. Believe me, it’s work.
Wilco Reminder: I’m currently giving away two pairs of tickets to see Wilco and Yo La Tengo in Indiana later this month. For details, look here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Canucks have unveiled a new throwback, which they plan to wear five times next season. Not sure I buy that they’ll really be going NNOB, but we’ll see. … This shot is from Opening Day, 1969. Note the little Dymo label on the base of the brim — never seen an equipment manager put something there before (good find by Mike Hersh). … We’ve seen teams’ jersey histories charted on T-shirts, but how about on a pennant? (Good find by Trevor Williams.) … James Spears visited Keeneland Race Track in Kentucky last weekend and saw this awesome horseshoe chart. … An electrician in northern California is totally ripping off the MLB logo (with thanks to Jeff Stricklin). … Maybe the Warriors should’ve gone with this design for their new jersey. That tee is supposedly popular in Oakland (with thanks to Jeff McClendon). … Weird scene in yesterday’s World Cup semifinal, as Germany’s Toni Kroos a sticker of the FIFA Fair Play logo obstructing the national crest on his jersey. Anyone know the story behind that? … “Italian cyclists Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali were rival bike racers in the 1940s,” writes Sean Clancy. “It was such a rivalry that it divided Italian cycling fans for years. They also apparently had endorsement deals with competing razor blade companies.” Whoa, those are some really nice package designs, although I don’t think cycling and shaving make for a good mix. … I think it’s safe to say most of us have never seen a 1930s CFL all-star photo before (Mike Hersh again). … Great play last night at Shea, as Joey Votto snared an Ike Davis liner that nearly went through his mitt and ended up breaking his webbing. He switched to a new mitt immediately thereafter. … We’ve all seen boxers with ads temp-tattooed onto their backs (a trend that started with Bernard Hopkins in his 2001 fight against Felix Trinidad). But there’s a fighter up in Alaska who’s selling space on his body for real tattoos of ads. … How can Rodney Dangerfield say he got no respect when he got to wear Jon Matlack’s uni number? (Big thanks to Chris Flinn.) … Great find by Steven Presser, who writes: “This pic from April 14, 1976, the day before the the first game in the renovated Yankee Stadium. I’m only guessing here, but I’d say the team wanted to keep the home pinstripes clean for the big day, so the Yanks practiced in their road grays, resulting in the rare site of the Yankees, in Yankee Stadium, not wearing pinstripes.” … Scott Turner found a 1971 Topps NBA card with an unusual Buffalo Braves jersey. Anyone ever seen that one before?