By John Ekdahl
The same rich-get-richer mantra seemed to play itself out this year with the Angels, Yankees, Phillies and Dodgers adding both players and payroll. Big market teams were the big winners yesterday, with a few exceptions. Now it’s time to break down the winners and losers among the uniform-switchers.
• Lance Berkman – Overall, a solid uniform upgrade going from the Astros to the Yankees. I think the iconic Yankee pinstripes will make him look much sharper as he lumbers down the first base line after popping out to the second baseman. All kidding aside, he seemed like a really nice guy during his interview with the MLB Network guys. Great sense of humor, too.
• Roy Oswalt – Major upgrade when the Phillies break out those beautiful alts.
• Ted Lilly – I’m probably going to catch hell from Cubs fans, but I’ve always been a fan of the Dodgers uniforms.
• Edwin Jackson – The White Sox uniforms are classics and once a year you get to wear this.
• Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns – The standard Indians uniform is probably a cut below the Yankees, but the alternate is gorgeous.
• Scott Podsednik – The Royals and Dodgers have pretty similar unis.
• Miguel Tejada – Old-school black and orange to sand, sea and sky (or whatever). What a disaster.
To close out the weekend, make sure to read up on the clumsy brilliance of Miguel Batista. When Stephen Strasburg had to be replaced on Tuesday because of injury, Batista is the guy who got the call. Unfortunately, the thousands of fans who showed up just to see Strasburg pitch weren’t too excited about it. So, they booed him loudly. Batista, being the light-hearted guy that he is, brushed it off in a postgame interview and said he understood. “Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos,” Batista said. In an attempt to poke fun at himself, he mistakenly insulted a woman who he didn’t even know.
The next day, a Nationals reporter asked him if he’d ever seen a picture of Miss Iowa. Batista must have been aware that he had screwed up the day before and did a little research. He said, “You mean Katherine Connors? Yeah, she’s gorgeous. Gorgeous. It’s like you hear Miss Iowa, and you say, ‘Iowa?’ And then you see her up close and you say, ‘Wow, she’s gorgeous.’ ” Fantastic damage control. He also sent her flowers and the Nationals invited her to the ballpark to throw out the first pitch. Well, she showed up.
So, if you don’t see Miguel Batista in the postseason this year, it’s not because the Nationals are terrible. It’s because he has other plans. He’ll be judging the Miss Iowa USA Pageant. The man is a genius.