The Padres had an unveiling of sorts yesterday, so let’s take a look at what’s new for them in the coming season:
• The new Sunday camouflage uniform: The new camo features an up-to-date digital pattern, plus they’ve added the American flag to the left sleeve — you know, just in case you didn’t catch the patriotic vibe — changed the cap color, and added a matching belt. I liked the old design better (because I like green), although I can see how the new one is more Padres-ish (because of the team’s long history with brown tones). And the new jerseys definitely look more like military fatigues, maybe because the chest insignia doesn’t contrast as much with the background tone (which is great if you want your uniform to look like fatigues but maybe not so great if you want it to look like a baseball uni). There’s also some question as to whether the new camo pattern might actually be too effective. But whatever — I think camo sports uniforms are always a bad idea, so any before/after analysis here is pretty much moot. Is it good or is it stupid? As stupid as it’s always been.
• The new road uniform: I thought they were going to unveil this yesterday, but they didn’t. Word on the street is that it’ll be revealed tonight, but at this point it’s pretty much an open secret that they’re keeping everything about the existing road design except the “sand”-colored fabric. I count this as a plus. They can call it sand all they want, but it always looked to me like the whole team had pissed their pants, so the move to gray is an upgrade. Of course, now the various sand-colored trim elements (the “SD” logo on the road cap, the MLB logo on the back of the jersey, etc.) have nothing to coordinate with, but that seems like a small price to pay, at least until they wise up and fix them. Good enough.
The new logo hierarchy: The Pads are removing the city name from their primary logo. Looks cleaner, I suppose, although I generally prefer team logos to have geographic locators. In any event, it may not matter, because the team apparently prefers its secondary logo. Now, if you want people to use something else instead of your primary logo, hasn’t the something else become the de facto primary, with the primary becoming the de facto afterthought? The MLB Style Guide hasn’t carried such an unmistakable sign of a dysfunctional marketing department since 2000, when the Mets designated their black alt jerseys as “club preferred,” even though white and gray were still their “primary” uniforms. Mind-numbingly stupid.
Bottom line: The Padres will still look like a middlebrow team with a somewhat squishy sense of identity. I mean, think about it: The most defining thing they’ve got is the camo. That speaks to a really weak design program. Throw in the logo confusion and you have a team that’s due for an overhaul — yet again.
Giveaway reminder: I’m raffling off an official Super Bowl XLV football. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Who’s that in the Indians jacket? It’s actor Michael Douglas, circa 1980. Not sure what Whitey and Mickey were doing there, or why only one of them had a memorial armband. Spring training? Celebrity softball match? Whatever it is, it’s a good find by Bruce Menard. … Here’s a good shot of Tigers equipment manager John Hand organizing the team’s uniforms in 1961 (with thanks to Doug Mooney). … Greg Stamps notes that Josh Hamilton has worn this cap several times during public appearances. “It’s from Broken Arrow High School, just outside of Tulsa,” says Greg. “Turns out one of the Rangers’ minor league hitting instructors is from Broken Arrow and has arranged for Hamilton to meet up with the team on several occasions. So I guess they gave him a cap and he actually wears it.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: A car salesman in Chicago was fired on Monday for wearing a Packers necktie. … Yesterday’s Ticker included a mention of Kathleen and Kristen Nash, who play women’s hoops for Texas. As you’ll recall, they have inconsistent NOB protocols. An explanation for that has now been provided by Mike Barnes: “Kathleen used to have a ‘KA.’ on her back last season, while Kristen had the ‘KR.’ Kristen quit the team after graduating last year but came back at Christmas because of team injuries (she still had one year of eligibility). Since Kathleen was the only Nash on the team when the season started in the fall, she dropped the ‘KA’ from her NOB, and they’ve kept it that way even after Kristen rejoined the team.” … Here’s a rare sight: LSU wearing gold jerseys and white helmets in the 1997 Independence Bowl (with thanks to Larry Huber Jr.). … Kim Clijsters has been wearing a green outfit in the Aussie Open that’s based on an old Evonne Goolagong outfit (with thanks to Jonee Eisen). … Speaking of the Aussie Open, you don’t often see tennis players wearing eye black, but Bethanie Mattek-Sands wore it on the court yesterday, along with a rugby-striped top (thanks, Brinke). …New indoor soccer team for Norfolk. “I give it about a season and a half to survive,” says Tris Wykes. … Kansas State debuted a set of really unappealing gray sweatbacks on Monday night. … Back in the day, if a team had its team name or city name printed on its jersey placket, then the jersey usually had a cadet collar, which would be buttoned to the top. Makes sense, because if you combine placket lettering with a conventional collar, you end up with something like this (great find by Chris Castellani). … Ladies and gentlemen, your Tucson Padres. … New lacrosse gloves for Syracuse and Ohio State (with thanks to Connor Wilson). … New scoreboard at Miller Park. … Chad Bengal is changing his NOB yet again. … Donovan Moore’s ColorWerx site is now featuring a detailed look at the Lightning. … Attendees at the State of the Union address last night wore black-and-white ribbons in support of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of the Tucson shootings. … The NFL announced yesterday that the Cowboys Stadium roof will be closed for the Super Bowl. … Justine DeCotis recently completed three Red Sox DIY projects. “I used felt for everything,” she says. “The shirts and sweatshirts I got at Wal-Mart or Target and I bought the sleeve patch on eBay. I sewed everything on by hand except for the patch — used the machine for that. Spent probably about $30-$40 for all three.” … We’ve all seen the football centennial logo on college football helmets from 1969. It’s much less common to see it used as a sleeve patch (good finds by Susan Freeman).