That World Series thingie is scheduled to start tonight, so I thought we’d go over a few points regarding the two teams. To wit:
• Feeling gravity’s pull: Has anyone else noticed that the Cardinals’ “chest” insignia has been sitting way too low in recent years? It’s like an old dude at the beach with droopy man-tits. I’m not sure when this started, but it’s been bugging me for a few years now. Not sure why I’ve never written about it — just one of those things that I had quietly internalized, but then a few days ago I got a note from reader Jeremy Boyer, who wrote:
I have two game authentic Cardinals jerseys — one from 1998, when McGwire was breaking the home run record, and the other from 2006, when the Cardinals won the World Series. Besides the fact that the Cardinals did not wear numbers on the front of the jersey in 1998, the two jerseys are relatively the same. The big difference is that the birds on the bat on the 2006 jersey are four to five inches lower than on the 1998 version. Instead of the logo being on the chest, it’s much lower.
Yes, exactly! What’s the deal with that? Maybe it has something to do with the shift to the Cool Base template, maybe it has to do with players wearing baggier jerseys these days (that’s what Bill Henderson thinks, although I haven’t noticed any other teams’ jersey logos sitting too low), maybe it has something to do with button placement. But whatever: Put the birds back on their properly lofty perch!
• Stick with the damn program already: According to the MLB Style Guide (and common sense), the Rangers are only supposed to wear their red caps with their red jerseys. But the Rangers have always treated red and blue as interchangeable elements, and lately they’ve been going red-capped with their home white jerseys (and red-socked, too), which looks like total shite because all the numbering and lettering on their jerseys is blue. Yo, guys, you’re supposed to wear the blue cap with that jersey! But they’ve been winning with the red hats, so I assume they’ll stick with them. Of course, they could really honor their red/blue identity crisis by bringing this batting helmet design out of mothballs. C’mon, the big stage calls for big ideas — go for it!
• And speaking of the red caps…: Reader Peter Ponce has crunched a few uni-related numbers regarding the Rangers:
The Rangers introduced the red jersey in 2010 and did very well in it (30-9), but they dropped all three postseason games in which they wore it. But they went 8-5 in blue hats in the postseason.
That was last year. In 2011, they weren’t quite as good in red jerseys during the regular season (25-13), but they did very well in red caps with white jerseys (8-1). They wore the red jersey to open the playoffs and got hammered by the Rays. I assumed a red-hat curse, given their 1-9 postseason record in red hats from the 1990s. An all-time 1-13 record while wearing red in the postseason supported that theory.
However, they’ve now worn red hats with white jerseys four times this postseason, winning all four games. Toss in the regular season and they’re now 12-1 overall this season in that look. The difference between now and the ’90s (outside of better pitching and a deeper lineup) is the shoes. During their 1990s postseason failures, the Rangers wore red shoes and belts (Dressed to the Nines is inaccurate on this; people around DFW often referred to the team as “red shoe Rangers”). They now wear black shoes and belts.
So apparently the baseball gods don’t care only for red jerseys or shoes/belts on the Rangers. Interesting that they will face a Cardinals team that wears red shoes/belts even with navy caps (a look I really despise, even though I love the Cardinals’ navy hats).
• Make that call to the ’pen, Tony: Octavio Dotel has been going high-cuffed for his entire career. Now he’s finally on the right team. Here’s hoping he gets into every game of the Series. Hey, maybe a spot start? Hell, let him DH for the games in Arlington!
• Recycling program: Here’s a video clip showing World Series patches being sewn onto the Cardinals’ jerseys. Interestingly, they’re using the same jerseys that the team had already been wearing. I had assumed that they got new jerseys for the Series. Also: Albert Pujols prefers a straight hem on his jersey, instead of the usual rounded shirttail.
• Ring-a-ding-ding: Remember my recent queries about athletes who wear their wedding bands on the field (or the ice, or the court, or whatever)? Reader Nolan Brett points out that Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison wears his ring on his Tooth Fairy necklace! Either that or he just started going steady with someone. I have never seen another ballplayer doing this. (I’ll have more info about Harrison’s ring/necklace combo, and about many other athletes who compete while wearing their wedding rings, in an upcoming ESPN column.)
And hey, as long as we’re talking about the Series, today’s New York Times has a great article + slideshow on World Series programs. Just the thing to usher in the final chapter of the 2011 baseball season.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Terrible job by me for failing to mention on Monday that the Ravens have added a memorial decal for Art Modell’s wife (big thanks to Mako Mameli for setting me straight). … Some additional NBA alternate designs have video-leaked, plus there are new views of the ones we saw last week. Full details in this thread. … Don’t think I’ve mentioned until now that the Canucks are wearing a “37” memorial decal for Rick Rypien. … A Cleveland writer is blaming the Browns’ woes on the Al Lerner sleeve memorial (thanks, Vince). … The A’s are having a contest to let kids design their holiday card (from Jason Hillyer). … Holy moly, look at this amazing auto racing program cover. … And hey, who knew the FBI had a baseball team? … Buncha good eBay finds by Mike Hersh, including a Quebec Nordiques logo style sheet, an NFL helmet placemat, an IHOP NFL mug placemat, an NFL book cover, an AFL book cover, and an “Evolution of the Football Uniform” poster. … Adidas reportedly wanted to try all sorts of alternate jerseys and helmets for Nebraska this season, but Nebraska said no (from Nate Dougherty). … Nice stirrups being worn by Southeastern University from Lakeland, Florida (from Marcial Santos). … Too much information from a reader who prefers to be anonymous, who writes: “Hockey goalies wear a double cup to protect the twig and berries, but the jock doesn’t always ‘ride’ properly with a taut piece of spandex between it and your body, so a lot of goalies will wear something like this and remove the inner cup from their goal jock.” Thanks for, uh, sharing. … Mississippi State will wear a “rivalry uniform” this weekend (from C.J. Adams). … Hey check this out: a dress with a striped-socks theme! … Oh, this is too good: a book called Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars. … The embarrassment of riches continues: Look at this amazing hockey jacket patch! … Utah is apparently going BFBS for the game against Oregon State on Oct. 29 (from Trent Knaphus). … I have no idea what the TV show Tosh.0 is, but I do know that about six people e-mailed me last night to say that Daniel Tosh was dressed like Jim Tressel. … What’s the point of the NHL having a color-at-home rule if a team decides to wear white for its home opener? That’s what the Kings did last night. Of course, many fans — myself included — would rather see the league go back to wearing white at home on a full-time basis anyway (from Chris Mayberry).