Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Uniform templating creates ugly uniformity

We're kinda caught between a rock and a hard place today. We want to write a celebratory post on the fact that the pitchers and catchers for some teams will report for active Spring Training duty today. But on the other side, the Jays won't officially pop the top on their Spring activities for another four days. So really, what milestone are we celebrating today?

Maybe we can celebrate the fact that MLB and New Era have outdone themselves this year in creating a crappy, goofy-looking batting practice cap. While the new edition doesn't feature the weird cut-out panels above the ear like the last iteration, they have managed to sully the front panel and bill with racing stripes in what appears to be an appeal to NASCAR fans.

This is why creating design templates to apply across the entire league is a bad idea. If one or five teams decided to do something outlandish with their uniforms (e.g. White Sox short pants, Astros' starburst, Pirates' square caps with stars), then that's a bit of fun colour and enhances the experience of being a fan. Those things become touchstones that you can laugh about or defend (ironically or otherwise). But when the league hands down an edict that says all teams shall comply with the new template, and they shall all feature ear flap panels or racing stripes, then there's no room to compare and contrast the individual aesthetic choices of the teams. And where's the fun in that?

To prove the point: Take a gander at all of the caps, you'll notice that the ones that look the best - Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle - are the ones that do their best to hide the template components.

If the game is, as Jerry Seinfeld said, all about laundry, then it would be nice if the league would allow a little more diversity amongst its clubs. Just because they are called "uniforms", it doesn't mean that the league needs to mandate uniformity.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The cheap ass Mets are offering Barajas a minor league deal AND making a hard play for him!??? What a contradiction in terms and no draft pick for TO?The Jays can never win....

Tao of Stieb said...

Compensatory picks are kind of a new thing, and you can't make your plans around the comp picks that you'd get for a type B free agent.

I wouldn't qualify this as some big loss for the Jays. It's a pick.

I shrug.

The Ack said...

Why is it so hard to find a fitted cap - sized or stretch-fitted - that doesn't make you look like:

(a) you're an extra on the set of a hip hop video, or
(b) looks terrible (ie: these & last year's BP caps)

re: Barajas....its' just sad, at this point. Offering arb just became that much more risky next offseason (ie: deal Overbay).

Darren Priest said...

That Cleveland hat is pretty cool. I like the simple, understated hats. Plus, Indians merch goes over great at the sweat lodge.

Anonymous said...

The Ack - some people just have oddly shaped heads.

Ian H. said...

Tao, you hit the nail on the head. Those caps look like Jimmie Johnson should be wearing them.

Ack, believe it or not I actually LOVED last year's BP caps. It's the only fitted hat I've ever liked, and of course ... now they've been replaced.

The Ack said...

@ anon - I always thought I had a big head (literally, not figuratively), but wearing a new authentic makes me look like a train engineer. In the process of breaking one in, so we'll see. I was more referring to those goddamned hats that feature an off-centre Jays logo, the city skyline, and gothic writing. Or whatever.

@ Ian.....HATED those spandex-y cut-out panels. I bought one, wore it once, then tossed it in a bag headed for goodwill.

Roy said...

I scored last year's Jays BP cap at an Olympia Sports for $15 ('Merkin) and change. Buy one get one half off, but no other team worth showing an allegiance to, so I tried on a Rockies authentic (which would have set me back $7 more) and looked like Abe Lincoln with and embroidered CR on a stove pipe hat.

Roy said...

Complete with pseudo-beard at the time.

infieldfly said...

Ack, I'm right there with you on the fitted hats. Best strategy I've found for breaking in a new one is to drive over it a few times.

I'd rather look homeless than like a train engineer.

infieldfly said...

Ack, I'm right there with you on the fitted hats. Best strategy I've found for breaking in a new one is to drive over it a few times.

I'd rather look homeless than like a train engineer.

NoisyFlowers said...

I hate the new cap but I thought last year's looked nice. I just ordered it at a discount before reading this so I sure hope it will fit well on my large head.

Whitman, Price, and Haddad said...

Just do what others do: wear your leafs jersey/hat to the game.

Anonymous said...

Do teams really need a road BP hat?

My wife makes fun of me every time I put on my Jays fitted hat - it is rather um...tall. Think Elmer Fudd hunting cap tall.

Whitman, Price, and Haddad said...

When I was in grade 8 I spent an outrageous $45 on an Eagles pump hat. I looked like a mushroom wearing it.

Anonymous said...

FYI...If you are in the Toronto area there are 2 racks of Jays T-shirts on sale at the Jays shop in the Eatons Centre. Some were $5...but they had Doc on them...I bought 4 to make a body pillow with!

Mike said...

Agreed. Very trashy look.

Torgen said...

Do the Jays even need to consider offering Overbay arbitration? There's no way he's in the top 40% of first basemen, outfielders, and DHes.

eyebleaf said...

A Doc body pillow ... I want.

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Mike said...

fuck off.

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