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.