The baseball uniform is something of a curiosity. I think we can all agree that baseball did the world a favor by bringing us the baseball cap. But in what other sport are players required to wear a thick belt, tapered white stretch pants, a glorified pajama top, and stirrups?!

Nonetheless, some baseball uniforms are funnier-looking than others. For years, this has been especially true of expansion teams. However, with Tampa Bay’s announcement that they will be changing their uniforms, colors, and logo as well as their name (are they even still a baseball team?), they join the Diamondbacks as reformed expansion teams that have at last forgone the teal-and-purple days of yore. While Arizona returned to the playoffs this year in their new unis, which sported Sedona Red and Sonora Sand colorations, the Rays hope for similar magic with their new, water-and-sunshine themed garments:

Ooooh, aaaah!

According to the press release, “The two hues of blue suggest the deep blue waters and bright blue sky for which Florida is known. The elongated tail of the “R” further reinforces the water imagery.” A bright yellow sunburst emanating from the “R” will “invoke the magnificence of life in the Sunshine State.”

“Our new team name and new look express the vibrancy of our organization,” said Rays President Matt Silverman. “The Tampa Bay Rays will shine, on the field and in our community. We will be a great source of pride for our region.”

One ugly uni down, so many more to go. Which teams do not shine? Which uniforms do not express vibrancy? Which are not dressed in a manner that invokes the magnificence of life?

That, UmpBump readers, is for you to decide. The contendahs:

First, we’ll start with the last remaining expansion team to use purple: the Colorado Rockies. This fall, the nation got to see just how hideous their uniforms truly are:

Ugh. Ugher.


It’s like they couldn’t decide on one concept (pinstripes? basic black? expansion team purple?) so they just randomly mashed them together. Pintripes! Piping! Purple pit-stain concealers! Sartorial ADHD!Plus, I just don’t think it looks quite right on a baseball uniform to have the number on the front. Come on, folks. This isn’t football.

The Toronto Blue Jays seem to think they are playing baseball in the future, with these space-age fonts. In addition, the color scheme is about as cheerful as a rainy day at a funeral parlor in Toronto. That is to say, not very.


Plus, there is just no way to jazz up a songbird and make it look intimidating, sleek, or otherwise “cool.” Thus, when going with a bird mascot, it’s best to just represent the bird literally and embrace the dorky Audobon Society-feel of it all.

The Texas Rangers have also undergone some uni changes in recent years. And while I’m not opposed to the idea of the vest uniform, in theory, I just feel like something here isn’t working:

The blue is too blue. There’s a number on the front of the vest, and the font of said number totally clashes with the font of the giant “T.” And worst of all, the team name appears nowhere on the ensemble, leaving the impression that this team (whoever they are) has been brought to you by the Letter T.

Finally, I have never liked the Marlins’ attire. Black looks good with some colors (such as orange…here’s lookin’ at you, Baltimore, Detroit!) but it just looks dated with paired with …seafoam? Plus, the ginormous, stylized swoosh on the jersey looks like something I would have thought was wicked awesome back at the Nashoba Brooks school for girls.

And if you’re going to do pinstripes, the rest of the uni has to be clean. Simple. Elegant. Not cluttered with numbers, piping, underlining, frontal uniform numbers, and a freakin’ fish.

100 Responses to “The ugliest unis in the game today…we report, you decide.”

  1. Tripp,
    You can disregard Cordero and Valverde based solely on the fact that they pitched in the NL but they are both better closers right now than Rivera. They’re also guys that aren’t on the decline. If you want to hold onto Rivera it’s based more on sentimentality than him being the best option available.
    There are more aces in baseball than Santana and Beckett. Of course it’s hard to define what an actual ace is but I would say it’s a dominant pitcher that his team expects to win every time he takes the mound. Guys that I think fit that profile other than Santana and Beckett would be CC Sabathia, John Lackey, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay, Jason Verlander, Scott Kazmir, Fausto Carmona, Eric Bedard, Roy Oswalt, and Carlos Zambrano. These are guys that I think their teams would be happy to see pitching game 1 of the World Series.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    Melissa, I’d agree with that list, except for Zambrano, who I think walks way too many guys. Also, I might add Smoltz and Cole Hamels.

  3. Brian Sadecki says:

    Sorry to backtrack but…

    I don’t care how old Mariano River is, he’s not even on the same planet as Cordero or Valverde.

    ERA-plus over the last five seasons:
    Rivera: 265, 231, 307, 251, 142 (averaging 239.2)
    Cordero: 171, 237, 136, 124, 150 (averaging 163.6)
    Valverde: 218, 109, 182, 81 (1.45 WHIP!!), 177 (averaging 153.4)

    His salary is ridiculous but, again, I think most of that is for time served.

    Also, just because these guys moved during the off-season doesn’t mean that we should have gone for them or could have gotten them cheap.

    When you have Rivera in camp, you do what it takes to keep him. Especially when the rest of your bullpen is Kyle Farnsworth.

  4. Paul Moro says:

    Brian, I’m not completely against you here. I think that Mo is still one of the better closers in the game and I expect him to perform just fine in 2008. And I don’t think anyone here is surprised that, looking at the ERA plus of those three over the last five years shows that Rivera has been the best by quite a bit.

    But I think the argument here isn’t what Rivera HAS done in his career. No one can dispute that he’s going to Cooperstown while the same probably won’t be said of Valverde or Cordero when their careers are winding down. The argument is what he WILL do during the next three years. I don’t really fault the Yankees for paying Mo. For one, he’s a NY-legend. Two, they’re the Yankees and can pay to keep their guys. But I have a hard time being 100% sure that he’ll outperform Cordero and/or Valverde over the next three years. Ideally, teams shouldn’t be paying for what a player did in the past. They should be paying for what they think the player will be worth over the length of the offered contract. Looking at the ERA plus of those three last year, can you be sure that Mo will be better?

  5. Also, Rivera’s numbers aren’t as good as his last 4 or 5 years at first look, but after the first week of the season he was pretty dominant. He didn’t have many save opportunities because of the high powered offense and because the rest of the bullpen had already blew the save before they got him the ball.

    10.57 era after April. 2.21 for the rest of the season. Strikeout to walk ratio still phenomenal. I don’t see the signs of him slowing down.

  6. I don’t think that what Rivera has done 3,4, or 5 years ago is an accurate predictor for what he will be doing at age 38,39, & 40. Obviously Yankees fans love him because he helped them win championships but his better days are behind him. Cordero is 32 and Valverde is 28 and regardless of what they would have cost they are likely to have better numbers going forward. Their numbers this past season reflect the fact that they are in fact better than Rivera right now. Career wise he is an obvious Hall of Famer but this should be about where he is going not where he has been. They are just entering the prime of their careers and Rivera is past his. These guys would not have only replaced
    Rivera but most likely would have been an upgrade. The Yankees failed to improve a bullpen that was in fact a weakness.
    Hamels is a guy I considered but I’m waiting to see him perform at a high level again this season. Carlos may walk people but he is a dominant pitcher and can absolutely shut down the opposition. If he is not an ace how did he just land a contract for $18 million per? Had he tested the open market he would have likely commanded even more. As for Smoltz, I didn’t include him because I think he is on the downward side of his career. I don’t think he necessarily dominates the opposition but there certainly can be an argument made for him.

  7. Coley Ward says:

    Melissa, if we’re compiling a list of aces and we’re including all the guys with $18 million contracts, please don’t forget Mr. Barry Zito.

  8. Brian Sadecki says:

    It’s hard to separate myself as a fan.

    But if you take into account these 3 pitchers’ histories and where they pitch and ignore money and whoever you’d have to trade to acquire them, I still take Mo in NY in 2008 by far.

    His K/9 was higher than average and his velocity was still there. He’s old but he’s not showing many signs of slowing down.

    Neither of these guys is an upgrade for the next 3 years. Cordero’s pretty old and not as good and Valverde is DEFINITELY not as good.

    As far as looking at the last three years as a linear regression, that’s ridiculous. I’m not going to punish the guy for being out of his mind lights out three years ago.

  9. Coley, I thought of Zito right after I made that comment. My only defense would be that Zito had performed like an ace before he got the big money. Let’s also not forget that he is left handed which tends to lead GMs to overpay. Zito certainly isn’t an ace and he is overpaid. I also don’t think you can say that Zambrano isn’t an ace simply because of his strike out to walk ratio which is still better than 2 to 1. In 5 full seasons as a starter his highest ERA was 3.95 which he compiled on his way to 18 wins this past season. He has logged over 200 innings each of those seasons and his other ERA totals are 2.75, 3.11, 3.26,& 3.41. He has totaled over 200 strike outs twice and the least he has struck out in a season is 168. In Carlos’ first full season as a starter he had an ERA of 3.11 in 214 innings pitched and won 13 games with 168 strike outs. This past season in Hamels’ first full season as a starter he had an ERA of 3.39 in 189 IP with 15 wins and 177 strike outs. I would have to say that if you think Hamels is an ace then you would have to concede that Zambrano is as well.

  10. Coley Ward says:

    Melissa, I’d agree that Zambrano has been an ace in the past. But I wouldn’t have signed him to that monster contract, as he is trending in the wrong direction. Also, I’d agree that Hamels hasn’t quite acheived ace status yet. But unlike Zambrano, I think Hamels’ best days are to come and the stats seem to back that up. Of course, if you’re the Phils, you have to worry about Hamels’ back. But if you’re the Cubs, you have to worry about Zambrano’s fat ass.

  11. Big Z actually came into camp last spring in the best shape he has ever been. He is a big dude but he’s never come into a season out of shape. He certainly has the kind of frame that he could add weight but he is also very athletic for his size. He can field his position and run the bases rather well for a guy as big as he is. CC Sabathia is definitely fatter than Zambrano and it hasn’t stopped him from being an ace. Carlos is only 26 and I don’t think his best days are behind him but we shall see. He could have the potential to eat himself out of the league but hasn’t come close to that yet.

  12. Brian Sadecki says:

    Something interesting from The Harball Times:

    The Yankees were right not to trade Phil Hughes

    Despite our forecast for Santana’s dominance, that doesn’t mean that the Yankees will be despairing too much when he pitches across town every fifth day. That’s because they’ll get to have a poor man’s Santana in Hughes, and at a much poorer salary.

    We project a 4.12 ERA for Hughes in the much tougher American League, and more importantly, our three-year forecast sees that number dropping to 3.84 by 2010. If we put Santana on the Yankees, his forecast for 2010 would be a 3.76 ERA—pretty much equivalent to Hughes! While Santana is the better pitcher now, he probably won’t be any more valuable over the life of his contract than Hughes, if Hughes can stay healthy (or if Santana cannot, I suppose).

    Now that’s a big if, but the Yankees have 137 million reasons to feel pretty good about taking that chance.

  13. Paul Moro says:

    I think that the Yankees ultimately made the right move by not trading away Hughes. Next offseason, they can dump Giambi, Pettite, Abreu, Mussina, Pavano (if they don’t buy him out first), and Farnsworth. That’s potentially over $80 million that can get freed up. Knowing the Yanks, not all of them will leave for better or worse, but they obviously are looking at Sabathia. He’s going to get at least $22m per on the free market and the Yankees are going to offer him a massive deal. And they get to plug in Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, and maybe Kennedy along with him. That’s potentially a decade-long rotation.

    Ultimately, the Yankees still have a playoff caliber team in 2008. And once you get into the postseason, pretty much anything can happen. So to me, it looks like that’s the Yankees game plan. Go into 2008 with this bunch, make some mid-season acquisitions to improve their chances of a playoff-berth, and hope to high heaven that Sabathia doesn’t resign with Cleveland AND that Cleveland doesn’t bomb during the season (which would make it highly likely that they’d trade CC before he becomes a free agent). And that’s Cashman’s gamble that I think he presented to Hank Steinbrenner. If this doesn’t happen, Cashman’s gone.

  14. Sarah Green says:

    Sabathia only gets to the free agent market if the Red Sox don’t make a trade for him first. Woot!

    But seriously, folks…this rumor was mentioned in the piece from the Globe I used to update our post on Curt Schilling’s shoulder (ie, that if Schilling goes down and Wakefield goes down and the Red Sox end up without enough starters, the Red Sox would be willing to pull the trigger on a trade for CC) and I almost laughed. According Shapiro, the Indians won’t trade Sabathia unless they completely choke in the first half of the season.

  15. iceless says:

    seattle mariners! ugh! the hat color tends to purple which doesn’t match anything else on the uniform and clashes with the predominant blue.

  16. Sarah Green says:

    What’s curious, iceless, is that all Seattle teams seem to rely heavily on green. Is this because of Starbucks’ stranglehold on the city? Inquiring minds want to know…

  17. For some reason, I really dislike the Astros home pinstripe unis. I think it’s because the script font is outlined, which makes all the lines kind of blur together and renders the whole thing sort of dizzying. I also don’t really like their color combinations.

  18. Sarah Green says:

    Tommy, I’m with you. However, I do think the ‘Stros have lovely whites (even taking the frontal number into account) and I simply adore the deep blood red of their crimson jerseys. It’ so much better than the bright red the Angels or the Reds employ. Plus, the star logo is “hott.”

    But that all those nice variations just make me wonder even more why Houston even felt like they needed that ugly pinstripe option. (To sell more replica jerseys, no doubt.)

  19. The Astros primary home uniform looks like a bad set of pajamas. The color combination is ugly. The pinstripes are too big. The lettering looks strange. And I didn’t think it was possible for black to be ugly, but the black of those unis makes the black of the Rockies look elegant.

    That said, I do like the home alternate jerseys. Clean and simple with a nice a shade of red.

  20. iceless says:

    sarah, the state color is green. the motto is ‘the evergreen state’. (obviously named in the middle of summer – NOT in the 10 months that it’s gray). it might come from that. not sure where the seagulls (seahawks) get off on the neon green though.

    check out the mariners next time you see them. the hats just don’t match the shirts. bizarre.

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