November 2, 2009

Players in pajamas.

I hadn't watched baseball in quite a few years, but I got married a few months ago and one of the many consequences is that I've been watching a bit of the World Series. I realize a sports game is not a fashion show, but I'm appalled at what these men are wearing. I remember when baseball players wore skin-tight knickers. (I remember that time the Chicago White Sox wore shorts.) And now, I'm seeing men that look like children in their jammies. Yes, I realize that they are probably 6 feet tall or so, but they don't look much like athletes — not like those players of old in their skin-tight knickers. Some combination of tubby body and oversized shirts and slouchy pants changes the proportions and scales the guys down into children. And yes, I can see that many — many! — of these boy-men are wearing — "sporting" — beards. It's all too "My Very First Beard - from Kenner!" It's not helping. I'm sorry! Baseball is just not sexy enough. This was better. And I hate men in shorts. Not fond of the mustache either. Come on, baseball men, raise your game. I know you're still allowed to wear the knickers-and-socks. I root for the players that still wear the knickers. Look like an athlete, could you please? Women might like to watch.

45 comments:

fred said...

We like it as is and do not need "corrections" from someone new to the sport.

Bob said...

Back in the day, the old skintight knickers you refer to were made of wool, so although they looked good, they were horrible to wear in the summer heat. The new uniforms are at least comfortable. Baseball has gone through trends; I remember when everyone in the 70's wore shoulder-length hair and a porn mustache, then there was the terrible mullet period during the 90's... you can often identify a baseball time period by a combination of the uniform style and hair style.

MadisonMan said...

Obama should grow a mustache. Give the bloggerati something to talk about.

Joan said...

I realize a sports game is not a fashion show

This is such a girlie post I'm LOL. There's something about the "sports game" turn of phrase that just cracks me up. It's just so quintessentially something a girl who doesn't know anything about sports would say.

Fred, Ann's coming into the game with fresh eyes and is commenting on the aesthetics. She has a good point, too. I've never liked those long pants on baseball players, either, but I never bothered to figure out why. Ann nailed it right off, they do look like pajamas. ITA. I also prefer to watch athletes who look like grown-ups.

m00se said...

...off on a rant again...

Salamandyr said...

Long pants, or at least knickers, are a requirement for the sport, which consists of a lot of diving and sliding across grass and astroturf.

Consider all the grass burns you see on the uniforms and and think how painful they would be on bare skin.

Bob_R said...

On the right body type, the long pants look works in a Bill Tilden, tennis in flannels kind of way. Nothing is going to make big, burly guys look pretty...said the big, burly guy sadly.

caplight said...

"I got married a few months ago and one of the many consequences is that I've been watching a bit of the World Series

Marriage has consequences. Indeed.

campy said...

The long pants on baseball players aren't as bad as the long pants on hockey players.

Ann Althouse said...

"someone new to the sport."

How am I new? I watched baseball in the 1970s and 80s. I've gone to a few games, even. I just came back after a break and I'm appalled at the unsexiness.

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

Full length pants -- and longer, dragging on the ground even -- are especially disgusting in the case of the socks teams -- the Red Sox, the White Sox, and even the Reds (originally the Red Stockings).

But even when they do wear knickers ending just below the knee, still hardly anyone wears stirrups anymore either. And if they do, they are so low as to hardly be visible above the shoe.

Ever since the strike and ever since they got rid of a real commissioner, baseball hasn't been the same.

caplight said...

"I'm appalled at the unsexiness"

Florence King said the same thing a few years ago in National Review about basketball shorts of the nineties and on versus the short tight trunks of the seventies. You're in good company.

Beta Conservative said...

The massive increase in salaries probably helps a girl get over the baggy pants and occaisonal paunch.

Leather Daddy said...

My very first beard was a lovely woman named Nicolette. And you have made a good point, Ann. But I miss the even better good old days when the boys of summer played in just their jockstraps.

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

There is a website, Uni-Watch, which is committed to the "Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics," and which advocates a return to the traditional. Looks like they are having a "worst uniform ever" contest.

Looks like the White Sox's shorts uniform has been nominated.

MadisonMan said...

Consider all the grass burns you see on the uniforms and and think how painful they would be on bare skin.

Real men can take pain.

I think it would add an interesting dynamic to the game. Do I slide and get a nice owwie on my leg, or do I get out?

traditionalguy said...

Baseball is for boys of all ages and women who want to be around those boys. The younger the players look the better. Babe Ruth never grew up, and he is still the greatest ever.

Andrea said...

Caplight: Florence King is a traditionalist baseball fan and the only thing I recall her writing about baseball uniforms was to complain about the modern skintight look as opposed to the white flannel outfit of the old days, as can be seen in the image on this site. I don't believe she ever wrote a word about basketball.

Bad Penny said...

At least those stupid mini-beards are phasing out.

caplight said...

Andrea said in re to Florence King:

"I don't believe she ever wrote a word about basketball."

Yes, she did I'm afraid. You don't forget something like that. Any way, it was in a "Misanthrope's Corner" and she said that the reason she and other women watched basketball was to see men in tight shorts or words to that effect and that obviously the NBA didn't understand that. I didn't mean to imply she was a basketball fan. I guess she could appreciate a nice tush once and a while.

tim maguire said...

Many baseball players are not really athletes. It's more a game of precise coordination than muscular development. Some of the best players are real tubboes.

But if you'll let me slip in a small thread hijack, bring back the suit and tie (and fedora) for football coaches. The windbreakers make them look like angry fans who somehow got past security.

ricpic said...

I don't like the recent trend of wearing the pants down to the shoe tops. The old pants to the knees and socks showing to shoe top look (knickerbockers) was much more appealing.

William said...

The fault lies not in their uniforms but in themselves. Ball players are not paid for their good looks but for their athletic ability. With HDTV all their loose hairs and sweaty scowls are revealed in fine detail. If, during the inning breaks, you switch over to a show where the actors are chosen for their good looks, the contrast is startling....Every so often there's a lucky conjunction of good looks and ability. Such players go on to become wealthy. Tom Seaver, Joe Dimaggio, even Bucky Dent made as much money from their looks as from their ability.....Perhaps organized baseball could start a minor league franchise where the players are chosen primarily for their looks. This league could broadcast games on the Lifetime Channel and thus encourage feminine interest in the sport. Or perhaps baseball could simply ban the outliers like Yogi Berra from the sport. If people of good will thought this through, they could find a solution.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

This is why men discourage WAGs from watching sports games with. Its more fun talk about the actual game with people who understand what is happening (i.e., other men or no one) than pretend to care about the In Touch angle.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

"someone new to the sport."

How am I new? I watched baseball in the 1970s and 80s. I've gone to a few games, even. I just came back after a break and I'm appalled at the unsexiness.


Did you ever watch a game back in the 50s? Before playoffs (gahhh!), when the World Series was over by the second week in October? When there were real players - Eddie Matthews, Duke Snider, Ernie Banks, Richie Ashburn - in, yes, those baggy flannel uniforms who played for the love of the game and didn't care that much how they looked? When players would come over and talk to kids in the stands before the game?

Darlin', THAT was baseball.

Darcy said...

I didn't even notice the change, really. The slightly sideways caps bug me once in a while.

Go Yankees! Or Phillies...but they won last year, so... (geez, I hope AJ doesn't read this)

John Stodder said...

After watching Manny Ramirez for the past year here in Los Angeles, I've come to believe some of the players wear baggy uniforms to conceal their very buff, athletic bodies. When ballplayers started popping those big biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles out of their "sexy," skintight uniforms, it became apparent that they were using steroids and/or HGH.

Also, there might be a competitive advantage in disguising your strength. If a pitcher saw how muscular Manny Ramirez really was, they'd probably pitch to him more carefully.

John Stodder said...

But, I agree with tim mcguire that not all baseball players need to be highly conditioned athletes, and that at some positions, a highly athletic body could be a liability.

The most important traits that separates a major league hitter from everyone else are good eyesight and quick reflexes.

Pitchers are doing damage to their shoulders and elbows every time they throw, in ways that strenuous exercise can't really offset or prepare them for.

Strong arms do help power hitters -- hence Bonds, Canseco, McGwire, Ramirez, Sosa and other power hitters of this generation emphasized adding strength illicitly. But each of them started out with incredible talents before they juiced. Maybe their use of chemicals bought them an incremental increase in the number of home runs that would otherwise have been doubles or line-drive outs. But putting the bat on a pitched ball hard enough to make something good happen? Being able to tell by the rotation of the ball where the pitch is going so you can connect with it? God and lots of repetition give you that skill. They could wear plaid golf shorts and they'd still be great hitters.

Ann Althouse said...

"Tom Seaver, Joe Dimaggio, even Bucky Dent made as much money from their looks as from their ability....."

What?! Joe Dimaggio was uncommonly ugly.

"Did you ever watch a game back in the 50s? Before playoffs (gahhh!), when the World Series was over by the second week in October? When there were real players - Eddie Matthews, Duke Snider, Ernie Banks, Richie Ashburn..."

Yes, I did! We were Phillies fans. I remember watching the games with my father and grandfather and being allowed to sip their Schmidt's beer. I even had baseball cards, and specifically remember having a Duke Snider card. In the 1950s, I read a biography of Mickey Mantle.

".... in, yes, those baggy flannel uniforms who played for the love of the game and didn't care that much how they looked?"

They weren't that baggy, and they were made of real not crap fabric, and they had knickers and socks. It was traditionalist. Today, it's just slovenly and childish.

Elliott A said...

The long pants allow many of the hitters to wear protective gear on the lower part of their front leg while hitting. A curve ball coming towards you can be very easily redirected to your leg by the bat and is still travelling at 90 mph. It hurts, I can tell you from experience. Sadly, for some it is a fashion statement of sorts, usually by folks who would wear baggy pants if they weren't millionaires.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

What?! Joe Dimaggio was uncommonly ugly.

Marilyn didn't think so - neither did my mom :)

"Did you ever watch a game back in the 50s? Before playoffs (gahhh!), when the World Series was over by the second week in October? When there were real players - Eddie Matthews, Duke Snider, Ernie Banks, Richie Ashburn..."

Yes, I did! We were Phillies fans. I remember watching the games with my father and grandfather and being allowed to sip their Schmidt's beer. I even had baseball cards, and specifically remember having a Duke Snider card. In the 1950s, I read a biography of Mickey Mantle.

".... in, yes, those baggy flannel uniforms who played for the love of the game and didn't care that much how they looked?"

They weren't that baggy, and they were made of real not crap fabric, and they had knickers and socks. It was traditionalist. Today, it's just slovenly and childish.


In too many ways, sad to say.

WV "vanes" A real word yesterday and one today. I'm on a roll.

cokaygne said...

Yes, the way some players dress is slovenly and childish, but you gotta understand it's all about the game. I love baseball and don't care what they wear.

John Stoddard is on to something with his suggestion that players like Manny wear baggy uniforms to disguise their steroid-bloated bodies.

How come no one has brought up the most disgusting part of modern MLB baseball, at least the AL part, the designated hitter? Get rid of it!

caplight said...

Ann said, "Yes, I did! We were Phillies fans. I remember watching the games with my father and grandfather and being allowed to sip their Schmidt's beer."

"Schmidt's 'll ring the bell for ya'.
Schmidt's of Philadelph-i-a.
It's the full taste beer!"

They should have been drinking Ballentine, the official brew of the Phillies.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

I love your posts that are clearly just saying "I'm old." Yes, yes you are.

Michael said...

What happens if I wear shorts to Professor Althouse's Con Law class next semester?

KJ said...

Jeter looks mighty fine in his pajama's - not so much CC or Prince - tho I'd take any of them on my team.

As for the '70's and '80's uniforms - those were ugly.

Hoping against hope, here and still cheering for the Phillies.

Skyler said...

Sometimes, critcism is not pithy or deep, it's just curmudgeonly.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I like the old baggy uniforms.

They were cool even if they weren't
sexy!

Ralph L said...

Knee breeches are so 18th century.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

By the way, the threshold to old age has a sign hanging over it that says, "Can you believe The Way Kids Dress These Days?"

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Who gives a good God-damn if women are watching?

mona said...

So, pajamas are comfortable. Who wouldn't want to be comfortable when they go to work. Which is what they're doing - working. Yeah, they get to play a game, but it's big business. And too, it's a uniform. A real uniform. I can empathize with that. Can you?

Barry said...

Ann, I'm right there with you....and to these boneheads who make comments about 'women' and 'being new to the sport', screw you. I love baseball, almost more than life itself sometimes, but this sport is degraded into a bunch of overpaid self-promoting individuals who care about themselves and do what they want, when they want. If the baseball commissioner would put his foot down and tell the Players Union to go to hell and MAKE these guys conform to a certain dress code, it would curb a lot of this 'individual' attitude. I say go back to half-length pants with the socks and look like ball players again, not a bunch of street thugs wearing dreads, pajamas, not shave in 4 days, etc. And for the record, I have managed very succesful Pony and Little League teams for a few years now and guess what? My boys wear the half pants AND STIRRUP SOCKS....and they want it that way each year becuase they know they look like a team that has come to deal baseball.