Midsummer Classic to be marred by more Manfred mistakes

There is seemingly no aspect of Major League Baseball that Commissioner Rob Manfred will not try to monkey with. His latest foray into diminishing the game's appeal is a minor one, but it still irks: All-Star Game uniforms.

When the 2021 Midsummer Classic is played July 13th in Denver, the players will not be wearing their own standard team uniforms as has been the practice for decades; instead, they will sport ugly All-Star Game specific uniforms. The pullover-style two-button jerseys feature the player's individual team cap logo on the left chest superimposed over a vertical representation of the team's three-letter scoreboard abbreviation. There is some sort of weird floral pattern (WTF?) on the sleeve ends and inside the collars. Caps (which have been tweaked for All-Star Game participants in recent years, unfavorably for the most part but at least with the concept of an homage to the host team) will be dark blue with a red-and-white version of the standard team cap logo superimposed over a star outline. The nod to the host is merely the star's color, purple with white snowcaps to represent the Colorado Rockies. Oh, and the unis also have the requisite jingoism with an American flag on the sleeve. Yes, even the Blue Jays' version (and no, there is no Canadian flag elsewhere on it, because, er, F-you, Canadian fans?). Images below.

There was always a kind of charm and pride about seeing your favorite players or your favorite team's representative(s) wearing their standard uni in the All-Star Game. It shouted it out loud, "I am representing this team in this collection of the best in our league." Now it says, "I am playing for this league, and if you look closely you might be able to tell what team I play for in regular games."

Not that uniform standards have always been adhered to in All-Star games. Pete Rose once wore a Phillies T-shirt instead of his normal jersey, and several other times wore a batting-practice jersey. Lou Whitaker once forgot his Tigers jersey and bought a replica from a concessionaire and magic-markered his number 1 on the back. Cub relief pitcher Lee Smith once had to bat in an ASG and borrowed someone's Montréal Expos helmet. The first-ever Mariner All-Star, Ruppert Jones, went up to bat wearing a Blue Jays helmet, and Toronto pitcher Dave Stieb once wore a Mariner helmet. I guess the potential for that sort of fun goofiness is now gone; way to go, Manfred, job well done.

Now, is my distaste for this change based more on principle or on the fact that the All-Star unis are hideous? Well, to be honest, a bit of both. If they looked nicer, maybe I wouldn't mind as much. But what was wrong with the practice we'd seen for a couple of decades, where the All-Star festivities other than the game itself featured specific league jerseys? That was all right. You still got your special jerseys and caps, tailored to the host team's aesthetic, to market and sell. This new way doesn't even provide something decent to make extra money from, that already existed under the old way.

No, this is just to tinker around with stuff that doesn't need to be tinkered with because this commissioner has a kind of weird ADD that doesn't let him leave anything alone.

Quit screwing with my game, Manfred. In fact, go away. Go far, far away and never darken baseball's doorstep again, and take your seven-inning doubleheaders, your free extra-inning baserunners, your little experiments in the minors, all of your rule muckery with you. And your ugly uniforms, too.

ASG caps

All-Star uniforms

What do you think of the new ASG uniform policy?


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