Players' Weekend uniforms were never good. The first two Weekends gifted to The Players by Major League Baseball were supposedly based on little league uniforms. The idea being that this was a weekend for the Players to embrace the fun of baseball as if they were children. Never mind the fact that the uniforms were stylized like 1980s little league uniforms, when the majority of the league was not even alive in the 1980s, that was the premise behind this act of jersey welfare. Such a premise could have allowed for a plethora of colorful and creative jersey experiments, but every uniform was formed from a bland template. As uninteresting as past Players' Weekend was, it at least had a premise one can understand.
Players' Weekend 2019 has no such premise. Even worse than the pointlessness behind the monochrome designs of this year's weekend are the uniforms' sheer ugliness. It goes to an extend that even the blind souls who ignore the importance of sports uniforms have taken note of how terrible the uniforms are. Instead of establishing a template which every team's color scheme is poured into, there are only two uniforms this Players' Weekend, one worn by the 15 road teams, another worn by the 15 home teams.
The home teams wear all white. White jerseys with white stitching, white filed text, white pants, white accessories, and all white caps. The pitchers on the home teams wear black hats so the hitter can see the white baseball. The Cleveland Indians, despite playing at home, wear the black uniforms typical of the road teams, because someone at Major League Baseball anticipated the internet would yell at them for literally whitewashing a team called the Indians. Perhaps, if you must dictate that a certain position cannot wear the same hat as his comrades, or if one home team must differ from the other 14, perhaps you have made a mad decision.
The road teams wear all black. Black jerseys, black pants, black caps with black logos. The front of the black teams' jerseys contain black stitched logos, much like how the white teams stich their text in white, but the back jerseys of the black teams have the number and nicknames (the other brilliant gimmick of Players' Weekend" stitched in a white outline, filled with black. This is done for the sake of legibility, and it is the correct decision. Why could such a decision not be made for the white teams? Why could their numbers not be stitched in black? Why can't all the stitching be done in the color opposite to the fabric?
You can imagine any number of humorous similes for what this weekend's matchups look like. Backstreet Boys Millennium cover art pitted against a photoshoot of any given metal band. Stormtroopers versus Darth Vader. Ice cream men versus morticians. The indoor garbage bags versus the outdoor garbage bags. Your father's New Balance sneakers versus the shoes Michael Jordan wore in Utah. Sammy Sosa in 2009 versus Sammy Sosa in 1999. Whatever these uniforms make the players look like on "their" weekend, they do not look like members of their respective teams. That is a problem.
The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers are pitted against each other during this year. Two of the oldest, most popular, most successful teams in Major League Baseball. Once New York rivals, the Dodgers have carried a historic rivalry to their westward relocation. They do not get to meet often due to how interleague scheduling works, so any meeting is historic. Both teams are among the best in their respective leagues this season, so this regular season meeting could constitute a preview of the World Series. There are many reasons one should wish to appoint a viewing of the Dodgers and Yankees this weekend, except these historic teams don't look like the Dodgers and Yankees. The teams will not meet again in the regular season for at least another three years, and this is the lasting memory MLB is giving to their fans.
Every game in the 162-game season is bound to be somebody's first experience with Major League Baseball. Imagine if the first baseball game you ever saw happened to be from this weekend. Would you be able to tell who the teams are, when the Cubs look exactly the same as their hated rivals, the Cardinals, who look like their state companion, the Royals, who look like the opposite of royalty, the drunkard Brewers and Pirates. Imagine if you were in attendance of one of the games this weekend, for the first time. Could you tell who the players when you can't read the backs of the white jerseys?
Imagine if a historic milestone were accomplished this weekend, one which can happen at any unexpected time. A perfect game. A triple play. The cycle. A 4-home run game. A blown call by an umpire which inspires an angry manager to do a jerkoff motion. These are the moments whose timing cannot be predicted but do happen in baseball. We will look back on these moments, years and decades from now, showing tapes to our descendants. Must we explain to our grandchildren why Justin Verlander someone whose van they should not enter when they witness his 23 strike out masterpiece?
What if there were a benches-clearing brawl in these uniforms. You just know that people would comment about how it symbolizes race relations in America. Does Rob Manfred want that association with his product? Apparently, it is a risk he is willing to take.
Let us forget this Players' Weekend ever happened. The only good to come from this weekend is that it has generated such a stir amongst the uneducated masses that we can, and must, exploit their newly awakend interest in sports uniforms for our Fascionista agenda.