two thousand sixteen Uni Look MLB preview: Play ball!

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 9:30 PM

And here'south something we don't generally obtain to say: This year literally every game will have new uniforms. That'south because MLB'south uniform outfitter, Majestic, has arrive up with a NJ format called Flex Base, which all teams will be using.

two thousand sixteen Uni Look MLB preview: Play ball!

It'south a sure sign that spring has sprung: the Uni Look MLB season preview, presently in its eighteenth annual edition, with all of the uniform changes for the upcoming season. And here'south something we don't generally obtain to say: This year literally every game will have new uniforms.

That'south because MLB'south uniform outfitter, Majestic, has arrive up with a NJ format called Flex Base, which all teams will be using. Flex Base jerseys are beautiful simple to spot -- they've mesh ventilation panels running up the sides, which isn't so horrible for solid-colored jerseys but looks bad for pinstriped designs:

The Flex Base template also includes a mesh panel for the rear shirttail, which some fans have already derisively labeled "the diaper." Again, this looks a lot worse for pinstriped or patterned jerseys, although it won't create a disagreement on the field, because players wear their jerseys tucked in. Fans, however, may think twice about buying these:

But sufficient about Flex Base -- you wish to look what your favorite team will be wearing, right? With most teams set to open their seasons on either Sun or Monday, here'south our annual comprehensive team-by-team breakdown of what you can expect to look on the diamond. There'south a lot to go over this time around, so you might wish to grab a freezing drink first. Ready? Go!

National League: East | Central | West

American League: East | Central | West

National League East

• With Turner Field preparing to close down after only twenty seasons, the are saying farewell -- or is it excellent riddance? -- with this sleeve patch:

Over on their other sleeve, the Braves have added a memorial patch for longtime coach Bobby Dews, who died back in December:

Also: The Braves and Marlins will be playing a game at Fort Bragg in NC on July three -- the first MLB game ever to be held at an active military installation. Number word yet on whether the teams will wear camouflage uniforms, but it seems love a safe bet.

Meanwhile, Braves catcher Tyler Flowers has been experimenting with a new mask design. You can read about that here.

• Number announced uniform changes so distant for the , although it'south worth noting that new skipper Don Mattingly has enacted a facial hair ban, which has drawn a stern reproach from the American Mustache Institute. Get that, Donnie Baseball!

Finally, it'south worth noting that slugger Giancarlo Stanton is continuing to wear a faceguard attachment on his batting helmet when facing right-handed pitchers (but not against lefties), a practice he started last season:

• The will tag the thirtieth anniversary of their one thousand nine hundred eighty-six championship team by wearing 'eighty-six throwbacks for Sun residence games. Interestingly, the uniform mock-up in the official MLB Fashion Guide shows this design being worn with high-cuffed pants and stirrups, although it remains to be seen if the players will actually go along with that:

In addition, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and pitcher Bartolo Colon have both requested and received accent marks for the names on their jerseys:

Meanwhile, the Mets have mothballed their "Military Mondays" camouflage jersey and cap:

There'south also a notable design modify at Citi Field, where the Pepsi Porch is presently the Coca-Cola Corner:

• Number announced changes.

• The have added a ruddy alternate jersey to their uniform rotation. It'll be worn for six Thursday-afternoon residence games, with the team'south cream retro uniform worn for all remaining afternoon residence games (more info here):

National League Central

• Several changes for the , beginning with their standard residence and road pants, which will number longer have the gold piping from years past:

Gold has also been banished from the Brewers' navy "Milwaukee" alternates. The gold trim has been replaced by yellow, and the sleeve patch and cap symbol are being replaced by the team'south "ball in glove" throwback logo. The map is for this uni combo to be worn for most Sun games, both at residence and on the road (extra info here):

In yet another move to de-emphasize gold, the Brew Crew'south gold alternate jersey (or "lager," as it was sometimes called) has been scrapped:

In addition, the Brewers will wear one thousand nine hundred ninety throwbacks on July thirty:

• Number uniform changes for the , but it'south worth noting that newly acquired pitcher Mike Leake will be joining the tiny fraternity of MLB pitchers who've worn single-digit numbers. He'll be wearing No. eight, which was his no at AZ State (more info here and here). At present there are two other single-digitized MLB pitchers: Rockies right-hander Adam Ottavino who wears No. 0 (but is currently on the 60-day disabled list) and Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who wears No. 6.

Also: The Cardinals will have at minimum two Garcias on their roster this year, and could've as many as four, but they'll all simply have "Garcia" on their jerseys, with number first initial. Why? Because that'south the St. Louis way.

• Wrigley Field opened in one thousand nine hundred-fourteenth, so two years ago the wore a sleeve patch to celebrate the ballpark'south centennial. But the Cubs themselves didn't start playing at Wrigley until one thousand nine hundred sixteen (the team that played there for the first two years was the Chicago Whales of the elderly Federal League), so this year the Cubs are wearing another patch, this one celebrating their own centennial at Wrigley. Seems a bit redundant, but at minimum it'south a kind patch design:

In addition, the Cubbies map to wear one thousand nine hundred sixteen throwbacks on July 6:

Finally, in a textbook case of addition by subtraction, the Cubs have eliminated their alternate road jersey, which always seemed extraneous to begin with:

• The have scrapped their early-'seventy Sun throwback uni and replaced it with a one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine throwback -- the "We're Family" design (extra details here):

• The are adding a memorial patch for longtime clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe, who passed far in February:

Also, the Reds will label the fortieth anniversary of their one thousand nine hundred seventy-six Large Ruddy Machine championship team by wearing one thousand nine hundred seventy-six throwbacks on June twenty-four and retiring Pete Rose'south No. fourteen on June twenty-six:

National League West

• The award for the most radical makeover of the year -- or maybe the decade -- goes to the , who made a lot of changes that are either innovative or heretical, depending on your point of view. For starters, they've added a sublimated snakeskin pattern to their jerseys:

The same pattern also appears on their pant cuffs, where it sort of makes everyone see love they're wearing Curt Schilling'south elderly bloody sock:

In addition, the D-backs' road grays are presently more love road charcoals, as they're using a much darker shade of gray:

There'south a lot more, including truncated striping on the pants, matte-finish batting helmets, and a whopping seven different cap options. There'south a detailed breakdown of everything here, with follow-up analyses here and here. And you can look some of the proposed designs that didn't create the cut here.

All the newfangled gewgaws aren't your thing? Number worries -- the D-backs will once again be wearing their throwbacks for Thursday residence games:

Finally, just in case all of that wasn't sufficient to hold you busy, the D-backs are also tinkering with the opportunity of adding striped socks to their wardrobe:

• Number announced changes.

• The have added a pair of memorial patches -- one for Monte Irvin and one for Jim Davenport:

• Lots of moves in San Diego, where the are hosting this year'south All-Star Game and have taken an odd approach to their uniforms. First, they've updated their color scheme to blue and yellow and arrive out with new residence uniforms, including All-Star Game patches for their new cap and jersey:

The party line is that this new residence uniform is just a one-year experiment, tied to the All-Star Game, with the "possibility" that it might be retained as the new full-time residence uni if fans love it. But top-level pro sports leagues require lots of lead time to obtain new designs and retail product into the pipeline, so it seems unlikely that the Padres could create a decision love that on the fly. Whether they're planning to hold this new design or scrap it after one year, that decision has probably already been made.

If that sounds weird, here'south something even weirder: The new yellow tone isn't being added to the team'south road uniform set.

Meanwhile, fans who've been clamoring for the Padres to bring back the brown have had their prayers answered, at minimum somewhat. The team is adding a new retro-styled brown alternate -- not a pure throwback, but more of a faux-back. It'll be worn for Friday home games:

The Padres' Sun camouflage outfits are also getting a redesign. This year they'll be blue -- a nod to the Navy:

But wait -- the team'south marine camouflage jerseys will still be worn occasionally as well, but they've been updated with new chest lettering to match the blue camouflage design:

And there'south still more! The Padres will wear one thousand nine hundred ninety throwbacks for six Wednesday home games:

If all these changes don't have your head spinning too fast, you might notice that the Padres have become the latest team to switch to matte-finish batting helmets:

Finally, in the realm of ballpark aesthetics, the Padres are relocating their retired numbers at Petco Park in order to create room for a large advertising sign (more info here):

• Number announced changes.

American League East

• The have added a 40th-season patch:

Also: Rogers Centre had been residence to the latest remaining MLB infield with a sliding pit at each base. That'll be changing this year, as the stadium is finally getting a full dirt infield. Still sticking with the artificial turf, though (extra info here and here):

• Number announced uni changes for the , but something fascinating has surfaced during recent spring training games -- a matte-finish helmet:

Are they planning to wear that during the regular season? Nobody'south saying, but we'll discover out soon enough.

In addition, the O'south roster has undergone a few uniform number switcheroos:

• Number announced changes.

• The will retire Wade Boggs' No. twenty-six on, fittingly, May 26. Before that could happen, infielder Brock Holt had to give up the number, which he happily did.

Also: Presently that pitcher David Price has joined the Sox, Boston fans are discovering what fans of Price'south previous teams (and devoted Uni Look readers) have long known, namely that Price removes the button from the top of his cap. He'south been doing this for years because he finds the button -- or, as he calls it, "the ouch button" -- uncomfortable:

• When Yogi Berra passed far in September, the added a memorial "eight" patch. They're keeping it for this season:

And in what probably qualifies as the most subtle uniform modify of the season, the Yanks have changed the button spacing on their residence jerseys. The elderly version left a gap for lettering to running across the chest, but of course the Yanks don't have that kind of lettering on their pinstriped residence jerseys -- the just have the interlocking "NY" off to one side -- so they've switched to more evenly spaced buttons:

American League Central

• Welcome news out of Cleveland, where the have added some sharp-looking striped socks and stirrups to their wardrobe options:

In addition, Cleveland will wear navy one thousand nine hundred seventy-six throwbacks on June 4:

• The reigning World Series winner will celebrate their title in two uni-centric ways. First, they'll be wearing gold-trimmed uniforms for their first two games of the season. The design looks better than some of the season-opening gold-trimmed unis worn by other recent World Series champs because gold is already a Royals team color:

In addition, the Royals will be wearing a championship patch this season:

• A longstanding MLB oddity is that the utilize similar but distinct logos for their jerseys and headwear. The jersey tag has always been designated as the team'south primary logo, but this year they've given that status to the cap logo. You can look it being used more and more at media conferences and other team events:

• The have a new ruddy alternate jersey and cap, which they'll wear for Friday home games (extra info in this excellent infographic):

• The will wear one thousand nine hundred seventy-six throwbacks -- without the shorts, alas -- on July 23:

Also, the Sox have a new symbol to label the twenty-fifth anniversary of U. S. Cellular Field (although it's been called that only since two thousand three; from one thousand nine hundred ninety-one through two thousand two it was Comiskey Park). So distant it'south appearing on ticket stubs and in other promotional contexts, with number announced plans for a sleeve patch:

American League West

• Number announced changes.

• The have a new Sun alternate jersey. It'south basically the same design as their elderly batting practice jersey, which they're presently scrapping (more info here):

• Number announced changes.

• Number announced uniform changes for the , but it'south worth noting that an unusually large no of Seattle players have new uni numbers this season, including Taijuan Walker (who'south switching from thirty-two to forty-four); Mayckol Guaipe (fifty-three to forty-eight, which he'south doing in memory of former teammate Victor Sanchez); Stave Baron (ten to twenty-eight); Jesus Montero (sixty-three to ten); and Franklin Gutierrez (30 to twenty-one, which had been his no from two thousand nine through two thousand thirteen until he gave it up for then-manager Lloyd McClendon).

• Nothing new this season for the , but here'south a uni-related note from their promotional schedule: Third baseman Adrian Beltre doesn't love to be touched on the head, which of course means his teammates love to touch him on the head. Fans will be able to obtain in on that on Aug. fourteen, when the Rangers give far a Beltre bobblehead with a removable helmet to authorize for easy head-touching.

Extra notes

• The MLB silhouetted batter symbol has already appeared on the back of each cap, batting helmet, and jersey for years now. But just in case you weren't sure you were watching a genuine MLB game, the symbol is being added this year to the rear belt tunnel of each team'south pants:

That new regulation has specific implications for the Tigers, who've traditionally worn thinly belt loops instead of thicker belt tunnels. The MLB symbol wouldn't fit on those loops, so the Tigers have made a tailoring adjustment to their pants:

• Speaking of the MLB logo, that new label on the pants will be a Chromaflex patch -- the same technology used for recent Super Bowl patches. The MLB symbol patches on jerseys are changing to Chromaflex as well:

• The players aren't the only ones wearing the new Flex Base jerseys this year. The umpires have them as well, as you can look from the telltale mesh side panels:

• With this year'south MLB All-Star Game being played in San Diego, the BP jersey designs for the game, which will also be worn in the Residence Running Derby, are a shout-out to the Padres' elderly "Taco Bell" uniforms. Nice job:

• MLB will once again observe Jackie Robinson Day on April fifteen by having all uniformed team personnel wear No. forty-two with number player names on the back.

• MLB hasn't yet officially announced anything about teams wearing camouflage-trimmed uniforms for Memorial Day and stars-and-stripes-themed uniforms on Independence Day, but the Giants spilled the beans on those uniforms at a recent media event. In addition, teams will also be wearing pink-lettered uniforms for Mother'south Day and blue-trimmed designs for Father'south Day, both of which are MLB firsts:

• As you've probably noticed, players have been wearing new spring training jerseys and spring training caps over the past mo or so. Don't be surprised if some of those designs create it onto the field for regular-season games here and there.

• Recollect the padded cap attachment that Mets reliever Alex Torres wore latest year? There'south a new generation of protective headwear for pitchers this season, and it looks more love a lightweight visor version of a batting helmet:

Pitchers on several teams have been experimenting with the close headgear during spring training, but it'south not clear whether any of them will wear it during the regular season. You can memorise more here and here.

• More and more players have keep decals on their bat knobs in recent seasons -- sometimes using standardized team designs and sometimes going for more personalized looks. A new regulation this year has keep the kibosh on the personal designs:

Fans have responded to this news with a lot of "number fun league" comments, but the reality is that nearly nobody ever saw these decals anyway, so it doesn't much matter one way or the other.

• Here'south this year'south World Series logo, which you can expect to look as a sleeve patch and cap patch in October:

• And in a development that isn't precisely uni-related but will nonetheless affect the game'south visual presentation, you'll look fewer players with bulging cheeks and tobacco-stained jerseys this season, because several MLB cities have banned smokeless tobacco in their stadiums, including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

OK, have you got all that? Presently let'south play ball.

Paul Lukas, a lifelong Mets fan, is more excited for the start of the season than he's been in a long time. If you liked this column, you'll probably love his Uni Look Blog, plus you can chase him on Twitter and Facebook. Wish to memorise about his Uni Look Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.

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