avril 23, 2024

MLBPA getting involved in uniform controversy

2 min read

« Frustrated, yes, » MLBPA union president Tony Clark said, per Sam Blum of The Athletic. « Any time there’s change, there’s an adjustment period. Sometimes that adjustment period goes well, sometimes not so much. In this instance, there appear to be some misses that could have otherwise not been misses. »

As Blum noted, Clark usually meets with all 30 teams during spring training and « part of that process is players voicing concerns to him regarding issues with their clubs and across the sport. »

It was reported last week that players were divided in their opinions on the Nike Vapor Premier, designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics.

According to Blum’s report, the negative feedback has « centered around smaller lettering, a cheaper look, incorrect coloring and an inability to customize the jerseys in ways they were previously able to do. »

MLB tested the uniforms at the All-Star game last July and said that players have given them strong reviews. A league statement released last week included positive comments from Atlanta Braves outfielder and 2023 NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr., Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Nike-sponsored players like Los Angeles Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, Boston Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen and Arizona Diamondbacks stud outfielder Corbin Carroll also praised the change.

However, Blum notes « it’s clear they are nearly universally unpopular. »

« We are on the phone with the requisite parties that are involved in making that decision because we aren’t,” Clark said. “We’re trying to make sure our guys have what they need in the fashion that they need it. And it’s reflective of what being a major-league ballplayer should be reflective of. »

Clark called the situation an « ongoing dialogue » that can « hopefully be resolved over the next six weeks of spring
training, » per the report.

« Because I’d hate to be in a place where we’re still having
conversations about some of the challenges we have in that regard once the
lights come on, » Clark added.

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