Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, April 22, 2024 73° Today's Paper


Sports BreakingTop News

Fanatics founder defends MLB see-through uniforms

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Philadelphia Phillies players wait to have their photo taken during a baseball spring training photo day, Feb. 22, in Clearwater, Fla. Baseball players’ association head Tony Clark is hopeful 2024 uniforms will soon be altered following complaints by his members.
1/1
Swipe or click to see more

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Philadelphia Phillies players wait to have their photo taken during a baseball spring training photo day, Feb. 22, in Clearwater, Fla. Baseball players’ association head Tony Clark is hopeful 2024 uniforms will soon be altered following complaints by his members.

BOSTON >> Fanatics founder Michael Rubin says his company is being unfairly blamed for new Major League Baseball uniforms that have see-through pants and other fit and design problems.

“This is a little bit of a difficult position,” he said today at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “We’re purely doing exactly as we’ve been told, and we’ve been told we’re doing everything exactly right. And we’re getting the s—- kicked out of us. So that’s not fun.”

Since reporting to spring training this month, some players have complained about the fit of new uniforms. The white pants worn by some teams are also see-through enough to clearly show tucked-in jersey tops.

“I know everyone hates them,” Phillies shortstop Trea Turner said. “We all liked what we had. We understand business, but I think everyone wanted to keep it the same way, for the most part, with some tweaks here or there.”

Rubin said uniforms were made to the specifications set by MLB and Nike. Fanatics has been making the baseball uniform since 2017, he said; Fanatics bought the company that has been making the uniforms since 2005, so there has been no real change in the manufacturer in almost two decades.

Rubin said Nike made changes “for all the right reasons” after getting feedback from players who wanted material more breathable and stretchable.

“Nike designs everything. Hands us a spec and says, ‘Make this,’” he said. “We have made everything exactly to the spec, And Nike and baseball would say ‘Yes, you’ve done everything we’ve asked you do to.’”

Rubin said part of the problem is players needing to get used to the changes, saying a similar issue dissipated after NFL and NBA uniforms changed. But in the future he said he would try to involve more people in the decisions.

“They got certain players on board, not all players on board. When you change something so old and so nostalgic you need everybody to be on board with it,” Rubin said. “I believe Nike will be proved right.”

MLB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Players’ association head Tony Clark said Thursday his members had voiced their objections.

“The commentary that’s being offered suggests that the powers that be are paying attention to the concerns that are there and are engaging how best to address them moving forward.” Clark said.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.