Mon Jul 04 04:17am EDT
If only Derek Jeter(notes) had strained his right calf one day sooner. That way, he already would have returned to the New York Yankees, the AL pennant race and his personal pursuit of 3,000 career hits.
Plus, he could have ended his injury rehab assignment with the Trenton Thunder before Sunday, when the Yanks' Class AA affiliate wore the ugliest uniforms in baseball history.
Don't even try to apologize for the indefensible flag pattern, with its red and white stripes on the torso and white stars against a blue backdrop on the sleeves.
Odd bless America! Old Gory! Stars and stripes please never! It's as though Betsy Ross knitted Jeter a Coogi sweater while tripping on peyote.
The American flag is beautiful when it's, you know, a flag. But when it morphs into a baseball uniform like this, it becomes something not even the most patriotic schoolkid could pledge allegiance to.
Just check the look on Jeter's face. He's not grimacing as he athletically stretches for a ground ball — he's just hoping no one is watching the game. But someone was: Yankees' GM Brian Cashman. And he took pictures of Jeter and sent them to the other Yankees. As a warning:
"We had a tough loss against the Mets today so ... I was like, 'Derek I'm going to take a picture of you in this uniform here and I'm going to lift our guys spirits and I'm also going to send the message: try to do everything you can to not get injured so you don't wind up in a minor league rehab assignment to wear a uniform looking like this.' "
Goodness gracious! Holy Eighth Amendment violation!
Jeter, regardless of the look, had a bunt single, a walk and a throwing error in six innings. He said his leg felt fine. But, as Fernando used to say, it is better to look good than to feel good.
"I was uncomfortable the entire day so don't judge my performance today," Jeter [jokingly said].
Whoever said there's no style points in Major League Baseball never had to wear the Trenton Thunder's special July 4 weekend unis.