Max Scherzer and Brandon League make statements in unofficial ugly Christmas sweater derby

Step aside Jonathan Papelbon and make room for your competition in the unofficial ugly Christmas sweater competition going on among MLB pitchers.

Yes, that's Detroit Tigers right-hander and reigning American League Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, along with new wife Erica, showing off their interesting Christmas outfits on Twitter.

They have no shame, obviously, but it has to be said that Scherzer's sweater is nowhere near as obnoxious as the one sported by Papelbon earlier in the week. Scherzer's appears to be baseball themed for crying out loud. There's nothing offensive or annoying about that. If judged strictly on cringe-worthy lack of appeal, Papelbon would remain the undisputed champion of ugly Christmas sweaters, possibly forever.

Let's take a look at Brandon League's submission now.

He's on to something with the dancing Yeti theme. But again, it's not nearly as 'abominable' as Papelbon's. Not even in the same ballpark, so again Papelbon would retain if we focus solely on the sweater.

So let's stop focusing on the sweater and turn our attention to a couple other factors that should be taken into consideration.

First and foremost, unlike Papelbon, both Scherzer and League proudly posted their own photos and took complete ownership of their decisions. That deserves a lot of credit and some consideration because it's a gutsy move.

Second, as Scherzer pointed out himself on Twitter, the entire outfit works in support of the sweater and should also be taken into consideration.

"Anybody can do ugly sweater," he wrote. "No one can dare top those red corduroy pants."

He's right about that. Judging on the totality of his ensemble, Scherzer absolutely should be crowned the new champion of ugly Christmas sweaters.

Now, if only we had a championship belt to give him as a reward.

That will do just fine.

Enjoy the championship while you can, Mr. Scherzer. Your next challenger should be here any minute.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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