April 18, 2011
Heading into Sunday's game, the St. Louis Cardinals were poised to put an exclamation point on a pretty nice road trip. They had won six of their last seven games, tallied six or more runs in each of those contests and outscored the opposition 66-30 in that time span. A victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers would send them home with a 7-3 mark. Everything was going along, as they say, swimmingly.
But then, under the direction of Lance Berkman, the entire team showed up to Dodger Stadium in turtlenecks they had purchased in thrift stores during the road trip. And the Cardinals promptly dropped a 2-1 decision when Ryan Franklin(notes) blew the save by allowing a two-run homer to Matt Kemp(notes).
Was it a coincidence that the offense and Franklin wore turtlenecks and then performed like they were being strangled by a really weak guy, all day?* Fashion Ump thinks not!
OK, so Fashion Ump is only kind of kidding. Berkman's team-building exercise allowed us to see reliever Mitchell Boggs(notes) in the above get-up and to hear him describe its selection as "a brain thinking process" to Fox Sports Midwest (which has video of more Cardinals wearing turtlenecks). It also allowed us to imagine the ridiculous image of Albert Pujols(notes) picking through thrift stores in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury for just the right shirt.
But given the resulting power outage, Berkman might want to reconsider his future plans for coordinated team vests and team leather pants. Leave the fashion-based motivational ploys to Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays, big fella.
Fashion Ump ruling: Caught stealing!
*We miss you every day, Mitch Hedberg