SportsNation Blog Archives Miami Marlins
Yasiel Puig took MLB by storm in 2013 -- and wasn't even voted best rookie in his league. That honor went Monday to Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins ace who went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts, and received 26 of 30 first-place votes. The American League, strangely, saw its top votes more divided, with Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Wil Myers (.293/.354/.478, 13 HR in 88 games) taking 23 of 30 first-place votes to beat out fellow finalists Jose Iglesias and Chris Archer. What do you make of the picks? What does the future hold for these honorees and finalists?
Best in NL?
Puig posted a .319/.391/.534 line, but his performance tailed off late in the season.
Best in AL?
Myers went up against a defensive shortstop (Iglesias) and a starting pitcher (Archer).
Myers and Puig are 22, while Fernandez is just 21. But pitchers aren't always durable ...
Should the Marlins keep Stanton?
The Marlins were the worst team in the National League last year, a 62-100 disaster that was last in most major offensive categories. Lone bright spot Giancarlo Stanton even had a bit of a down year, hitting only .249 with an .845 OPS and 62 RBIs. What's worse, he actually led the Marlins in all of those categories. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said the team is planning to rebuild around Stanton, but is it time for it to try to accelerate that rebuilding by shipping him for prospects?
As fans of the comedy series "Portlandia'' know, the secret to merchandising is to slap a bird on it. And apparently, the same holds true for baseball uniforms.
After four rounds of voting, tigers, fish, elephants, snakes, astronauts, seafarers, gun-toting officers of the law, buccaneers, heavenly bodies, Native Americans, pinstriped Northeners and even two pairs of colored socks are all gone. Our Battle of the Uniforms will finish with the Battle of the Birds.
The No. 1-seeded Cardinals, who have as iconic a St. Louis design as the Gateway Arch or a bottle of Bud, beat their longtime rival, the Chicago Cubs, in the final round of the National League voting, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Meanwhile, the Cinderella team of the American League bracket upset yet another higher-seeded team in the AL championship. By a margin of 3,103 votes, fans declared they prefer the orange and black Baltimore Orioles over the traditional uniform worn by everyone from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter. Or perhaps fans just hate the Yankees' pinstripes.
Whatever the reason, it's the Cardinals versus the Orioles for the title of baseball's best uniform. Bird watchers should get their binoculars out for this ornithological fight, though Toronto fans are probably wondering why their colorful Jay was found wanting.
This is serious business, so to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a long, careful look at these two uniforms and judge the colors, logos, caps and overall style of both home and road uniforms, our polls will be open throughout the weekend. You can cast your vote up until noon ET Monday, when we will declare the winner.
So good luck Cardinals and Orioles. May the better uniform win. And remember voters, this isn't about who actually wears the uniforms but the uniforms themselves.
Note: Championship-round poll closes at noon ET Monday.
Mobile users: To vote, click here.
Battle of the Uniforms: Championship
(1) Cardinals vs. (13) Orioles
Audubon would have loved this championship.
Battle of the Uniforms seedings
We've now reached the final four. Or, if you prefer, we've reached the league championship series.
Either way, the Battle of the Uniforms is now in the home stretch (or as a malapropism-prone boss of mine once liked to say, "the home run stretch"). In the American League, the Orioles are facing the Yankees, and the National League crown has come down to the Cubs and the Cards.
The seedings, done by Jim Caple and myself, have largely proven accurate. Three of the final four teams were seeded either No. 1 or No. 2 in their respective leagues, which means our uni assessments are largely in line with yours. The lone outlier is Baltimore, which was seeded 13th but upset the top-seeded Tigers.
I'll admit it: I was kind of hoping for a rogue uniform design to make it to the semifinals, just to make things interesting. The Diamondbacks, say, or the Marlins. And I was seriously rooting for the A's to upset the Yanks (they came thisclose). In the end, though, the classic designs have won. And that makes sense: The classics are classic for a reason.
The cool thing about the Battle of the Unis is that several on-field rivalries have been echoed at the ballot box. Wednesday we had the Yankees just eking out a victory of the Red Sox (whose fans were no doubt chanting "Yankees suck!" as they clicked on the Sox icon), and now we have a classic National League matchup, as Chicago and St. Louis face off for Senior Circuit supremacy.
So who's going to advance to the uniform World Series? You folks get to decide that. But I'll say this: I'm voting for the teams with the feathers.
LCS-round polls close at 9 a.m. ET Friday, and the championship round begins shortly thereafter.
Mobile users: To vote, click here.
Jim Caple bracket: American League
(2) Yankees vs. (13) Orioles
The Birds have upset three teams so far, but can they knock off the Pinstripers for the AL title?
Paul Lukas bracket: National League
(1) Cardinals vs. (2) Cubs
These two teams have always had an on-field rivalry. Good to see that's extending to their uniforms.