Not all pundits are down on the Phillies this season. First, FOX Sports said they just might have a chance (remember that when they win 10 of 11 in mid-August… before finishing September 4-a whole lot). Now, ESPN’s and uni-watch.com‘s Paul Lukas unveiled his 2015 MLB uniform power rankings, putting the Phillies in the rarefied air of second place, right behind the St. Louis Cardinals who were last year’s top-ranked team…er, uniform. Moving up from last year’s number four finish wasn’t easy. It required the A’s to replace the solid yellow “A’s” on their road hat with a white “A’s” with yellow stroke and plummet five (five!) spots and the Cubs to drop from their #2 spot by committing the ever rare “subtraction by addition” error with a questionably necessary new grey jersey (somewhat of a trend, with the Dodgers also doing that) but pairing it with unquestionably unnecessary alternate pants. As you can tell, uniform ranking is a science, people. Elsewhere in the list, there are no real surprises, though you’ll find some teams with “classic” designs such as the White Sox, Twins, and Astros are placed lower than you might expect if you consider “classic” to be a synonym for “good.”
As for the Phillies #2 placement, I get it, but I’m not sure I agree. Top ten, definitely. Top three, maybe not. They have a similar issue as to what the White Sox face. They chose to go for a classic design in the early 90s and (eventually) had success with it. Sure, it’s a 21st century sports business accomplishment that the Phillies still don’t have a red alternate for the regular season (batting practice jerseys worn in spring training don’t count), and the equally classic cream/no pin stripe day game uniform was a shot in the arm their uniforms needed in 2008, but then we had a World (F’ing) Championship to talk about instead of uniforms. Do they need to be changed or updated? Well, no, not for for the sake of change. They don’t have that “90s smell” that the Eagles put on every week, but is what seems like timelessness a reason to stay the course? No one is saying a full re-design is necessary. How about dropping the pinstripes from the home whites (great up close, useless from any type of distance)? What about an alternate jersey with the current “P” logo on the chest instead of “Phillies?” Hmm… that sounds familiar. What about a throwback to the 70s and 80s maroon/”burgundy” design but with regular appearances on the schedule? What about a regularly-scheduled forgotten throwback? There’s lots of history to draw from, but their current uniform stakes a claim for huge chunks of time: 1950-1969 and 1992-2015+. Effectively, they’ve worn this same uniform for more than 40 years of their history! That sounds Yankee-esque. We’re not the Yankees, darn it. And that’s reason enough for a change. Argue below.