One Historical Item or Idea Every MLB Team Should Bring Back
Do you ever just sit back and think about your team's past and reminisce on items that you'd like to see brought back?
This week's assignment list from Bleacher Report gave me the opportunity to do just that, but on a league-wide scale, considering the storied pasts of all 30 franchises.
So whether it be an idea that produced wins on the field, a former logo preferred to the current version, a throwback uniform or even just a current practice you'd like reverted back to the past, here is my view of one thing each team should consider bringing back.
Some of these slides have a more serious approach than others. Rather than let you know in advance which teams suggestion is more tongue-in-cheek than the others, I'll let you read through and judge for yourself. Please let me know which item or idea you'd like your favorite team to bring back by leaving me a comment below.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Bring Back the Purple and Teal Uniform Colors
If the purple and teal look was good enough for this moment pictured above, then why not stick with it?
The new red and black look is too similar to that of the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox; at least in my opinion.
I initially liked the newer red look, but it's lost its appeal to me. I say go back to the white pinstriped look with the purple and teal and embrace your individuality rather than conforming to the rest of the league.
Atlanta Braves: Bring Back Leo Mazzone as Pitching Coach
I'm not calling Leo Mazzone a historical item, but I'd like to see the Braves bring him back and his approach to managing the pitching staff.
The Braves still have a top-tier pitching rotation and bullpen that should keep them in contention with the powerhouse that Philadelphia built last offseason, but a bit of a return to the roots that helped turn them into a dynasty in the 1990's and early 2000's could go a long way.
Mazzone has a knack for identifying mechanical flaws and correcting them. He could be invaluable to the Braves with their crop of young arms that should impact the National League East race for years to come.
Baltimore Orioles: The Cartoon Bird Hat
Aside from being a great looking hat, significantly better than the Orioles current hat, this is also the logo and hat they were rocking when they won the World Series back in 1983.
Their only other World Series Championships also came with a cartoon bird on the hat, only slightly different than this current version.
The newer, more realistic Oriole on the cap is not a winner. The cartoon bird, however, is a three-time champion.
Boston Red Sox: Bring Back the "Idiots"
Calm down, I'm not suggesting you bring the actual "idiots" back to Boston.
The 2004 version of the Boston Red Sox, the self-proclaimed "idiots," were the lovable collection that an entire country (minus Yankee and Cardinals fans) rooted for to break an 86-year curse and culture of losing.
That team was fun. The Red Sox since 2004 are almost as reviled nationwide as the Yankees.
Although, this is a testament to just how good both of those teams are. No one cares enough to hate the Royals or Pirates since they have posed no real threat to anyone for almost two decades each.
Chicago White Sox: Bring Tony LaRussa Back To Manage White Sox
This one actually has a decent chance of happening this offseason.
Tony LaRussa is in the final year of his contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and the White Sox are no lock to bring back Ozzie Guillen.
LaRussa managed the White Sox to a 522-510 record in his first stint as the club's manager from 1979-1986.
He's proven to be one of the best managers in the majors since that time though, winning World Series Championships with the Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals along the way to his 2,725 wins and five pennants.
Chicago Cubs: NLCS and World Series Appearances
The last time the Chicago Cubs won a National League Pennant and even appeared in a World Series was back in 1945.
So, while I would like to say that the Cubs should bring a World Series Championship back to Wrigley Field, first they need to bring a National League Championship Series back to their home to even get into the final series of the season.
Once they have managed to overcome that first hurdle, then we can start looking at the next four wins they would need to get them into their first World Series and try to bring the first title back in over 100 years (1908 was the last Cubs' World Series Championship).
Cincinnati Reds: Mr. Red, the Running Man Mascot/Logo
I didn't quite understand the decision to retire Mr. Red, the "running man," in favor of their new mascot Gapper.
Mr. Red did make a semi-return in the form of a uniform patch.
Mr. Red was the team's mascot dating back to 1955, though, and was with the team through much of its storied history; the Big Red Machine of the 1970's, the 1990 World Series team and the bulk (3,358) of the record 4,192 hits in Pete Rose's career.
No need to mess with a good thing, bring back Mr. Red full time.
Cleveland Indians: Mid-90's Winning Formula
It's hard to replicate a team that consisted of Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Albert Belle, Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga and Paul Sorrento.
That team, specifically the 1995 Indians team, was possibly the best hitting lineup possibly of the entire decade.
I don't think there is a fan in Cleveland that would complain with the notion that the Indians find a way to recreate their 1995 lineup with comparable homegrown talent that could sustain the team for several seasons before reaching free agency.
Sadly, this is much easier said than done as we all know.
The team is building a statue to honor Jim Thome. Maybe statues to honor that entire lineup would be in order. Or not...
Colorado Rockies: GET RID of the Humidor
I'm sure several Rockies fans will disagree with me on this one, but as an outsider who's favorite team only plays in Colorado during interleague play, the mile-high altitude made those games fun.
The offensive explosions definitely water down the stats of some players, but in an era where offense is down, that could play to the Rockies' advantage in attracting top-level hitters.
So, while I know it will never happen, I'd actually like a subtraction rather than bringing something back in this case.
Get rid of the humidor and let's see some more offense!
Detroit Tigers: 4-Man Pitching Rotations To Give Justin Verlander More Starts
Believe it or not, there was a time in baseball's history when teams actually used a two-man pitching rotation.
Those days are along gone, and thus the reason we'll never see anyone approach Cy Young's record of 511 wins, or really, any of his all-time records for that matter.
A return to a four-man rotation would give Justin Verlander a legitimate chance at a 30-win season though.
Verlander, 24-5, is personally 19 games above .500 while the Tigers as a team are 24 games above .500. Those extra starts would arguably help the team improve their overall record.
While Verlander is probably durable enough to handle the extra innings and shorter rest, the rest of the Detroit pitching staff is probably not, leaving this a pointless argument to make in favor of the four-man rotation return.
I can dream though, right?
Florida Marlins: Forget the New Logo and Go Back to the Current Logo
Before I get into this, you can view the new logo by clicking here.
While the new logo has a more modern look to it, and it's timed with the move into their new Miami ballpark, I just don't like it, at all.
Did we not learn a lesson from the logo change of the Baltimore Orioles, a three-time World Series champion?
The Marlins have won two World Series with their current logo. Why mess with karma and ruin a good thing?
Houston Astros: Bring Back the Orange Star and "H" Logo
As far as throwback simple logos go, this late 1960's, early 1970's Houston Astros logo needs to make a comeback.
The logo was actually brought back from 1980-1993 before being retired again in favor of the more modern star.
The logo is actually an homage to NASA being stationed in Houston with the orange star behind the "H."
Nolan Ryan wore this logo on his hat during the entire Astros portion of his career. Good enough for Nolan, good enough for the current Astros team.
Kansas City Royals: Bring Back a Winning Culture
The Kansas City Royals have essentially been a farm system for the other, more successful teams around baseball over the past decade.
This wasn't always the case for this once proud franchise though. The Royals were perennial playoff contenders throughout the 1970's and 1980's. They won the World Series in 1985.
Thanks to a very strong farm system and some good free-agent signings last offseason, the Royals are very close to being serious contenders in the American League Central.
Stepping away from their current role of providing talent for the rest of the league and instead becoming buyers at the trade deadline annually will be a nice change of pace for the Kansas City fan base.
LA Angels: Drop the "Of Anaheim" and Return to Anaheim or California Angels
I'm not a fan of the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" name, at all!
Now, that's not to say I have a problem with the team. The Angels just need to drop the "of Anaheim" portion of their name and choose between "Los Angeles Angels," the "Anaheim Angels," or revert back to their original name, the "California Angels."
No long winded rant on this topic. I understand the marketing aspect of appealing to the Los Angeles market for advertising, but the team plays their games in Anaheim, not LA.
Pick a singular city to identify yourself with and stick with it, or go back to the "California" name and be all-inclusive.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Bring Back Respectable Ownership
Seem obvious enough?
The Dodgers are one of the most storied and proudest franchises in all of baseball and they have been reduced to a laughing stock this past season as their ownership problems have overshadowed the team on the field.
Frank McCourt needs to sell the team and let a competent ownership group take over and restore them to their former glory.
Milwaukee Brewers: Bring Back the Ball and Glove Logo
The "MB" ball and glove logo was a classic.
In my opinion this is one of the best baseball logos ever, and I'd certainly be in favor of seeing it brought back and used in place of the current Brewers logo.
Tom Meindel, an Art History student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, designed the logo as part of a contest. He combined the initials of the team name, "M" and "B" to form the glove with the baseball resting in the middle and finishing off the "B" letter.
Did you even realize that the logo was an "MB" combination to form the glove before now?
Of course, I'm sure most of you did, but it's a revelation to some of you as well, right?
Minnesota Twins: Bring Back a True "Ace" to the Rotation
It's tough to find something from the past that the Twins should bring back. For the most part they have kept the same logo since their move and name change from the Washington Nationals to the Minnesota Twins in 1961.
They've also maintained a level of competitiveness throughout their Minnesota tenure, winning World Series Championships in 1987 and 1991 and winning the American League Central six times in the past 10 years.
What I think the difference between those Twins teams and this Twins team is, though, is the inclusion of a dominant ace in the rotation, something they have lacked since the departure of Johan Santana.
Scott Baker has been the closest to an ace this season with his 8-6 record and 3.14 ERA in 21 starts.
The Twins need to bring back an ace to help get them back into the postseason and make another run at an AL Pennant and World Series appearance.
New York Mets: Bring Back Old Timer's Days
The last time the Mets planned an Old Timer's Day was during the 1994 season.
I've never attended a Mets game in New York, but I've been in attendance at plenty of games when baseball teams honor their past great players. It's always a fun event that gives the fans a reason to come out and cheer some of their former heroes.
Given the storied and accomplished history of the New York Mets, inviting some of their greats for a day to be honored would be a nice gesture and a fun event for the fans.
New York Yankees: Bring Back Use of Homegrown Talent Via Your Own Farm System
It's hard to argue with the success of the New York Yankees, but bring back the proper use of the farm system.
Rather than developing prospects solely for the purpose of filling brief gaps between major free-agent signings, or as trade chips to acquire top-level targets, try using that talent to build a homegrown winner.
I seem to remember the last time you did that, you wound up with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. That group seemed to work out pretty good for the Yankees...
Oakland Athletics: Remove Tarps and Bring Back the Upper Deck
One of the first moves made by a now very unpopular ownership group was tarping off the upper deck of the Oakland Coliseum to simulate the more intimate environment they hoped to create in their new stadium.
The decision unintentionally alienated a large portion of the fan base that counted on the discounted seats found in the third deck.
Not to mention, it's just a bad look, no matter how many past accomplishments they decorate the tarps with.
I'm in favor of leaving the tarps on "Mt. Davis" with the retired numbers of the A's Hall of Famers, but the tarps on the third deck need to go!
Remove them and sell a few extra tickets for each game, maybe the place won't look and feel so empty all the time.
Philadelphia Phillies: Bring Back the 80's Uniforms
Arguably one of the best uniforms in baseball history.
The light blue uniform, combined with the red Philadelphia "P" is a very good combination.
It's one of the uniforms that baseball should consider bringing back as an alternate uniform, like the A's did this season with the gold jerseys.
The light blue uniform would be one of the best alternate looks in the league.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Winning Seasons
The Pirates took a big step in the right direction this season, but ultimately fell short and will have yet another losing season in the long streak dating back to 1992, their last winning season.
They're almost there, but bringing winning seasons back to Pittsburgh is the only thing that this franchise should bring back from their past.
I've got a feeling 2012 is the season they get over the hump and finish the season with at least 81-82 wins and end the streak of losing seasons.
San Diego Padres: Bring Back the Brown Uniforms
Some people consider this one of the worst uniforms ever, I disagree.
The Padres original uniform included brown as their primary color before switching to blue in recent years.
The Padres should NEVER wear blue! Period. That is the color of their division rival Dodgers.
San Diego baseball is brown and gold, it's the colors Dave Winfield wore, the colors Rollie Fingers wore and the colors Tony Gwynn wore in the early years of his career.
San Francisco Giants: Run Support for Starting Pitchers
The Giants have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and it's being wasted by one of the worst offenses.
It cost them a chance at defending their World Series title this season, and if it's not addressed soon it will cost them a chance at re-signing starting pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
Unless a massive rebuild is in the Giants' plans for the near future, they need to bring in some offense and bring back run support for their starting pitchers.
Seattle Mariners: Bring Jamie Moyer Back To Pitch in 2012
Is it poor taste to include Jamie Moyer in a slide about "historical" things or ideas that should be brought back?
Well, I couldn't resist the temptation to have a little bit of fun with the fact that Moyer will likely make a return somewhere in the majors in 2011 at 48 years old.
In all seriousness, though, Moyer would be a decent addition and veteran presence for the Mariners rotation in 2012 if they were to bring him back to finish out his career.
He'd fit in nicely as the team's fifth starter behind Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan.
St. Louis Cardinals: NOT Hitting the Pitcher 8th in the Lineup
Tony LaRussa signing with the Chicago White Sox as I described earlier would eliminate this from happening.
Well, I guess he could decide to ignore the DH and continue batting pitchers eighth in the American League, but I'd doubt that.
Okay, so Cardinals fans don't want to lose LaRussa, so I won't dwell on that, but a return to the tradition of batting the pitcher ninth would be a good step.
I suppose it's not actually that big of an issue since the batting order rarely ever stays in its original 1-9 slotting through the entirety of a nine-inning game, but come on, it's baseball tradition, the batter hits ninth.
Guess I didn't have a great argument for this one after all.
Tampa Bay Rays: Bring Back the "Devil" Before Rays
The official excuse was "rebranding," but make no mistake about it, Tampa Bay dropped the word "devil" from their name back in 2007 in part to placate complaints from a group that felt it was insensitive to the location's religious-fundamentalist demographic (or at least the percentage of such that were actually offended).
Without stepping aside from the sports angle and drifting into a political rant that would be better suited for a different media, you can never please everyone though, so why try?
The Rays are the menacing force that is threatening the status quo in the American League East.
Being named the "Devil Rays" just seems more fitting and, well, menacing for a team up to that task.
That said, the Tampa Bay Rays do have one of the best looks in baseball. I'm not too sure they could maintain that while working their original name back in.
Texas Rangers: Forget Bringing Back, KEEP the Anti-Wave Campaign Going!
Forget bringing anything back in Arlington! Just keep the anti-wave campaign going!
I know there are some fans that love the wave, but I'm certainly not one of them and I'd bet most of you are not either.
It has to be one of the most annoying aspects of any sporting event, the insistent fan that keeps trying to get the rest of his section to stand and throw their arms in the air.
I applaud the Texas Rangers for doing their part in dissuading fans from this most annoying of activities.
In fact, I want this campaign spread to the other 29 stadiums around baseball and then pushed to the other three major sports leagues as well, just for good measure.
Toronto Blue Jays: Already Got My Wish, They Brought Back the Bird Logo
I got my wish. The only thing I would have asked for to be brought back by the Blue Jays was the Blue Jay bird logo.
Since they made the announcement this past week that they are going to reintroduce the above-featured logo in 2012, I have no further requests of them.
I could have said they needed to bring postseason baseball back, but with the probable introduction of a second Wild Card team in the playoffs next season, the Jays may not be too far off from making that a reality as well.
Washington Nationals: Request Strike Shortened Seasons
Okay, obviously this request is on the ridiculous side, but bare with me for a minute.
It's hard to find an item in the Washington Nationals history that should be brought back since the original Washington Nationals are now the Minnesota Twins, and the former Montreal Expos are the current Washington Nationals.
So, we'll dip into the Montreal Expos past to find something that should be brought back, but what?
A return to Montreal? No, that's not a good idea. A name change to the Washington Expos? That just doesn't make sense.
Recipes for success? Well the only real recipes for success seem to be the 1981 and 1994 teams in which they were in first place at the times the seasons ended.
So using that rationale, the idea that they need to bring back is playing during strike-shortened seasons.
Let's just say I'm certainly open to suggestions on this team, as I am with most of the other 29 teams as well.