MLB players add see-through pants to concerns with new uniforms

PHOENIX — Add the potential of see-through pants to the growing list of complaints regarding new MLB uniforms set to be used this season.

With spring training games beginning, the Major League Baseball Players Association is talking to its members to gather feedback on the controversy — while hoping changes can be made before Opening Day.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve landed in a place where the uniforms are the topic of discussion,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said Thursday. “Each conversation with the guys is yielding more information with what we’re seeing.”

The Nike-generated, Fanatics-produced uniforms have been dubbed “performance jerseys” by commissioner Rob Manfred and were used at last year’s All-Star Game. Many players admit to a lighter feel to them but have issues with the look.

Because the fabric is lighter, Clark said it’s a “challenge” to have bigger numbers and letters — hence complaints that the back of the jersey looks “amateurish,” according to more than one player. And some say the eggshell color of the pants — the fabric is the same as last year — is creating a see-through vibe. The fit has also come into question.

After visiting over a half-dozen spring camps in Arizona, Clark is getting a clearer picture of the complaints.

“A lot of the rhetoric is confirmation that the pants are see-through,” Clark said. “It’s been an ongoing conversation where each day has yielded something new that doesn’t seem to make as much sense as you would like it.”

Each camp seemingly has a different issue, including some that are worried about supply-chain problems that led at least one player to tell Clark he might have to go to Dick’s Sporting Goods for spare pants.

“Universal concern is the pant,” Clark said.

An MLB spokesperson said in a statement that adjustments are being made to the jersey size, waist, in-seam, thigh fit and the bottom of pants, based on player requests to reps from Fanatics, Nike and MLB, who have been visiting training camps and conducting uniform fitting and feedback sessions with players.

Regarding supplies of the uniforms, the spokesperson’s statement said the league is in “close contact with our Clubs and uniform partners to ensure Clubs have what they need for Opening Day.”

Nike said in a statement that “we always put the athlete at the center of everything we do. We worked closely with MLB players, teams and the league to create the most advanced uniforms in the history of MLB which are lighter and more flexible.

“The quality and the performance of our product is of the utmost importance to us. We will continue to work with MLB, the players and our manufacturing partner to address player uniforms.”

In the meantime, Clark will continue to listen to players and figure what, if anything, can be done before Opening Day.

“We’ll continue to engage those that are involved and determine next steps forward,” he said.

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