Great Moments in Fine Print

The New York Times Bats blog digs up a very interesting tidbit from the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement. While it isn’t as sexy as drug testing or Dominican teenager jobbing, it is an odd thing to write into a legal document.

It turns out that players must now give their clubs eight months notice if they plan to change uniforms unless they want to buy all the leftover stock featuring their name and former number. Weird!

The provision excludes players who are traded and technically stipulates only “in-season changes” but the eight month lead time means players must alert teams by July 31st if they plan to change their jersey number for the following season.

One would assume poor Edwin Encarnacion here might be exempt, seeing he really only changed his jersey once. The Jays retired number 12 on him so he moved into the number 10 vacated by the departed Vernon Wells. One would also assume that at no point in the last three seasons has there been a great run on EE jerseys. Whatever stock he’s buying out of the team shop is pretty minimal.

What about guys like Lyle Overbay, who take a number when they join a team, then adopt a new number after selling off their traditional jersey to an incoming veteran teammate, then run back to it like a it’s the girl who took their virginity when she’s home for Thanksgiving? Add it into the price of the number, I guess. Make it two Rolexes and a MacBook Pro.

Good on the owners to strike another blow for the little guy. This exemplary group of philanthropists always keep the fans best interests in mind. For that, we salute them.