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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Look good, play good... right?

Last baseball offseason, the team formerly known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays unveiled a major overhaul: they dropped the Devil, becoming simply the Tampa Bay Rays, and changed their logo and colors. The result (correlation, not causation, mind you) was going from worst to first in the AL East and playing in the World Series.

Eager to make a similar change, the Baltimore Orioles recently unveiled their new uniforms.

The changes the O's made weren't nearly as drastic. They're still Orioles, still in Baltimore, and still wearing orange and black. The logo, while tweaked a bit, is still an ornithologically correct oriole bird. Perhaps the most notworthy change is adding "Baltimore" back onto the road uniforms; both road and home uniforms have stated "Orioles" for decades as the O's were embracing both the Baltimore and DC markets in the absence of baseball in the nation's capital.

What I thought was another cool addition was the sleeve patch incorporating the Maryland flag. Maryland's flag, with its complex design and nod to heraldry, is a pretty neat one, and it's no surprise that it's incorporated into the apparel and logos of numerous sports teams, including those at the University of Maryland College Park and the Baltimore Ravens. Again, a nice little nod to the area they call home.

My one beef? The new bird is nearly the same as the old bird, but it's got feet shaped as though it were gripping something. Great when it's perched, as in the logo, but kinda dumb as a standalone on the hats.

But all in all? Upgrade. Let's just hope, for the sake of friends, family, and the city that loves them, they can make a Rays-like rise with the new look.
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