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Same Faces, New Places… & New MLB Watch Faces

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When St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood tore down the flood gates of MLB Free Agency (#seewhatididthere) in 1969, by challenging what was then known as the "reserve clause,"* no one could have predicted Clayton Kershaw signing a contract with an average annual salary over $30 million, or Robinson Cano’s decision to call the Pacific Northwest home to the tune of $240 million. (Unless your last name is McFly or Tannen. If that happens to be the case, I have so many questions for you, most of them New York Knicks-related. McFly's or Tannen's can reach us via the Contact Us page. Bring the info. Sorry for the digression. Onward.) Then again, no one could have predicted Brett Gardner signing a contract worth over $50 million. But that's the nature of the Beast — the Beast being the MLB Offseason/Blockbuster Trade Time/Free Agent/Moving-Truck-on-Speed-Dial period — and the Beast was alive and well in 2014. How alive? For starters, 10 former All-Stars are calling new clubhouses home. According to FanGraphs and WAR (Wins Above Replacement level player, not the band), the Houston Astros have gotten 18 games better than their 2013 team. On the other side, the Red Sox — sans Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia — have purportedly gotten 16 games worse. But these are nothing but prediction, and the important information to be gleaned from that excruciatingly long introduction is this: Your favorite player, sorta-favorite player, favorite up-and-comer, favorite closer (shoutout to Grant Balfour), favorite Ubaldo, favorite Biogenesis client, favorite Cruz Not Named Penelope or Victor, favorite Grandy Man or your favorite Jacoby might be wearing a different hat this spring. (If one of your favorite players was alluded to in the previous graf, they are most definitely wearing a different hat this spring.) But have no fear, Modify is here. With watches! Happen to be a huge Jhonny Peralta fan? Bhetter ghet a St. Louis Chardinals watch. Are you happy to see Robinson Cano in Seattle**? Modify that wrist-wear with our Seattle Mariners Mod. But that's enough questions, here's an abridged list: Robinson Cano — (Old team: Yankees. New team: Mariners) Robinson Cano and his sweet left-handed swing are now scheduled to assault the walls of Safeco Field starting this Spring. When asked for comment, the Wall said, "Not good. This is super not good." Prince Fielder — (Old team: Tigers. New team: Rangers.) Know what no slugger has ever said? "I hate playing in Arlington, the ball just doesn't fly." For those who like 50 HR seasons and watches that match 50 home run seasons, the Texas Rangers Mod (figuratively) has your name on it. Ian Kinsler — (Old team: Rangers. New team: Tigers.) Remember how Prince Fielder is a Ranger? That's because Kinsler is a Tiger. And that means MLB fans that like super-productive second basemen have a new team to cheer for. And, on a related note, MLB fans with different colored eyes have the same team to cheer for now as second baseman aficionado's. Carlos Beltran — (Old team: Cardinals. New team: Yankees) The switch-hitting Postseason Machine is taking his talents to the Bronx in 2014, and the short right field seats are already said to be calling his name by those who lurk near 161st in the dead of night. Jacoby Ellsbury — (Old team: Red Sox. New team: Yankees) Welcome to the team, 2014 Johnny Damon! Brian McCann — (Old team: Braves. New team: Yankees) This seems to be a pattern… Masuhiro Tanaka — (Old team: Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. New team: Yankees) And it's not the Fibonacci Sequence… But hey! This guy looks awesome. Splitters! Curtis Granderson — (Old team: Yankees. New team: Mets.) Sticking it to the Man, eh Metropolitans? Well, for those of you with a sweet tooth, the Grandy Man now plays in Queens, not the Bronx. And that means the 7 train, not the 4. It can get confusing, unlike ordering a Mets Mod with both a blue AND an orange strap. That's super easy, like Granderson legging out a triple. Matt Garza — (Old team: Rangers. New team: Brewers.) Hey, Garza's back in the NL Central! Garza-heads, it's time for a new watch. Jhonny Peralta — (Old team: Tigers. New team: Chardinals.) Jhonny is out of the D, but that dhoesn't mhean that he won't sthill bhe mhashing. Ubaldo Jimenez — (Old team: Indians. New team: Orioles.) Quick fact: "You bald, though," rhymes with Ubaldo. He also plays for the Orioles now, and black and orange is a very nice color combo. Nelson Cruz — (Old team: Rangers. New team: Orioles.) Hey Chris Davis and Adam Jones, are you excited for some lineup protection in the form of a right-handed slugger named Nelson Cruz? You are? Cool. We thought so. And Nelson Cruz fans should be too. Camden Yards isn't exactly the most spacious ballpark in the country. And starting next week, we won't have to watch these guys play at 4 am. Opening Day, just 5 days, 22 hours, 16 minutes and… You get the point. It's close. Get ready. But get ready mostly with Modify.   Footnotes * Not to bore you, but the reserve clause was an incredibly arcane practice in professional sports prior to Curt Flood. It allowed a team to retain a player's rights even after the completion of a contract. So, in other words, even after a player fulfilled the obligation of a contract, they weren't permitted to seek employment from another organization. Sound ridiculous? It was. ** This writer isn't, but you must exist somewhere.

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