MLB Fanatics jersey controversy: Players, fans continue to rip new uniforms and see-through pants

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MLB’s updated clothing line from Fanatics appears to be just a slight step up from the Emperor’s New Clothes, though perhaps only slightly. 

Fans once again took notice of the new MLB uniforms after Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh told a joke about toilet paper in a brief social media clip on X (formerly Twitter). What caught the attention of viewers wasn’t the joke from the Big Dumper, but rather that his one-ply pants were translucent enough to show his jersey tucked in underneath.

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The issue came into focus again Wednesday, as fans noticed they could see through Dodgers two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s pants during his photo day shoot.

The pants problem is only the latest issue to emerge from Fanatics’ new line of apparel that is said to be lighter and more comfortable for the players. While those two things are possibly true, the jerseys have drawn the ire of players and fans for odd spacing in names, a lack of customization for player pant sizes and the overall lesser quality of the product.

Even branches of Fanatics might recognize the issues. An X user Konjac Jelly posted a screenshot from Mariners’ infielder Michael Chavis’ Instagram featuring Chavis holding up his new No. 10 jersey. Fanatics’ customer support X account responded to it, writing, “Hey there, it looks like we dropped the ball on this one” before requesting a DM for more information. The post appears to have been deleted.

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Red Sox players “aren’t thrilled with the uniform pants,”per the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. Players described them as lacking customization and said they don’t fit well.

Additionally, Abraham noted in a reply to another user confirming that yes, people can in fact see the underwear of MLB players through the pants.

MLB players have aired their frustrations about the clothes since the start of spring training. Angels outfielder Taylor Ward said they looked “like a replica” and called them “papery,” adding that they don’t “look like a $450 jersey.” He also said his teammate, reliever Carlos Estevez, could rip the jersey pants if he flexed.

“When I wear my pants, I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s pants,” Estevez said, per The Athletic.

Though some players, mostly those sponsored by Nike, have praised the new feel of the jerseys, the MLB Players Association officially said players are mostly “frustrated” with the new wardrobe, and added the union is discussing with responsible parties how to make sure the players “have what they need in the fashion that they need it.” The hope is for changes to be made before the start of the 2024 regular season.

“Any time there’s change, there’s an adjustment period. Sometimes that adjustment period goes well, sometimes not so much,” Clark said, per The Athletic. “In this instance, there appear to be some misses that could have otherwise not been misses.”

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