[UPDATE] BJ Upton sent us a note after seeing this post…



[EARLIER] It is no secret that we love the Rays’ stirrups that are typically worn by a few players on Sundays at home with the sky blue jersey.

But we have noticed something odd about BJ Upton this season. He occasionally wears the high socks with other jerseys, and can’t seem to make up his mind whether he wants to wear long (“pajama”) pants, short pants with navy sanitary socks (“sanis”), or short pants with stirrups.

Considering the Rays have four different jerseys (white, grey, navy, sky blue) that gives Upton 12 different uniform possibilities. And so far this season he has used eight of those, with the only true pattern being that Upton always wears stirrups with the sky blue jersey (click on image for a larger version; numbers represent number of games with that combination)…

Considering players often choose a pant style based on a comfort level, we decided to see if Upton performs differently with or without the long pants (ISO is Isolated Power, the number of extra bases per at bat)…

It is not a lot of at bats for either appearance, but a trend is emerging. Upton appears to be a better hitter when he is wearing high-cuffed pants. There is also little difference between wearing just the navy blue socks or the stirrups.

We should note that there appears to be a correlation here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean causation. Upton has only once worn the pajama pants during a day-game, with 21 of the 22 coming during night games. On the other hand, nine of the 14 times that he has worn high-cuffed pants with the navy sanis or stirrups have been during day-games. So this could just be a day/night split.

But since BJ can’t get the sun to shine at night, it wouldn’t hurt to at least try the high socks/stirrups at night more often and see how it goes.

Besides, it just looks better.



  1. Michael says:

    this is a masterpiece

    stirrups are extremely underrated

    all players should wear them

  2. Mike M says:

    Can we get this article to Joe Maddon!?

  3. Dustin says:

    This is a great post, and I enthusiastically agree with the sentiment. We ought to keep an eye on this split for the entire season and see if the trend holds.

    Forgive me, please, this one nit-picky gripe, tho: BJ has been hitting better while wearing high cuffs, not high socks. For all we know, he's wearing high socks underneath his pajama pants. We only find out about his socks (or, even better, stirrups) when he wears his pants high-cuffed.

    • Beth says:

      As the update to this post makes clear that BJ is following this discussion, I'm glad you clarified this.We would not want him coming away with the wrong advice!

  4. Dave L says:

    Pretty cool.

    But before BJ goes all season we better see the lefty-righty stirrup splits.

    If he combines pants-up with his reknowned, torrid day game hitting ---- look out!

  5. Gus says:

    Attention 2% fron office types: Possible real life causation here. We all know BJ has struggled with the called strike for years. He had more called looking strikeouts than anybody last couple of years (save for the crazy strikeout guys). When he goes high sock, he is defining the strike zone for the umpire better. Umpires are human. BJ has skinny and long, long legs. Know we see where his knees really end, and his freakishly long lower leg begins.

    If the 1960s, the Denver minor league team actually wore a strike zone uniform that changed color at the knee and the chest. Looked terrible, but the same idea.


  6. Bobby Fenton says:

    How were you able to determine what he wore for each and every game? Are there photo catalogs or something?

    Just a phenomenal job done here. And hats off to Beej for doing the right thing.

  7. MIke says:

    Adam Jones is also switched to high socks this year and he is off to the best start of his career.


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