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With spring training in full swing and MLB Opening Day less than four weeks away, the biggest story in baseball right now is ... the uniforms? Nike's new design, which is intended to be more breathable and moisture-resistant, has created all sorts of headaches in spring training. The numbers and lettering are small, the pants are somewhat see-through, and they're not tailored either.

Players have complained about the new uniforms and raised their concerns with the MLB Players Association, which in turn reached out to MLB and Nike. On Thursday, MLBPA executive Tony Clark said he is "hopeful" the uniforms will be addressed in time for the start of the regular season. Here's what Clark told the Associated Press:

"You just don't expect to have conversations about uniforms," Clark said Thursday after meeting with New York Yankees players. "And so having them, I'm hopeful, and this goes back to what we suggested before, in picking up the phone and talking to all the folks involved, having some appreciation for folks paying attention to it now perhaps more so than they were before spring started yet."


"It's calm because the commentary that's being offered suggests that the powers that be are paying attention to the concerns that are there and are engaging how best to address them moving forward." Clark said. "And so the tension that was drawn early, the concerns still exist. We're hopeful that as we sprint toward opening day over the course of the next month or so that we don't have a second batch of commentary around the pants when the lights come on."

Because issues with the uniform design and appearance aren't bad enough, there is also a shortage of pants this spring, and some players have resorted to wearing last year's pants. The uniforms are designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, and have been since Fanatics purchased Majestic in 2017. This is not a new arrangement. 

At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin said the company is being unfairly blamed for its role in the uniform fiasco. 

"This is a little bit of a difficult position. We're purely doing exactly as we've been told, and we've been told we're doing everything exactly right. And we're getting the s--- kicked out of us. So that's not fun," Rubin said (per the Associated Press). "... Nike designs everything. Hands us a spec and says, 'Make this.' We have made everything exactly to the spec, and Nike and baseball would say, 'Yes, you've done everything we've asked you to do.'"

Rubin added that part of the problem is players have not had enough time to get used to the new uniforms -- to be fair, the players take issue with almost every change to the game -- and that a similar issue with NFL jerseys eventually blew over. He also said the players should be consulted more in any future uniform changes.

It's unclear if or how the uniforms will be improved in time for Opening Day.