Mets Don't Look Any Better Off The Field Than On It

Mets branch out into fashion design

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009  |  Updated 10:20 AM EDT
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Mets New Stadium: Citi Field 2009 In Photos

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Sheffield drops the ball on the runway as well.

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Say this for the Mets, they aren't letting the front office circus distract them from what's really important. No, we're not talking about the team's current four-game winning streak, we're talking about blazing a trail to the cutting edge of fashion.

Six Mets have designed shirts, jerseys and hats that will be sold in the Players Clubhouse store at Citi Field and online, and the best thing to say about the results is that Mets fans ashamed of their team can now express that shame sartorially. Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani have as little to worry about as Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez.

Have you ever found yourself admiring the Ed Hardy line of clothing, but wishing that it was just a little bit less tasteful? Thanks to J.J. Putz and Gary Sheffield, you're in luck. The two players designed shirts that capture all of the faux-rock star ugliness of the original with none of the authenticity. Give them credit for aiming low in their aspirations, just don't buy the shirts.  

If that's not your style, you could always opt for John Maine's reimagining of a Mets jersey, which takes its cues from the Mets' alternate black jersey. Except that it adds a picture of the New York City skyline toward the bottom, which looks just ridiculous enough that the Mets are probably considering adding it to their already overflowing collection of uniform options. Eventually, the Mets are going to have more looks than victories which will be a proud day for baseball.

We'll skip over Bobby Parnell's brown jersey and Sheffield's black pinstripe with white v-neck collar in favor of pointing out the one decent design choice in the collection. Daniel Murphy played off his Irish heritage and created a pair of t-shirts that use green and shamrocks to appeal to his fellow products of the Emerald Isle.

Unlike everything else put up for sale, you could actually envision people buying these shirts as something other than a gag gift. Baseball fans, even in New York, may not be the most fashionable group in the world but they deserve a little bit of credit. While giving the players a chance to express themselves is the main thrust of these offerings, at some point commerce has to enter the equation, doesn't it?

It clearly didn't in the collection's piece de resistance. It's a camouflage jersey designed by Putz that also has his number 22 and Mets in an American flag pattern. Finally, someone has figured out how to make you both blend in with and stick out from your surroundings with one garment! It may be pronounced differently, but there's really nothing more to say about the person who purchases such a jersey than the fact that "Putz" is in big red letters across the back.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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