Took the twenty-five minute trek up to the Big A today. With only this upcoming weekend left to enjoy before I have to leave for school and the icy wastelands of Northern California, I wanted to get my hands on some Halo merch while I still had the opportunity. There's nothing more depressing than going to a Walmart or Target up there and seeing only Oakland and San Francisco paraphernalia on the shelves.
I've always considered the t-shirt rack at the team store as an interesting place to measure a player's standing in the organization (granted I am unaware of the regulations or decisions that go into choosing which players are chosen for the shirts). After deciding to get a Weaver the Younger shirt, I made some interesting observations:
-Why doesn't Lackey get any love? For our ace he was noticeably underrepresented (as in no shirts whatsoever on the rack).
-There are significantly fewer Shields shirts than the last time I was at the stadium. Do they sell quickly or has their production ceased/decreased? A presumptive past decision readying for a possible trade for a bat?
-While I'm on this pitcher thing, why doesn't Santana get any love either? I'd attribute this to trade possibilities, but I noticed a lack of Santana shirts during this past season, too.
-I was (pleasantly) surprised to see Weaver shirts. I always thought it was strange that, during the season, Napoli wear was available but Mr. 9-0 was not.
-Speaking of Napoli, I remember reading here that the popularity of the shirts for the other-catcher-named-Mike is quite high. This was not an exaggeration--there were easily as many Napoli shirts as the dudes we would consider "franchise" players: Frankie, Vlad and GA. (Mathis shirts? Nowhere to be found, unsurprisingly)
-Does anyone actually buy Escobar merch? He had quite a stockpile of shirts on the rack.
And finally, the kicker:
After asking one of the clerks to retrieve my Weaver shirt for me (it's on the top rack, and I'm probably an inch shorter than Figgy), I noticed that the door to the storeroom was open. I took an absentminded peak, and my interest was piqued by what I saw: the number 24. My first thought was "Are you serious?" I took a closer look and sure enough they are hoarding tons of Gary Matthews, Jr. shirts back there. I was surprised they weren't on the rack--they're probably waiting till the season begins so they don't have to order more (one interesting way to mark his progress: go to a game near the end of this upcoming season and count how many people you see wearing number 24).
My one, persisting question is, "When can I buy a Justin Speier shirt?"