Tigers’ Riley Greene Tears Pants During Game, Highlighting Problems with MLB Uniforms

MLB - Tigers

Getty Images Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene

On Tuesday afternoon during the Detroit Tigers‘ 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Riley Greene helped expose the naked truth about the new MLB uniforms – even if he didn’t want to. As he slid into home in the ninth inning, the outfielder ripped one of his pant legs three-quarters of the way off. He re-entered the dugout to some good-natured ribbing from teammates, and video of the play made the rounds on news reports and social media almost instantly.

While it was a lighthearted moment, the problems with the uniforms – now produced by Fanatics and Nike – are no laughing matter. They have come under criticism this season over their low quality. Complaints range from the names on the back being too small, to the pants being almost see-through.

Ironically, it was one of Greene’s Tigers teammates, reliever Andrew Chafin who told The Athletic last week that while the new MLB jerseys aren’t necessarily bad, he did add, “Just, in my opinion, they’re not big-league jerseys”.

Chafin’s assertion was proved correct on Tuesday when Greene’s uniform burst apart during normal gameplay.

New Uniforms Have Caused a Dilemma for MLB

Riley Greene’s uniform malfunction notwithstanding, Major League Baseball had issues with its new apparel upon its unveiling.

Right from the start, New York Yankees fans pointed out the low-quality material of the jerseys after seeing players sweat through them during the season-opening series against the Houston Astros.

Another common complaint about the fabric was that the gray pants did not match the gray jerseys. Minnesota Twins pitcher Brock Stewart pointed this out during an interview last week.

“It’s a downgrade this year, that’s all I’ll say — it’s a downgrade,” Stewart told The Athletic. “My dad was watching the game and said, ‘Some guys look like their jerseys are a different shade of gray than their pants.’”

“At this point, I don’t know,” he joked. “Do we have the old ones in the back of the closet somewhere we can bring back out?”

Will Major League Baseball Fix the Problems?

Despite the complaints from players and fans, MLB and Nike haven’t addressed the issue thus far. Nike has a 10-year, $1 billion supplier deal with the league to provide the official uniforms, and both sides have acknowledged the concerns. However, they have yet to make any adjustments to the apparel.

Regardless of this gaffe right out of the gate, MLB remains steadfast in its confidence in the iconic athletic apparel company going forward. Nike replaced Under Armour, who had previously been the game’s official uniform provider since 2016.

In a public statement, Major League Baseball applauded Nike’s “expertise in bringing innovation and design improvements” and its “extensive multi-year process” in arriving at the 2024 uniforms while acknowledging there are issues for Nike to address.

“Nike chose the letter sizing and picked the fabric that was used in these jerseys,” MLB said. “Fanatics has done a great job manufacturing everything to the exact specifications provided by Nike.”

“As part of this significant transition, Nike will continue to explore necessary adjustments to certain elements of the new uniforms to meet the needs of MLB Clubs and players.”