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|Ever since the Rams came home to Los Angeles two seasons ago , a big segment of their long-faithful local fan base has pleaded with them to dress better.
The Rams have listened to their fans’ pleas, and now the NFL is allowing them to wear their classic blue-and-yellow uniforms five times at the Coliseum this season.
The Rams will don the franchise’s traditional uniforms in their final five home games this season, chief operating officer Kevin Demoff announced Friday to a thrilled throng of Rams supporters at training camp.
”I’m excited for our fans, because their voice was heard in the NFL office,” Demoff said. ”We’re glad that we were able to deliver for them.”
The Rams’ uniform choices have attracted uncommon scrutiny since mere days after the team announced its return to California in 2016. Most local fans fondly remember the Rams in their royal blue jerseys with yellow pants, which the Rams wore from 1973 until 1999.
The St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in the white version of that uniform, but swapped out that color scheme the next season in favor of a navy-and-gold look. The Rams tweaked their look when they moved back to LA, and the Rams wore a hybrid look last season that resembled the blue-and-white look worn by the Los Angeles Rams from 1964-72 , but with accents of the St. Louis gold.
The Rams adopted the classic blue-and-yellow look as their throwback uniform when they moved home, and they’ve worn it in two home games apiece over their first two seasons in the Coliseum. Their fans wanted more, and they’re getting it.
”(The NFL) understood our fans’ requests about why we wanted to wear throwbacks more,” Demoff said. ”They saw the passion. We sent them all the letters, all the discussion from last year.”
The Rams essentially were allowed to swap out their current navy-blue jerseys for their throwbacks for four games during the upcoming season. The team spent several games last season wearing what appeared to be mismatched navy jerseys and pants, and fans were fed up.
They’ll also swap their current white-horned helmets for gold horns while wearing the throwbacks. The Rams’ headgear also is historic: they have the first NFL helmets ever to feature a logo, after halfback Fred Gehrke painted the horns onto the leather helmets in 1948.
After the NFL agreed to the switch this week, the Rams will wear the royal blue jerseys with yellow ram horns around the shoulders in five of their seven home games. Their eighth ”home” game is in Mexico City , where the Rams will wear their yellow ”Color Rush” alternate uniforms.
The Rams will wear their current white home jerseys in their two preseason home games and their first two regular-season games at the Coliseum in September. That decision will force their opponents to wear colored jerseys in the hottest temperatures of the season.
The team also will wear the blue-and-yellow gear with roughly the same frequency in 2019, Demoff said.
But this franchise’s uniform saga is far from over.
The Rams have long planned to unveil new uniforms when they move into their palatial new stadium in Inglewood for the 2020 season. Demoff indicated the new look is likely to be ”a blend” of the classic and the new.
”Certainly we know where the fans’ passion on colors and uniforms are,” Demoff said. ”But we want to make sure we walk into the world’s newest and most modern stadium with a uniform design that is reflective of our history, but also reflects the building that we’ve just constructed.”
Jake Arrieta and Gio Gonzalez should be happy to see the calendar flip to July.
They’ll hope to put a rough June behind them when they face off Sunday in the finale of a four-game set between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals. The Phillies will try to win the series in the 1:35 p.m. matinee.
Arrieta (5-6, 3.54 ERA) had a 6.66 ERA in five June starts. Opponents hit .305 with a .907 OPS against him in the month, and the veteran right-hander allowed at least three earned runs in each outing.
In his last start, Arrieta gave up six runs (three earned) in five innings against the New York Yankees on nine hits, two of which were homers.
“The ball is getting hit , that’s it. Making mistakes, too many mistakes,” Arrieta told MLB.com after the start. “I was throwing quality breaking balls early in the count and then when I needed to go back to a similar spot or a little bit lower in the strike zone or out of the strike zone, I just put it too much in the zone and they hit it. It’s a pretty simple explanation.”
Arrieta had a 0.90 ERA in five starts during May, and he gave up just one run and two hits in six innings against the Nationals on May 6. Arrieta is 1-2 with a 5.02 ERA in 10 career starts against the Nationals.
Gonzalez (6-5, 3.68) had an even worse June. The 32-year-old lefty had an 8.44 ERA in five starts during the month. In three of those outings, Gonzalez gave up at least four earned runs and failed to pitch more than four innings.
Gonzalez had his worst start of 2018 the last time he took the mound. He gave up six runs and walked five batters in one inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
“It wasn’t my night. I couldn’t get a strike,” Gonzalez , who missed the strike zone with 33 of his 62 pitches, told reporters after the outing. “Sometimes it happens. It’s part of the game.”
Gonzalez will be facing the Phillies for the 25th time in his 11-year big league career. He is 11-7 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP against the Nationals’ divisional rival. Gonzalez threw five scoreless innings against Philadelphia on May 4.
The Phillies, who are 5-4 against the Nationals this season, have won two of the first three games against their divisional foe in the series. At 44-37, they are two games ahead of Washington for second place in the National League East. The Phillies were 28-53 through 81 games a season ago.
The Phillies hope Odubel Herrera’s bat heats up. The center fielder homered in Saturday’s 3-2 victory after going 2-for-28 in his previous seven games. Herrera is hitting .286 on the season with 14 homers and 46 RBIs.
The Nationals, meanwhile, went 9-16 in June and are 42-39 at the halfway mark of the season.