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SF Giants infielder falls victim to Nike, Fanatics, journalistic error

Young SF Giants infielder Casey Schmitt was just posing for photos, but a mistaken post by a beat writer put him at the center of Nike and Fanatics' jersey fiasco.

It's no secret by now that Nike and Fanatics have profoundly messed up MLB's uniforms. Nike, the company in charge of designing the uniforms, and Fanatics in charge of manufacturing them, have exclusive-rights deals with MLB to make their official uniforms. Fanatics has faced criticism for mediocre products for years and may finally be facing some comeuppance. MLB players are frustrated with the low-quality product. In the latest chapter of the saga, SF Giants infielder Casey Schmitt fell victim to uniforms that clearly fell short.

SF Giants third baseman Casey Schmitt rounds the bases on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at Oracle Park on August 27, 2023.

SF Giants 3B Casey Schmitt rounds the bases on a solo home run. (2023)

One of the most prominent complaints about the new uniforms surrounds see-through pants, which Schmitt unfortunately became the face of on Thursday. While Schmitt was posing for photos, Alex Pavlovic, a Giants beat writer at NBC Sports Bay Area (a network that is co-owned by the Giants), took a picture of him and posted it to his Instagram story with a caption "The @CaseySchmitt mustache for photo dayđź‘Ś"

While Pavlovic simply thought he had showcased the 2020 second-round pick looking good for photos, he presumably had not realized a lewd outline of Schmitt's genitals was apparent near the seam of his pants. Pavlovic has since deleted the story, but the damage had already been done. 

Many quickly screengrabbed the image and shared it separately on social media. By the late morning, it was being spread wildly with jokes about both Fanatics' jerseys, but also Schmitt's body. The image of the 24-year-old infielder became representative of longstanding criticisms of Fanatics, but also included a bevy of inappropriate comments and jokes about Schmitt's body.

Given the leaguewide complaints about uniform quality, and other images swirling showing see through pants, it's hard to imagine Schmitt has been the only player who has been photographed in a compromising position. At least in the context of photo day, there are usually several steps of vetting to avoid making the mistake Pavlovic did. 

However, players are going to be taking the field during games soon. There will be no controlled environments, lighting, or editing that can be done to protect players from fans who will be taking plenty of photographs. Nike and Fanatics' failure is as blatant as can be, and Thursday's latest fiasco made it even more evident that MLB needs to make some serious changes soon.

NOTE: The article has been updated from its original version to clarify Nike's role as uniform designer. The original solely mentioned Fanatics.