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The controversy surrounding the new 2024 MLB uniforms explained

The new uniforms have hardly been a home run with players.
/ Source: TODAY

Hope springs eternal this time of year for Major League Baseball teams, but one thing no one seems to be feeling good about is the state of the uniforms the players will be wearing this season.

Yes, there is a growing controversy over the quality of uniforms that players and coaches will wear, with some people pointing out that the pants are see-through.

They were on display in a Feb. 20 video of Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh the team posted on X, as well as a picture the Los Angeles Dodgers shared of superstar Shohei Ohtani.

What is the see-through pants controversy with the new 2024 MLB uniforms?

The thin pants are part of a larger controversy regarding uniforms MLB teams will wear in 2024. The new uniforms were designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, with the goal of boosting performance and keeping everyone cool in the heat of the summer months. They’re not exactly getting rave reviews, though.

“I know everyone hates them,” Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner told The Associated Press on Feb. 16. “We all liked what we had. We understand business, but I think everyone wanted to keep it the same way, for the most part, with some tweaks here or there.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association is reportedly working on solving the issue before the regular season gets underway next month. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark is preaching patience about the matter.

“Any time there’s change, there’s an adjustment period. Sometimes that adjustment period goes well, sometimes not so much. In this instance, there appear to be some misses that could have otherwise not been misses,” Clark recently told The Athletic.

MLB and Nike teamed up in 2019 on a 10-year deal, with the apparel company taking over for Majestic Athletic, which had been making jerseys for the league since 1982.

Tinkering with the jerseys could be on the horizon.

Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during spring training on Feb. 21, 2024, in Glendale, Arizona.Masterpress / Getty Images

“Nike and Fanatics Group is going to come through spring training facilities in the weeks ahead and find ways to work around the margins and modify the jerseys,” MLB Network's Jon Morosi told NBC News

As for the pants, specifically, fans reacted to Raleigh in uniform in the video the Mariners shared to X.

"his pants are toilet paper," one person commented.

"I’d only seen how bad the jerseys were but my God, the pants are see through!" another person wrote.

"These pants combined Seattle’s rainy cold temps in the spring is gonna be a horrible experience for the players," one user pointed out.

What have MLB players and personnel said about the jerseys and uniforms?

In the meantime, players continue to scoff at the uniforms.

“It looks like a replica,” Angels outfielder Taylor Ward told The Athletic last week. “It feels kind of like papery. It could be great when you’re out there sweating, it may be breathable. But I haven’t had that opportunity yet to try that out. But from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like a $450 jersey.

Chicago White Sox Workout
Chicago White Sox pitcher John Brebbia struts his stuff during a spring training workout on Feb. 21, 2024, in Glendale, Arizona. Michael Reaves / Getty Images

“So far, thumbs down,” he added.

“I think that the performance wear might feel nice, but the look of it is like a knockoff jersey from T.J.Maxx,” an unnamed player with the Baltimore Orioles told the Baltimore Banner last week.

Nike says the new jerseys, which were unveiled during last season's All-Star Game, provide 25% more stretch and dry 28% faster, while noting it scanned the bodies of more than 300 players in order to get the right fit, according to the MLB.

Nike did not offer a formal statement to NBC News when asked about the jersey backlash this week, but noted the scanning of the 300 players and added the Nike Vapor Premier fabric uses “Dri-Fit ADV technology to help ensure athletes stay cool all game long — which is needed during July double-headers.”

Boston Red Sox Spring Training
Eddy Alvarez of the Boston Red Sox eyes first base during a spring training team workout on Feb. 21, 2024, in Fort Myers, Florida. Billie Weiss / Boston Red Sox via Getty Images

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred also knows the uniforms are a shift from what has come before.

“The jerseys are different,” he told reporters last week. “They’re designed to be performance wear, as opposed to what has traditionally been worn, so they are going to be different. But they have been tested more extensively than any jersey in any sport ... so I think after people wear them a little bit, they’re going to be really popular.”

Fans can get their first look at the new uniforms when spring training games kick off Feb. 22 with the Dodgers squaring off against their National League West rival San Diego Padres.