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Mets, Cards, Astros unveil new jerseys

You can tell the MLB offseason is moving into high gear when three things happen: The major awards for the preceding season are announced; the Marlins hold a fire sale; and teams begin unveiling new jerseys in time for the Black Friday shopping binge.

That last development is the one that concerns us here, as several clubs have announced new uniform plans for 2013. Here's the rundown:

Cardinals: The Cards haven't worn their city name on their uni in 80 years, but that will change next season, when they'll wear a throwback-ish design for Saturday home games. It is nice? You betcha. Is it necessary? Not in the least. If they had to go with an alternate design, why not go with something really old school, like this Rogers Hornsby-era version, instead of using the same birds in the same poses as on the standard home and road jerseys?

Mets: Lots of people have been saying the Metsies would have a blue alternate jersey next season. Turns out those people were half-right: They'll have two blue alternate jerseys, one for home and one for the road. Toss in their home whites, their home cream pinstripes, and their black alternates (which are not being jettisoned after all, although they were only worn twice last season and likely will see similarly limited action in 2013) and you have a whopping six jersey options, which is more than any team needs. Unless that team's ownership is in a Madoff-induced financial hole and is therefore desperate for as much merch-based revenue as possible.

Astros: The ’stros will be moving to the American League next season, and they're marking the occasion with a new uni set. There had been lots of chatter about the team reviving its shooting star design. In the end, though, the Astros went with a much more conservative design (further info here). Love the return of the star-H cap, but the rest of the set seems rather tame, no? Heck, Uni Watch readers came up with much better ideas when we ran a "Redesign the Astros" contest last summer.

Brewers: OK, so this is a different kind of uni news. The Brew Crew is inviting fans to submit designs for a new uniform. The winning design will be worn for a spring training game in March. Not quite as momentous as if they'd let a fan design a uni for a regular-season game, but still a very fan-friendly move. Nice job, Brewers!