Joe Maddon believes 'real men wear plaid'

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Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has a plea to Rays fans out there (from the St. Petersburg Times):

“Real men wear plaid,” Maddon said. “Come on out in your plaids — that would be awesome. To have this ballpark plaided out would be very cool.”

Maddon invented the “Brayser,” a blue and white plaid blazer that his team embraced this season. And I have to admit it would be pretty cool to see Tropicana Field clad in plaid when the Rays take the field for Game 1 against the Rangers on Wednesday. Only one problem: like many creative geniuses, Maddon has focused on the making of his invention, but not the production, and there are only 54 “Braysers” in existence.

So dig into those closets, Rays fans. You’re on your own.

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Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.