The Rays were totally grunge the other night. Well, not really.


As we’ve mentioned before, Joe Maddon has taken to having the Rays play dress up when they travel. Sometimes they wear suits, sometimes they wear camo, sometimes they wear 70s disco stuff.  You get the idea.  Hey, gotta do something to arrest the boredom of travel. I mean, you can only read SkyMall so many times.

On their trip out to Seattle on Wednesday the Rays did something new: the grunge look.  Or, rather, a look that almost, but not entirely, was nothing like grunge.  Click here to see the team pic in Larry Stone’s article in the Seattle Times. Here’s Larry’s description.

Maddon’s theme for the trip to Seattle for a four-game series which begins with tonight’s pitching duel between Felix Hernandez and James Shields, was the obvious: Grunge. And he solicited the Rays’ Grunge-meister, Johnny Damon, to customize the players’ shirts for the occasion. Damon, who likes to wear his T-shirts with the sleeves cut off, warmed up to the task.

Larry seems like a very nice man so he was polite about it, but I’m not so nice so I will reproduce the first comment to Stone’s story because it captures my thoughts on the matter perfectly: “More ambiguously gay lumberjack than grunge but good for team cohesiveness I guess.”

Also, private note to the dude second from the right in the back row: wearing a Nirvana shirt from Hot Topic is to grunge what wearing a t-shirt that literally says “hippie” on it would be to a 1960s look or what a Fonzie shirt would be for the 50s. Just a bit too on-the-nose, you know?  Oh well, it’s not like I have any cred here. Yes, I was 18 around at the time the grunge thing took off, so it should be in my wheelhouse, but really, I looked way more like Zack Morris or an understudy for Color Me Badd between 1991 and 1994 than I looked like Cobain.

In other grunge news, there is no question that Dave Grohl has aged better than the other two members of Nirvana, but I’m rather shocked at how close the race for second place really is.

Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …

Mark McGwire to become the Padres bench coach

Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire roams the field during practice for the National League baseball championship series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. The Dodgers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.

McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.