Things got testy in Friday afternoon’s game between the Cardinals and Cubs. Cubs starter Dan Haren hit Matt Holliday in the head with a fastball, forcing the outfielder from the game in the fifth inning. Both benches were promptly warned by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. Nevertheless, Cardinals reliever Matt Belisle attempted to exact revenge in the seventh, throwing a fastball at first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Belisle was tossed from the game.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn’t happy about the Cardinals’ attempt to get revenge. He defended Haren, saying his pitch to Holliday was “an absolute mistake” and that there was “no malicious intent whatsoever”.
Following that, he criticized the book of unwritten rules that the Cardinals purport to follow. Maddon said, “I never read that particular book that the Cardinals wrote way back in the day. I was a big Branch Rickey fan, but I never read that this book that the Cardinals had written regarding how to play baseball.”
Maddon was saying that in reference to the Cardinals playing their first baseman behind Chris Denorfia, who had walked and was on first base with one out in the bottom of the eighth with the Cubs leading by five runs. He threatened that, in the future, he would have his runner steal second base. According to the book of unwritten rules, teams shouldn’t take advantage of that situation given their lead. But, as Maddon explained, playing for an extra run would help them in the next inning as it would prevent them from having to warm up closer Hector Rondon.
Maddon also said about the Cubs, “We don’t start stuff, but we will stop stuff.” Here’s video from the Chicago Daily Herald:
It didn’t seem like it took long for the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry to heat up again. Following Friday’s win, the Cubs are 86-61, six games behind the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs trail the Pirates by 1.5 games for the first NL Wild Card slot.
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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Everything is going right for the Tampa Bay Rays lately. They just completed an impressive sweep of the Texas Rangers, signed their top draft picks and are stocking up on some alleged pitching talent.
So why the need for a wardrobe gimmick? Because it’s pretty dang sweet, that’s why.
It’s called the “BRayser” — which in case you couldn’t figure it out, is what you get when you combine “Rays” and “Blazer.” I can only assume it’s an ode to Dodgeball’s “Blazer”, and it’s also mandatory dress for the team’s West Coast road trip that begins on Thursday in Oakland.
That’s B.J. Upton wearing his BRayser in the photo above.
Joe Maddon, who got in trouble earlier this season for wearing a hoodie, loves the look:
“They’re fabulous,” he said. “They met with everybody’s approval.” Local fashion designer Julia Alarcon did the creative work, with Rays TV man Todd Kalas coordinating the months-long project.
In 2008 it was Mohawks, last year it was hair dye, this year it’s the BRayser, all in the name of building team unity.
What will it be next year? Maddon glasses for everyone? Or perhaps matching championship rings?
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