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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The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.