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

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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.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.