Joe Maddon changed his look last week hoping to change the mood of his team, dyeing his silver hair jet black in homage to Johnny Cash before the Ring of Fire wear-black road trip. Maddon's new look got some strange looks and funny quips around the clubhouse, his favorite coming from All-Star Carl Crawford. "He looks like a pro bowler," Crawford said. "I don't know any pro bowlers, but he looks like a pro bowler." (Earl Anthony, anyone?) We thought we'd turn to some experts and asked three Tampa Bay area image consultants what they thought:
Kelly Machbitz, owner
"I actually like Joe's original hair color. It flatters his skin tone and suits his style. The low contrast between his hair color and skin tone really make his eyes (and glasses) the focal point — and make him look hip.
"The new black hair color is too dark and makes Joe's skin look ruddy and blotchy. As far as I know, there was only one man in black who really made it work — unfortunately Johnny Cash isn't with us anymore.
"The dark hair, the cut and glasses all make him look like a character from the past. I can almost hear Buddy Holly music playing in the background. …
"Going to extremes usually isn't the answer. If Joe really wants to make a change, I would suggest he go a shade or two darker than his natural color but not more than that. … If he really wants to keep a darker hair color, I would change up the glasses and suggest a self-tanner or bronzer."
Michael Bassolino Lifestyle Designs
"I tip my hat to the guy for making an effort. Hell, who doesn't want to look and feel young. Good for him, I say! I would suggest that he color his hair lighter next time, though. There are very few Anglo-Saxon men that have jet black hair. He should grab a picture when he was younger and try to match the hair color he had then. Perhaps a medium/dark brown would be fitting."
Professional Image Consultants
"Mr. Maddon's hair, while it looks great today, is only a temporary fix. The color will have to be 'touched up' every two weeks and could fade to 'unknown' colors. …
"Although men may think dying their hair makes them look younger, I still think men are better-looking with their gray hair!
"He did make a young, trendy statement with his eyeglasses when he first joined the Rays. He may want to go back to that concept and wear some (American Idol finalist) Danny Gokey-inspired eyewear."
Then again …
Maddon will be inducted into the Lafayette College Maroon Club Hall of Fame in November. Looking like he did here, Maddon played three seasons as a catcher for the Leopards and one as a quarterback.
It's ladies day …
The Rays wives/girlfriends host their Bucs counterparts for a softball game benefiting the 1Voice Foundation charity before today's game, and they won't be just playing around.
With Brian Anderson, the assistant to the pitching coach and occasional TV analyst, as their coach, they've held three practices and been, relatively speaking, somewhat impressive.
"We have some hidden gems," Anderson said. "We have a very athletic squad compared to past teams I've been on, with wives who would probably attempt to play this game in heels. I'm very confident our girls will show up ready to play, and they'll all have tennis shoes on."
Among the more athletic: Kelly Bartlett, who played college lacrosse at St. Bonaventure; Michelle Burrell, who played on a Marine Corps softball team; Jamie Cormier, a former University of Alabama cheerleader and current triathlete; and Angie Kist (Grant Balfour's fiancee), who ran track and cross country at the University of Cincinnati.
Baseball America reported the difference with top draft pick LeVon Washington wasn't much — he wanted $1.5 million, the Rays offered $1.08 million — and named both sides as signing day losers. … The way the Tigers are set up, Edwin Jackson won't face his former Rays mates during the upcoming four-game series in Detroit. … A name for next year's bullpen? Danys Baez, whose contract with Baltimore is up and would love to return. So would INF Ty Wigginton. … The Rays' Hudson Valley (N.Y.) farm team will provide a live video broadcast of its 1:05 p.m. game today through its Twitter page, @hvrenegades. … By not signing Washington and No. 2 pick Kenny Diekroeger, the Rays get two extra picks in next year's draft, Nos. 31 and 79, but will have to pay them. … You'd think Just for Men, a Rays TV sponsor, would get a part of Maddon's hair dyeing.
Got a minute? | Jason Bartlett
Best meal you can make?
Chicken, rice and vegetables, with some cream of chicken soup over it. That's my favorite.
Band you'd like to be on stage with?
Keith Sweat — he does slow jams.
America's Best Dance Crew — my wife and I were addicted.
Karaoke song if you had to?
Pop a Top Again, by Alan Jackson.
Dream date, with your wife Kelly's permission?
It used to be Jessica Alba — I'll stick with her.