This was a fashionable week for the Rays. There was the charity fashion show on Thursday. There was the retro fashion of the stripped stirrup socks. And there was some fashion high jinks with David Price's bobblehead painting on the rightfield wall.
Dress for success
The kids from the Children's Dream Fund were in the spotlight during Thursday's Rays on the Runway fashion show. But a few of the Rays players (including Reid Brignac in his sophisticated "Clark Kent" outfit) and coaches enjoyed their star turns. And perhaps none more than bullpen coach Bobby "Sugar Bear" Ramos, who was dancing down the runway in what everyone agreed was, appropriately, tropical gear, including a shirt RHP Dan Wheeler deemed indescribable: "It was wild, probably every color you could think of, and just kind of bam! — very Bobby. It worked out well for him." "He was getting into it pretty good," said emcee/RHP James Shields. "The stuff that Bobby wore looked like it was right out of his closet, straight from Miami." Agreed Ramos: "I have a lot of clothes that look just the same."
Faces of change
At least David Price was amused, since there wasn't anything else he could do about the daily "defacing" of the painting on the rightfield wall of his upcoming bobblehead.
First it was a blacked-out tooth, then a mustache (that he admitted had him looking like former Ray Fred McGriff), then eye black with his 615 Tennessee area code.
After a few days of mystery, RHP Andy Sonnanstine fessed up Friday as the culprit, calling Price to make sure it wasn't bothering him.
"It was Sonny playing Mr. Potato Head, putting different stuff on me every day," Price said. "It's all in good fun. It's kinda cool actually. It keeps me guessing what he's going to be put out there next time."
If Rocco Baldelli's shoulder is really feeling as strong as it did when he played for Boston last year, as he told the Times on Friday, you have to figure he could be at least a September callup. … Manager Joe Maddon had "a lot of fun" Monday filming his first national TV commercial. He still had his lines down Friday — "One a Day Men's 50-plus Advantage with Ginkgo that helps improve memory and concentration" — for good reason: "I said it about 35 times." … Besides repeatedly saying how hungry he was, the highlight of David Price's miked up segment on FSN was his asking Willy Aybar, "Do you know what Longo's middle name is? 'I'm So Good.' Evan 'I'm So Good' Longoria." … SI.com's Jon Heyman has the acquisition of closer Rafael Soriano seventh on a list of best decisions of the year.
Got a minute? Matt Joyce
Best meal you can make?
The French toast my grandma taught me — you use Hawaiian sweet bread and let's just say it's very good.
Karaoke song if you had to?
Probably something classic — maybe Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones.
You can't go wrong with milk and cookies — Oreos or fresh-baked chocolate chips.
Time-killer at the mall?
That's tough. Let's go with Jessica Biel.
Sock it to them
Hearing pitchers Randy Choate and Lance Cormier rave about the old-school striped stirrup socks while watching the Cardinals on TV, home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland checked into getting the Rays their own. After a few calls, e-mails and design exchanges with the Twin City Knitting Co., Westmoreland had an order of 36 pairs of customized, color-schemed, seven-ring stirrups on the way. It took a month, and they arrived for Thursday's game.
The socks are 4-inch stirrups, which are worn over plain white sanitary socks, and unfamiliar for some young players. "A few guys did ask me, how do I wear them — does the low side go up front or in the back," Westmoreland said. (Answer: In the front.)
The Rays now have five different socks, joining the solid soccer-style navy, Phiten titanium-laced solid navy, two-in-one stirrup/white one piece, and solid blue stirrup.