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

Jun 3, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT

flannel

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.

  1. jasoncollette - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    The guy in the Nirvana coach is actually team hitting coach Derek Shelton.

  2. Lukehart80 - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    Hey, it’s possible that the man is actually just a big Nirvana fan and ALWAYS wears that t-shirt under his uniform.

  3. bleedgreen - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Looks more like a Larry the Cable Guy look-alike get together than grunge.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Dead On! Enroute to the Redneck Riviera.

    • Max Power - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      You’ve got it exactly right.

      I was in college in the mid-1990s, and I don’t remember anyone with cut-off sleeves. The grunge look was a long-sleeved flannel shirt, unbuttoned. A surprisingly simple outfit to pull off that the Rays have inexplicably missed.

      The guy in the first row, third from the right seems to be the only one who’s come close.

      They seem to be having fun though.

      • spindervish - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Dude, they put Damon in charge. I’ll never forget ’04, but that guy is dumber than a bucket of rocks.

  4. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Coincidentally, “heart-shaped box” is playing on my pandora station. As a child obsessed with the grunge trend, I am an expert on such matters. Grunge and tearing off sleeves your shirt are most certainly mutually exclusive.

    • Brian Murphy - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      The flannel shirts were always long-sleeved shirts because it’s cold in Seattle, and that was the look. The flannel was never supposed to be worn above the elbow, much less above the freaking shoulder.
      And look at those pristine jeans? Tear them suckers up. If you want to look grunge, you need to have tattered jeans. Instead, most of those jeans look … nice!
      As a gigantic Nirvana fan, this is embarrassing. Not quite as embarrassing as the Simpsons episode in which the tale of how Homer and Marge met is set in the ’90s, and Homer lives a life much like Cobain’s, but this is close.
      I give props to the couple of guys actually wearing Nirvana gear. The rest of them have caused my eyes to burn.

  5. seeyouinhelljohnny - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    “Looks more like a Larry the Cable Guy look-alike get together than grunge.”

    This.

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