September 12, 2011
Tired of the played-out rookie hazing costumes that baseball teams have been floating our way the past few years? Then check out what the Washington Nationals veterans did to their youngsters on Sunday in a gag that totally reinvented the genre:
That's Stephen Strasburg(notes) as the red-clad Papa Smurf. He's holding batterymate Wilson Ramos(notes) (as Smurfette) just hours after he pitched the first three innings of the Nats' 8-2 win over the Houston Astros. The rest of this blue man group is made up of Nats who had never gone through the embarrassment of a group Halloween before.
Jayson Werth(notes) appeared to be the ringleader, and the Smurf theme song played in continuous loop in the clubhouse during the dressing. F.P. Santangelo said the episode was "definitely" the best rookie hazing he'd ever seen in his baseball life.
Even though I'd love to have seen Davey Johnson playing the role of Gargamel, these outfits are worthy of a rousing chorus of "la, la, la la la la." If the Nats are trendsetters, then maybe we'll see the death of the unimaginative female getups — Mike Trout as Lady Gaga? Zzzz ... — and dream of a '80s cartoon-obsessed world where young Yankees become Snorks and mini Mariners become Muppet Babies.
Then again, I guess there's a chance this trend could end before it even starts. With all that blue paint, I can't imagine what the Nats' team charter looked like Monday morning.