ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be making their upcoming West Coast road trip in style, thanks to an interesting fashion choice by manager Joe Maddon and the rest of the team.
The players and coaches will be sporting what they call "Braysers" -- plaid blazers in the Rays colors with a sunburst on the pocket -- to continue their trend of themed road trips. Maddon has always been a proponent of the themed trips, but he has been especially excited about this one for months.
"It's high-end stuff. You could see that at Hugo Boss, absolutely," Maddon said of the Braysers. "With my fashionista sense, there it is."
Maddon expressed a desire for matching team blazers earlier this season, and TV broadcaster Todd Kalas helped make the connection, as he knows people in New York who came down to measure the team and brought the fabric. Maddon then organized a team vote, though the Rays didn't vote in favor of the design they used in the end.
"Actually, we voted on something else, fabric-wise -- very close to that," Maddon said. "But they did not have enough, so they came back, gave me a couple other choices and finally I said, 'Let's just do that.' And I'm glad I did, because it really does embody all the different Rays colors."
Tampa Bay's relievers wore the Braysers out to the bullpen before Tuesday's game, much to the fans' amusement. Maddon said that the team will "absolutely" wear them again after this seven-game road trip, but the timing worked out well enough to have them ready for this journey to the West Coast.
Earlier this season, the Rays donned hockey jerseys when they traveled to Toronto and wore all white to Miami. The club had a Western-themed trip last year, as well as a Johnny Cash-inspired trip during which Maddon dyed his hair black.