If your team is out of the playoff hunt, September always seems to have one more treat for you -- the rookie road trip.
Every year in just about every clubhouse, rookies come into the clubhouse following the last game of a series to find their clothes replaced with some kind of embarrassing costume that they must wear until they get to the hotel in the next city.
Year after year it happens. A couple of years ago I was covering a team that had to scrap its plans at the last minute because the manager was mad and didn't want any merriment from a team following a loss, despite the fact the team was safely out of the running.
While some teams will have these kind of shenanigans earlier in the season, most wait until the end of the season because there are more rookies once call-ups are made. And then there's the whole question of who is a rookie, these pranks aren't like chicken pox -- you can get them more than once. Jeff Keppinger told me he had to do it three different times because of late call-ups and new teams.
Well, Keppinger didn't have to do it this season, but his teammates did. Astros.com's Alyson Footer got some great photos for her blog . Click to see Chris Johnson and Jason Castro as Saturday Night Live 's Ace and Gary, Henry Villar as Super Mario Brother Luigi and Fernando Abad as the ever-popular naughty nurse.
Footer also pulled up old pictures of Roy Oswalt in a Hooters get-up in 2001 and Morgan Ensberg in the same the year before.
It's great stuff from Footer and hopefully we'll see more of these from other teams in coming weeks.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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