It’s an annual rite of passage across Major League Baseball. It has been for years. Towards the end of the season the veterans choose one of the team’s final road trips and the rookies have to dress up for the duration, no matter how much public ridicule they subsequently endure.
Last September the Washington Nationals rookies were painted blue, handed white pants, and boarded the team’s train to New York City dressed as The Smurfs. Wilson Ramos, Drew Storen, and others participated. Stephen Strasburg played Papa Smurf.
This year, the veterans chose an embarrassment a little more timely.
Bryce Harper, Steven Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Corey Brown, Sandy Leon, Eury Perez, and Christian Garcia returned to their lockers following Thursday night’s game to find red leotards hanging in their lockers rather than their street clothes. The players dressed, “man-scaped” (according to how Adam LaRoche described it to Mark Zuckerman), and prepared for the team’s trip to New York dressed at the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic team.
In addition to posing for pictures, the group had to ride the team bus to Union Station, walk through the station in public view, ride their charter train to New York, walk through Penn Station in public view, bus to the team hotel, and only once they reached their rooms could they change.