Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
By MARC TOPKIN
Published September 17, 2006
It was fashion week in New York during the Devil Rays visit, but on Thursday the leggy supermodels weren't the only ones getting the long looks.
The Rays turned their annual rookie and near-rookie hazing into their own little fashion show thanks to the creative costuming - wait, alleged creative costuming by backup catcher Josh Paul.
"I know J.P. put a lot of thought into these things, and the attempt was to match up the personality with the outfits somehow," manager Joe Maddon said. "I mean, if J.P. was responsible."
Based on a sampling of veterans, the biggest hits were Ruddy Lugo, a blue fairy; Delmon Young, in a nurse's dress with white fishnet stockings; and Tim Corcoran as a vampy Miss Claus.
"Ruddy had a great time with it," reliever Brian Meadows said. "It was kinda strange how much he enjoyed dressing up like a fairy. He was dancing around, and he didn't want anyone to touch his wings. I think he's planning on keeping the outfit and wearing it again. It's a little scary."
Rocco Baldelli said Lugo and Young caught his eye. "The happiest person seemed to be Ruddy," Baldelli said. "He almost seemed like he liked it in a strange sort of way."
Young - perhaps considering the alternatives, such as the Playboy bunny-type outfits that Brian Stokes and Chad Orvella had - also seemed comfortable, Baldelli said, particularly in his hose. "They seemed to fit well."
Corcoran's problem - and we're guessing he may not have been the first - was not having enough, um, chest to keep the top of his red outfit from falling down. "We're going to have to put him on an offseason program," Baldelli joked.
The 13 players - as well as Maddon, bench coach Bill Evers (whose usual, um, conservative dress made it unclear to some if he was in costume) and assistant trainer Paul Harker -had no choice but to go along. While they were in uniform for the game, someone who wasn't catching that night took their clothes out of their lockers and left only underwear, shoes or sneakers and costumes. (Paul, who will be eligible for arbitration, didn't take the same liberty with first-year executive vice president Andrew Friedman.)
Taking the first steps out in public, as any model knows, was the hardest part, especially with the hundreds of fans gathered outside Yankee Stadium. "It's fun to do it in New York," Meadows said, "because you know they're the meanest."
The players later had to walk through LaGuardia Airport - "They got some smirks," Baldelli said - and got to their Toronto hotel in time to get a few interesting stares from the post-bar crowd.
"People were looking at us like we were messed up," said Ben Zobrist, in a parochial school-girl skirt, blazer and white half-shirt. "They were like, what ... ?"
Maddon, who described his mauve polyester pants and plaid jacket ensemble as a Father Knows Best/My Three Sons look, said he thought the whole episode, common among teams, went well. And he plans to hang on to his ensemble.
"I'm thinking of getting the pants autographed by everybody on the team. That would be a nice keepsake," Maddon said. "Either that or give them to (bullpen coach) Bobby Ramos, because he would wear something like that."
Meadows said the players, though some had gone through it before, took it well. With a season-ending trip to Boston and Cleveland approaching, he suggested the hazing might not be over: "We might have to get them again."