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The not-golden gymnastics team

Sep 10, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Photo by @GioGonzalez47
The Nats rookies pose before boarding their train for New York last night.

It's an annual rite of September, the day veteran players make their rookie teammates dress up in silly costumes for a road trip and subject them to all sorts of public and private ridicule.

Most MLB clubs do it, but the Nationals seem to be among the more creative groups when it comes to costume themes.

Last year, Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Wilson Ramos and others were forced to paint their faces and chests blue and travel by train to New York dressed as Smurfs.

This year, Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Christian Garcia, Eury Perez, Corey Brown and Sandy Leon walked into the clubhouse following yesterday's loss to the Marlins and found their regular clothes replaced by red leotards, doctored up to look likeRead more ยป

  1. MicheleS - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Still snickering.. thanks Mark..

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    "Man-scaping"! That is definitely a newer term I'm hearing more and more.

  3. hmm... - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    abandon taste all ye who enter here.

  4. Chevy Chase Bob - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    They look like the national ballet of Uzbekistan.

  5. NatsLady - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Who dreams this stuff up? I gotta laugh! They don't, of course, but I do.

  6. Feel Wood - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Sure hope those leotards weren't made out of this fabric.

  7. Doc - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Forget about the 'man-scaping', it's not gonna work! Just go as the National Ballerinas from Kazmenistan–most of them don't shave anyway.

  8. rabbit34 - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Funny!! Have fun guys….glad it's you!

  9. rabbit34 - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Funny!! Have fun guys….glad it's you!

  10. peric - Sep 10, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Time to focus on winning a good number of games in the stretch run. I hope this helps and doesn't hinder.

  11. Scooter - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I usually don't get as excited by this stuff as other folks seem to, but the phrase "doing all their man-scaping" really is great.

  12. baseballswami - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    After facing Ricky Nolasco that must have seemed quite easy. I don't get that kind of stuff, but it seems to be something that all teams do. Maybe at this time of year a good laugh and a momentary disctraction are good things.The Rays do crazy dress up things a lot as a team.

  13. Positively Half St. - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Doc-Nice work comparing them to the ugly dancers of a very (very!) obscure country. It's very unlikely to insult anybody, but if somebody said that's what I looked like, I would still feel kinda self-conscious somehow.+1/2St.

  14. JD - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Nice perspective piece by Doug Glanville about Stephen Strasburg on ESPN:http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8358322/repairing-stephen-strasburg-psyche-key-washington-nationals

  15. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Lombo and Brown got to be Smurfs last year: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/nationals-rookies-dressed-as-smurfs/2011/09/11/gIQAsUm4KK_blog.htmlAnd now this. Some guys just have all the luck. How many times can you be a rookie? As many times as Werth decides that you are.They certainly had a few double takes at Union Station, but probably didn't attract any notice at Grand Central in NYC, where those Nats are a lot more presentable than some of the locals.

  16. SonnyG10 - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Poor guys.

  17. timeless46 - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Does anyone know when players of the week are announced. I would think Laroche should have a shot for last week.

  18. snopes1 - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I know tastes differ (and I'm one hundred percent fine with that), but I have to say I prefer the lovely Uzbeki ballerina over Bryce Harper in spandex.But to each his own. http://tinyurl.com/Uzbeki-Ballerina

  19. hiramhover - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    PericWe all hope they win. Why are you even raising the prospect that it might hurt? Are you worried about the leotards constricting blood flow or chafing? Or razor burn from the manscaping?

  20. derwink - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Tthese types of practical jokes are usually the sign of a healthy locker room. I think it can only help over the course of 162+ games.

  21. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Doc, you would know that how, exactly?

  22. Santangelo for President 2012 - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    If memory serves me correctly they made Ryan Church do it two years in a row as well and I want to say he wasn't none too happy about it where it appears from the pictures Lombo and Brown sort of just rolled with it. My how things have changed since those old days.

  23. Doc - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Fortunately, Pos. Half St. I don't think that it's a real country. Just to be sure I checked with both Gillett and Barbasol and they have no record of sales to such a place.

  24. Doc - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Section 3: Yeah you're right Section 3. I was just spectulating. I have no real experience with hairy ballerinas, particularly those in the middle of the Gobbi desert.

  25. peric - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    The MASN sports site just hung … sensory overload with all the winning …

  26. Unknown - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Ridiculous and humiliating. Grow up! There are already enough infantile people in the world.

  27. Section 222 - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    I imagine the humiliation would have been much harder to take when the team was not an on upswing. Did the Nats engage in this stuff during the two 100 loss seasons? Did Zim have to do something similar in 2005 during that late season collapse.

  28. peric - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Are you worried about the leotards constricting blood flow or chafing? Or razor burn from the manscaping?Distraction. LIke golfing with Mark Lerner and Davey. Young team needs to focus not get scattered in all directions.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    It sure ruined last seasons finish.

  30. peric - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    All I know is that living in a Frat house almost always was distracting when it came to studies and athletics. Just my take …

  31. SCNatsFan - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    I like it. It's a long season and I think it might be timed well to loosen the guys up after one of their worst of the year. Sure it was planned for a long time and if you are the kind of player who couldn't let this roll off your back then I doubt you are a good teammate.

  32. MicheleS - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Last year when they did this, they had to make up for a couple of years (which is why Storen had to do it last year). Appparantly, no Vets were in the clubhouse that would continue this tradition. It happens in all clubhouses. Gio had to dress up as a swiss miss. Peric.. This took 20 minutes after a game, not an early tee time or a late night at some charity function. This is not scattering them in all directions. no impact.

  33. Feel Wood - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Section 222 said… I imagine the humiliation would have been much harder to take when the team was not an on upswing. Did the Nats engage in this stuff during the two 100 loss seasons?Yes. Chico Harlan reported about it between wine tastings, although I'm too lazy to look up the specific NJ entries now.Did Zim have to do something similar in 2005 during that late season collapse.Probably. Rookie hazing is an MLB-wide rite of September. It's probably mentioned in Svrluga's book, but I'm at work and my copy's at home.

  34. Section 222 - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Thanks Feel. I have Svruluga's book at home too. I'll check it out. MicheleS has clarified that it wasn't done during Storen and Stras's rookie year (2010). I wonder about 2008-2009.

  35. Feel Wood - Sep 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    MicheleS has clarified that it wasn't done during Storen and Stras's rookie year (2010). I wonder about 2008-2009.The first I remember reading about it was in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Can't remember which year, but like this year it was done on a train trip to or from NYC. I do remember seeing Detwiler carrying the pink Hello Kitty backpack out to the bullpen before the September games I was at in RFK in 2007, so that team was at least doing some rookie hazing. Perhaps the 2008/2009 teams were so incompetent they couldn't even get rookie hazing right. Who knows?

  36. Secret wasian man - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Unknown from 3.08. Your a baby.

  37. NatsFanJim - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Just finished manscaping — no help.

  38. NatsFanJim - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I know this is a Nats Forum, but gotta feel for the bad luck 'up the road' O's who lost Markakis. I had a little hope of an O's/Nats series.

  39. NatsFanJim - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Why does this tame feel like a "must win' game? Maybe I'm feeling pessimitic, but feel like we're headed for a bad skid.

  40. rabbit34 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    It is a must game if the Braves win. But, if the Braves lose, is the game still a must? That is the question. But, we still have lots of "must win" games that we can lose and still win the Division. So, all is still well and we will be victorious, as we must.

  41. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Kind of cute, in a 45 IQ kind of way.

  42. natsfan1a - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    I'm way behind in reading posts and comments but did see the gymnast pics. My first thought was: Oh, my stars and garters. My second thought was: I suppose they asked whether they were allowed to wear cups? :-)And, as others have noted, many teams do late season rookie hazings like this, often on a road trip, I believe. I think our guys usually do it on a late season NY trip, because it means parading through a couple of big city train stations all decked out. If memory serves, Ryan Church wore a very fetching French maid outfit, with mesh stockings. :-)

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