NEW YORK -- Perhaps the Brewers' rookies blended right into the streets of New York on Sunday night, some of them dressed as a dominatrix (Mike McClendon), a big pink bunny (Jonathan Lucroy), a 1920s-style flapper (Brandon Kintzler), a medical school graduate (Mat Gamel) an old man (Lorenzo Cain) and a slice of pizza (Jeremy Jeffress). But even in the Big Apple, they likely stood out. "It's kind of a baseball tradition that goes on in every clubhouse -- on one of the final road trips -- that the rookies have to wear a costume. I had to do it, too," said 40-year-old Craig Counsell.
When the rookies returned to their lockers after Sunday's win over the Marlins at Miller Park, they found their street clothes missing, replaced by gaudy costumes. They wore them on the flight to New York, then were dropped off a few blocks from Grand Central Station and the team hotel. Consider it part of the Major League initiation. What did Counsell wear back in his day? "I wore a dress, yeah, with a short miniskirt," he said proudly. "I looked good." Cain's outfit came in a bag labeled, "Uncle Bert," and consisted of navel-high pants and, fittingly, a cane. "They say I'm the oldest 24-year-old they know," Cain said with a shrug. "So the costume speaks for me. I'll put it on. I'm fine with it. I'm a rookie, so I understand there are things I need to do." Lucroy planned to pull double-duty from his bunny costume. "I think I'm going to wear it for Halloween," he said.