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The Tampa Bay Rays Do Grunge All Wrong

If Cobain ever liked baseball, he would be rolling over in his grave

I like to think that I have an eclectic taste in music. Outside of country and some jazz, I think I can talk tunes with any group of people. But 1990s grunge is my musical sweet spot.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my favorite band is Nirvana. I really enjoy Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Silverchair, pre-1999, was pretty grungy and pretty good. Hole had some good stuff, although I hate to admit that. Pearl Jam’s “Ten” is just an amazing album.

Anyway, I like grunge music.

I never did like grunge clothing. Of course, it may have not been my choice, I don’t remember. I was about 7 years old when grunge was in its heyday, and I don’t think my parents preferred me going to my second-grade class in long-sleeved flannel shirts, tattered jeans, leggings and Chucks. They just threw some cute school-boy clothes on me. Stupid establishment. I looked like a suburban sellout. Whatever, nevermind.

But that was the fashion. It’s not whatever the Tampa Bay Rays consider to be “grunge.”

Manager Joe Maddon has organized these team-building exercises via clothing throughout the season. The Rays play dress-up with threads related to the home city of their next opponent during road trips. This weekend, the Rays played a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners, so grunge was a pretty easy call. But on their way to the early ’90s, thanks to “grunge-meister” Johnny Damon (Really? Get outta here), the Rays apparently ventured into the land of redneck truckers, lumberjacks, professional arm wrestlers and Larry the Cable Guy. You would have thought grunge music was born in Nebraska.

Flannel was never supposed to be worn above the elbow, much less above the freaking shoulder. And look at those pristine jeans! Tear them suckers up. If you want to look grunge, you need to have trashed jeans. Instead, most of those pairs look … new! And hey, you — yeah, at the left end of the front row — is that camouflage? Oy vey.

This is embarrassing. Not quite as embarrassing as “The Simpsons” episode in which the tale of Homer and Marge’s college romance is set in the ’90s, and Homer lives a life much like Kurt Cobain’s, but it’s close.

I give props to the few guys actually doing it right. The guy third from the right in the front row knows what’s up. He looks like the guitarist from Screaming Trees.

The rest of them have caused my eyes to burn.

P.S. While he’s largely to blame for this fashion disaster, look at the guns on Maddon!

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