DUNEDIN, Fla. — There might, just might, have been a few cervezas involved and one of Alex Rios’ friends may or may not have ended up with an unwanted tattoo. What we do know for sure is that some late-night shenanigans over the winter in Puerto Rico led to a mohawk for the Jays’ right fielder.
Let Rios explain: "We started talking about mohawks and stuff like that. I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to grow one.’ I have a friend who has one, but he has good hair. Mine is all kind of nappy. Mine’s a bootleg one."
Rios’ bootleg mohawk was definitely the talk of camp today over at The Mattick. Sure, there were catchers and pitchers working out or something, but the black stripe garnered all of the attention. People were asking about the new ‘do before asking about those negotiations with Rios on a long-term deal (still going, by the way).
Veteran catcher Sal Fasano — bearer of arguably the greatest Fu-Manchu in baseball history — was asked if he’d be able to pull off a mohawk: "If I had a mohawk like that, I’d get arrested for something. I already look like a sc umbag."
Over by the batting cage on one of the practice fields, Jays general manager J.P. Ricciard, shortstop John McDonald and Rios engaged in this entertaining dialogue:
RICCIARDI: "Alex, if you cut your hair, you’d be like Tom Brady. You’d have them all. What do you think Johnny Mac?"
MCDONALD: "The problem is that he’s already had them all."
RIOS: "Aw, c’mon, Johnny."
When asked if there was drinking involved when he decided to grow the ‘hawk, Rios grinned widely and responded: "There were a few"
One reporter laughed and asked if anyone ended up with a tattoo.
"It wasn’t me," Rios replied.
Rios wasn’t sure if he was keeping the hairdo or not, but a decision will probably come quick. Rios was worried if he kept it too long the sides of his head would wind up being darker than the top, thanks to six weeks under the Florida sun. Now that’d be a sweet look.
Check out the 2008 Spring Training photo album to see more goings on from today.