Brooks Conrad is Joe Maddon's kind of guy -- a rustic old-school player from out west.
During his three seasons with the Braves, he earned the nickname "Rawdawg" from Chipper Jones.
"It's just because I don't wear batting gloves," said Conrad. "In the baseball world, that's the slang term we use for not using batting gloves…So that's what they started calling me over there in Atlanta and it stuck a little bit."
Conrad is looking to stick with the Rays. This is his first trip back to Tropicana Field since a disastrous major league debut in 2008.
"It wasn't a good start for the major leagues," Conrad admitted. "I think I was 0-for-11, 7 K's or something, facing Kazmir, Shields, and Sonnestine, those guys, when they were really rolling back then in '08. It was a rude awaking, but it's good to be back over here. I'm really excited to be here with the Rays."
His ability to play multiple positions and understanding his role makes him a perfect fit for Joe Maddon.
"He's done great," said Maddon. "Really love his attitude. Love his eagerness. His 'sans batting gloves' every at bat. Dirt on the hands, really good stuff. He plays hard, man. He's an eager guy. He's got skills, a switch hitter, great bat speed. Can play from third base, second base, some first base. Just love his attitude and he's fit in very well."
He's a baseball journeyman. A career that includes five stops in the majors, a decade of minor league ball, and two summers in Alaska during his most memorable college days.
"The weirdest game we played in," said Conrad, "We kicked off a game a midnight. It's called the Midnight Sun Game in Fairbanks, Alaska. We start the game actually at midnight and there's plenty of sunlight to play the whole game. It's pretty wild up there, but I loved it, man. It was great."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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