August 14, 2011
Zack Greinke(notes) got ahead of himself when the Milwaukee Brewers asked him to pinch hit in the fifth inning Saturday night. He came to bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates wearing the wrong uniform top.
Instead of wearing "Brewers" like his teammates, Greinke instead wore a jersey saying the German translation: "Bierbrauer." No, Zack, no. Nicht! Nein! Nee!
Milwaukee plans to wear the German jerseys Sunday as a nod to southeastern Wisconsin's rich Deutschland heritage. Greinke was just early to the party.
It's against the rules to wear a different jersey than that of your teammates, but umpires failed to catch the violation as it happened. If an umpire had noticed, Greinke would have been told to change jerseys, or the Brewers would have been told to change batters.
Greinke completed his at-bat without penalty by executing a sacrifice bunt. He then went back to the dugout, still apparently unaware.
Were he available for comment after the game (which the Brewers won 1-0) Greinke might have said something like: "Ich bin ein goofball." Or, "I'm a goofball."
The Brewers skipper was more forgiving, just because Greinke got the bunt down:
Manager Ron Roenicke said his star right-hander was wearing a fleece over his jersey during the game, so no one noticed it was the wrong uniform. When Roenicke called on him to bunt, he pulled the fleece off, grabbed a bat and went out to hit.
"I had no idea," Roenicke said. "It was blue, and that's all it looked like to me. I didn't know until one of the guys said something. He didn't know [either]."
The Brewers also have been known to wear jerseys that say "Cerveceros," which is Spanish for the team's nickname. I don't think anyone ever mistakenly wore it on the wrong day, though. (If someone were to lay odds, make Tony Plush the favorite going forward.)
So what happens now? Well, the Pirates probably don't have any recourse to appeal, or any real reason to. The bunt by the improperly clothed Greinke did not lead to a run, and seemed innocent enough, so the Bucs will just have to deal with it.
However, Roenicke expects the Brewers to receive a warning from Major League Baseball to not let it happen again. So, all we can do is point at Greinke and laugh.