Big League Stew - MLB

Headlines involving middle-aged white men and hoods usually aren't positive, but here's the odd nice tale: On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon arrived at Tropicana Field to find a package from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. 

Inside the box? A personalized version (photo here) of the Patriots hoodie that Belichick has popularized, a gift of solidarity after Maddon raged against the man earlier this month and received approval from MLB to keep wearing his trademark Rays hoodie in the dugout.  

From the Associated Press:

"Very cool," Maddon said.

"It's quite an accomplishment, quite an achievement to get something from a coach who's won the Super Bowl," Maddon said.

When it comes to managerial outlooks, Belichick and Maddon couldn't be any more different. Belichick is famously secretive and conservative, equally guarded about giving up the details of his playbook and personal life. Maddon, meanwhile, occupies public life on the opposite end of the spectrum, always willing to engage in talk with anyone about baseball strategy, his favorite philosopher or a preferred bottle of wine.  

But it's good to see that not only do they share a love of winning — Maddon's 16-5 Rays are the best in baseball — they also appreciate the highest level of coaching comfort. 

Maddon says he plans to return the favor by sending Belichick a hooded Rays sweatshirt. I'm sure that'll go over real well with Boston Red Sox fans if Belichick gets a little chilly the next time he's at Fenway.  

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