The gentleman on the left: Don Mattingly.
The Nutcracker character on the right? Also Don Mattingly.
No joke, that's the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers in his offseason role as the "Mother Ginger" character in the Evansville (Ind.) Ballet's version of the holiday favorite. The pictures of Donnie Baseball have quickly spread across the Internet, inspiring plenty of "cut that powdered wig, Mattingly!" quips.
The skipper, though, told the Evansville Courier-Press that he doesn't particularly care if anyone makes fun of him for portraying a "female character whose gigantic skirt and petticoats hide more than a half-dozen children who spill out to dance in the ballet's second act." He says he's having fun and who am I to judge? Some people spend the long offseason dressing as women in stage productions while the rest of us pass the time reading and writing about others dressing as women in stage productions. Whatever makes opening day seem all that closer.
And lest you think this is the best proof yet that working for Frank McCourt does things to a man, let it instead serve as a testament to the power of love. Mattingly's wife, Lori, is involved in the dance world and also performs a role in the play. It looks like a pretty nifty Christmas present for his new bride and a good way to show her some support.
So as long as Mattingly doesn't have a reciprocal agreement to let Lori into his world by coaching third base at Dodger Stadium next season, I think I'm OK with this.
How about you, Yankees fan in his mid-30s? Will you ever be able to look at that poster that's still hanging at your parents' house in the same way again?
Big BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball