Smack dab in the middle of his first postgame TV interview as a major leaguer, three teammates gave Brett Lawrie a proper initiation. Two of them covered his face in shaving cream and a third completed the ceremony by dousing him in Gatorade.
Consider yourself baptized in the big leagues, rookie.
The surprise party capped a night of firsts for Lawrie, who got two singles and drove in a run during his highly anticipated major league debut, a 5-4 Jays victory at Baltimore.
Lawrie, a native of Langley, British Columbia ? a far suburb of Vancouver that's less than 10 miles from the U.S. border ? has been called the "best Canadian prospect in Toronto Blue Jays history." So, after coming over from the Brewers in the Shaun Marcum deal, he's had that heavy distinction on his shoulders, along with being touted as a top-40 prospect who has drawn comparisons to David Wright.
Lawrie also made an error at third base (his future on defense might be at first base or left field), so it wasn't a perfect beginning. That's something worth noting, as John Lott of the National Post did:
"I'm no saviour," [Lawrie] said. "I'm here to play baseball and do what I've always done, which is to go out and compete and help the ball club win."
Lawrie debuted at Camden Yards in front of family, including his mom, dad and sister, Danielle ? a pitcher with Canada's Olympic softball team who visited with the Blue Jays' TV guys during one of Lawrie's at-bats.
That's Cecil on the left, with Romero on the right. Double coverage means no escape. So, what did Lawrie think of all of this?
"Pretty exciting day," he volunteered to a group of reporters.
"I had a lot of fun out there, a dream come true," said Lawrie, who when asked what would stick with him most from the experience replied: "Just the feeling when I was standing there down the line, listening to the national anthems, and then when that first pitch was thrown, I was like, 'OK, it's game on.' "
Manager John Farrell sounds like he's expecting big things:
"He carries an air about him that stands out in a good way," Farrell expanded later. "He's an aggressive personality and it's been nothing but positive from the day he's joined the organization.
"He had a very impressive spring training, the interactions with everyone in the clubhouse have been outstanding, even in the reports from triple-A, where you get a number of veteran players at the level, guys gravitated to him because of his abilities and the personality that he is."
Fairly effusive praise there. Hey, don't be fooled by the photo; Lawrie stands only 6-feet. His reputation and skills are much taller, however.