Jersey snafu by Junior Lake creates a splash
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter April 3, 2014 10:32PM
PITTSBURGH — Nobody can explain how he missed the one he was supposed to wear, the big
No. 21 “Cubs” jersey hanging conspicuously across the front of his locker stall — the one Junior Lake somehow looked right past as he reached into his stall to pull out the wrong jersey to pull on before taking the field Thursday afternoon.
Lake batted in the top of the first and took his position in the bottom half before he even noticed — and only then when relief pitcher Justin Grimm yelled from the bullpen.
“He said, ‘Hey, you got the wrong jersey,’ ’’ Lake said. “I thought he was joking.”
By the time he could rush to the clubhouse and change into the right jersey, he was an Internet, Twitter and TV sensation — the blogosphere alive with screen grabs of him in the classic “Chicago” jersey and teammates in this year’s new alternate “Cubs” top.
“It was hilarious,” teammate Welington Castillo said.
Teammates got another laugh when they saw reporters converge on Lake in the clubhouse after the game for what could be only one topic.
Because Carlos Villanueva was needed in relief Monday and Wednesday, his scheduled start Sunday is in doubt. Manager Rick Renteria said he planned to talk to the front office and pitching coach about possible alternatives (such as Class AAA starter Chris Rusin). Because of his low pitch counts in his two appearances, Villanueva’s still in play as an option Sunday.
◆ New leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio tied a major-league record with 11 hits in the first three games, last done by Milwaukee’s Cecil Cooper in 1982. His nine hits in the first two games also tied a two-game record.
◆ Rookie third baseman Mike Olt hit his first major-league home run, an opposite-field shot to right field on a 3-2 pitch from veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez.
◆ Reliever Alberto Cabrera cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Class AAA Iowa.