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story.lead_photo.caption Kris Bryant’s broken sunglasses lie on the field after the Chicago Cubs slugger was hit in the helmet by a pitch from German Marquez of the Colorado Rockies on Sunday in Denver.

Need something to take the edge off?

The Louisville Bats announced last week that they will suit up as the Mashers on May 26 for "Cheers to Bourbon Night." In doing so, they joined the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Peoria Chiefs and West Virginia Black Bears as teams who will be sporting hard alcohol-themed alternate identities this season.

• Saturday: Bowling Green Bootleggers

This marks the third consecutive season in which the Hot Rods have transformed into the Bootleggers, an identity that pays tribute to Bowling Green's bourbon and bootlegging history. The team wears bourbon barrel theme jerseys and caps that depict a bearded, barrel-straddling bootlegger.

The inaugural Bootleggers Night, which featured a VIP moonshine tasting as well as moonshine-based mixed drinks, went on to win the 2016 "Promo of the Year" MiLBY Award.

Saturday won't be the only time we see the Bootleggers this season. The first "Battle for the Barrel" takes place in Bowling Green from May 7-9, with the Bootleggers taking on the Peoria Distillers in a tilt for whiskey-identity supremacy.

• May 26: Louisville Mashers

The Mashers, the latest Kentucky bourbon-based identity to hit the scene, make their debut on "Cheers to Bourbon Night." As the team explains, the name "refers to the first step in the bourbon-making process: the cooking and fermentation of grains called mash." The primary logo features an anthropomorphic barrel brandishing a bat in one hand and a bag of corn in the other. The corn is a reference to "the 51 percent corn mash required to classify [whiskey] as bourbon."

• July 25-27: Peoria Distillers

The Peoria Distillers make their 2018 debut in the aforementioned "Battle of the Barrel" series against the Bootleggers in Bowling Green. From July 25-27, Peoria fans will get the chance to see the Distillers at Dozer Park for a series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. This marks the second consecutive season in which the Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have temporarily utilized this identity.

• July 17-19: West Virginia Moonshiners

When West Virginia's Class A Short Season franchise had a "Name the Team" contest prior to its inaugural 2014 campaign, Moonshiners was one of the options. Black Bears won, but for three nights in July, the Moonshiners will be a reality. The Moonshiners logo was designed by New Era; per the team, the "logo scheme will feature the method West Virginians traditionally used to produce the popular beverage as well as the methods they used to transport the moonshine throughout the mountainous region."

Paging Alice Cooper

From Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times:

"The Metropolitan King County Council (Seattle) approved a ban on vaping and chewing tobacco in sports facilities -- particularly the Mariners' Safeco Field -- effective May 19.

"In other words, Skoal's out for summer."


Kris Bryant left Sunday's game between the Cubs and Rockies after he took a 96 mph fastball to the head from German Marquez in the first inning.

While Bryant remained on his feet, he was noticeably shaken as Joe Maddon and the Cubs' trainers assisted him to the clubhouse.

The Cubs, though, thought there was intent behind the pitch. And both Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Andy Haines were ejected. Haines' ejection came after he tossed his drink toward the direction of umpire Cory Blaser.

It should be noted that Bryant was hit on an 0-2 count.

Sports quiz

Who is the first player born in Jamaica to appear in a major league baseball game?

Sports answer

Charles Theodore "Chili" Davis


Sports on 04/24/2018

Print Headline: New names given a shot in the minors

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