September 17, 2021

‘He’s a professional. The utmost’: The unshakeable cool of the Astros’ Michael Brantley (The Athletic)

On the final day of the regular season, Astros outfielder Michael Brantley handed a taped-up box to teammate Jake Marisnick. Inside was the answer to a season-long riddle.

The saga started in spring training, after Brantley signed a two-year, $32 million contract to join Houston during the winter, when Marisnick played a prank on Brantley. The actual deed is lost to history; Marisnick insisted he could not recall what he did. He did recall Brantley’s response. “I’ll remember that,” Brantley said. “I’ll get you back.”

The promise stuck with Marisnick, but faded into the background of the long season. As the year progressed, however, he found himself stumped by a recurring problem. On at least a dozen occasions, he reckoned, he wore a snapback cap to the ballpark. And the caps kept disappearing. He wore out his locker mate, George Springer, seeking their whereabouts. He asked rookie outfielder Kyle Tucker. He asked clubhouse attendants. No one had…

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