Ryan Braun's teammates were not going to allow him to get away with his pratfall on the bases Wednesday night without having some fun.
Pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel went to considerable expense to put outlines of Brauns' tumble on the field today, using athletic tape for the police-like "chalk" outlines of victims.
They had two outlines on the field, representing the initial landing and then the second fall upon trying to get up. Particularly ingenius was the use of a protective screen used during BP to put an outline in "the air," representing Braun going airborne after rounding third on what could have been an inside-the-park homer against St. Louis.
That's a bat taped to the ground, by the way, to represent the "speed bump" that Braun tripped over.
Batting practice was optional today and Braun did not go out to hit, so he presumably didn't see his teammates' elaborate prank. But he did hear about it.
"That's OK if he doesn't see it," said third baseman Casey McGehee. "We can still laugh at it."
Braun did say he had received considerable trash talk via text messages, phone messges and e-mails from various folks about his spectacular pratfall. He lost balance rounding third and went down hard, getting tagged out for what became an RBI triple instead of an inside-the-park homer.
"The further I get away from it, the funnier it becomes," he said. "There's nothing you can do about it. There's no reason not to laugh about it. You can't go back and change anything.
"I think if I had been able to get up after the first time I fell, I still would have made it. I had it easy.
"I think I tried to increase my stride. I saw (third base coach) Eddie (Sedar) sending me and I got excited and tried to run faster than I needed to and lost my form. My stride got too long. I felt it coming. Not much you can do at that point."
Braun admitted he didn't break hard out of the box, which wouldn't have stopped a inside-the-parker had he not fallen.
"I was watching the ball to see if (CF Allen Craig) was going to catch it or not," said Braun. "I still had plenty of time to score. I don't think it would have affected me in any way.
"I'm fortunate I didn't get hurt. I've got a lot of trash talk. Every one of my friends who play another sport, all my basketball and football friends, are texting me, talking about lack of athleticism. I take a lot of pride in my athleticism so I've been getting a lot of trash talked to me."
That included former NBA star Reggie Miller, a friend and California neighbor who was at the game and was shown laughing heartily after Braun's stumble. The two had dinner after the game.
"He was laughing about it," said Braun.
As for the outlines created on the field by his teammates, Braun said, "I'm not even going out. I won't go out until right before the game so I'll probably miss it. I'll check it out at some point.
"Baseball's always weird that way. It's a crazy game, an unexplainable game. You just move on to the next one."
Braun, who had a hamstring injury earlier in the year, said he escaped unharmed physically. Just a bruised ego. And those "chalk" outlines.