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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Apparently, baseball types aren't as familiar with Craig Sager as the basketball crowd.
Case in point: As the Texas Rangers waited for the Tampa Bay Rays to finish batting practice before Game 5, Sager walked out of the dugout and onto the field, and strolled in front of Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter. Sager, the flamboyantly fashion-blind sideline reporter for the NBA on TNT, moonlights on sister-station TBS during the baseball playoffs.
Sager, who stands well over 6-foot, was wearing tan-ish dress slacks and a bright yellow button down with a multi-colored neon-type tie. No matter where Sager goes, he stands out. Hunter was talking to a club personnel member when he spotted Sager. He couldn't take his eyes off him. Hunter picked his jaw up off the artificial turf and asked incredulously, "Who is that?"
"Who is that?" a reporter asked rhetorically. "You don't watch the NBA, huh?"
"No," Hunter said.
"That's Craig Sager," the reporter informed him. "He does NBA sideline work on TNT. He dresses that way all the time. Sometimes worse."
Now, fast forward to the jubilant Rangers clubhouse after they beat the Rays in Game 5 to clinch the ALDS. The players were dancing and singing, hugging, high-fiving, whooping and hollering, spraying champagne on each other and sneaking up on teammates and coaches and front-office staff and dousing them with 16-ounce cans of Bud Light. Basically, they were immersed in their own euphoria.
And then Sager, dressed in the same flashy attire, walked in and Hunter's world must have stopped. The burly right-handed hurler, in particular, was living in the moment, enjoying every second, shaking a leg in ways he might not if not for the circumstance of having just won the franchise's first-ever playoff series. So, he spots Sager, which, again, is not hard to do, and it quickly becomes apparent that Hunter has hatched a plan.
He grabs several cans of Bud Light from the neatly stacked coolers on wheels stationed around the clubhouse for easy access. Then Hunter made his move. He stalked Sager, and once he got within firing range, he shook and fired. Like a firehouse of barley and hops, Hunter doused Sager, spraying him from his neatly brushed hair down to his some-sort-of-animal-skin loafers.
Sager, at a total loss, took the soaking without saying much of anything, seemingly stunned with a look on his face that said, "Hey, what'd I do?"
Then came the kicker. Hunter, his beer barrage finally over and Sager literally drenched, gave a whoop as he turned away from Sager and then shouted: "I don't even know who you are!"
Craig Sager looked at Hunter in what can only be described as disbelief. He sort of shook his head and exited the clubhouse, well aware of who Tommy Hunter is.