As Spring Training pranks go, this one ranks pretty highly. From the Dallas Morning News’ Richard Durrett.
Catcher Gerald Laird (above) was startled to see two members of the City of Surprise police department come to his locker and tell him they had a warrant for his arrest. They told Laird that they needed a DNA sample because a woman claimed that Laird was the father of her 7-year-old child.
Laird asked repeatedly if the cops were serious and the players — some knew it was a prank, some didn’t — looked on with amazement. Laird was led off with a towel hiding his handcuffs and put in a police vehicle. Finally, Jerry Hairston asked if Laird could make a phone call. He climbed in the backseat and told Laird it was a joke. Many of Laird’s teammates were outside the clubhouse watching when he climbed out and looked relieved.
“I felt like I was on that show To Catch a Predator,” Laird said. “I know Jerry Hairston had something to do with this. It’s going to be a long season for him. He better look out.”
Manager Ron Washington was even involved, calling Laird to his office and buying time for the cops to arrive.