With Millar's help, Mazzone gets tattoo

Millar helps Mazzone get tattoo

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Credit Kevin Millar with his first scoop as a participatory journalist. Baltimore's part-time first baseman and outfielder has also been keeping a diary for MLB.com, and in his last installment, he told the world that he planned on talking pitching coach Leo Mazzone into getting a tattoo.

"I'm going to break him in a little bit, and we're going to bring The Edge to this club -- that edge this team needs," Millar said in his diary dated March 15. "Leo's been in my ear a little bit that he wants one, and I told him I'll think of one for him. I've got to go to my drawing board, but I'm going to take him once our families leave. We'll have a day together."

That goal came to pass over the weekend, with Mazzone sporting some brand new ink on his left shoulder. The design, instigated by Millar, is a red-and-blue pennant with the words "14 straight" written inside of it. The slogan refers to Mazzone's run of success with his former team -- the Atlanta Braves -- which included 14 consecutive division titles.

"He's fired up about it. He's going to be shirtless for a while," said Millar on Monday. "He's a tough guy, but he got to the tattoo parlor and he was nervous. He kept asking me, 'Millar, will it be all right?'"

The coach also asked for input on the actual tattoo, which is his first. Millar told him to incorporate something of personal significance, which led to Mazzone's baseball design. The art is a fitting testament to an impressive accomplishment, a run of dominance highlighted by Cy Young-caliber pitching and Hall of Fame-level coaching.

"I didn't get it just to get it. It means a lot to me," said Mazzone. "I don't think [the streak] will ever be done again in the history of sports."

Millar, who has a few tattoos of his own, agreed with that sentiment. He said that Mazzone's reference to 14 straight titles is no reflection on his current team. If the Orioles are good enough to win a division title of their own, the tattoo can always be amended. Millar, who won a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2004, has obvious respect for Atlanta's achievement.

"Fourteen straight. What they've done with the Braves is an amazing thing," said Millar, referring to Mazzone and longtime Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "People say, 'What about 15 straight?' This is the American League, so we'll separate it."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.