Maddon: Rays "younger version" of fab Phillies
With the Phillies the opponent, and with Cliff Lee on the mound, Rays manager Joe Maddon's pre-game talk naturally turned to pitching and the potential historical brilliance of the Philadelphia staff led by Roy Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels (plus Joe Blanton).
Among several points, here are two of Maddon's most interesting:
* The Rays rotation - of David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson - could be just as good, albeit without the recognition, rewards and experience. "We’re maybe a younger version of them right now,'' Maddon said. "Something we can look like in a couple years from now if we stayed together and are healthy, aka, for example, the Braves of several years ago, that kind of thing. It would take a while for us to be recognized in that manner.''
* Having Lee not sign with the Yankees was an incredibly huge deal. "That was like my worst thought all winter,'' Maddon said. "I had different things going on, losing Carl (Crawford), losing Carlos (Pena), whatever, but Lee to the Yankees would have been truly – that’s all of our guys leaving wrapped up into one horrible move.’’