Maddon: This is why Rays need "a real baseball field"
After the Rays lost Thursday's game due in part to a ball hitting a Tropicana Field catwalk, manager Joe Maddon quickly made it a stadium issue, saying it showed why "there's a crying need" for a new stadium, a "real baseball field" to be built:
"That was probably the perfect commercial advertisement, reason to have a new ballpark. There's no better reason than that. I know it works both ways, but to lose a game in a pennant situation like that because of the roof totally indicates why there's a crying need for a new ballpark in this area, regardless of where they put it. It just needs to be a real baseball field, where if you were to lose the pennant by one game and look back on a game like that becasue the roof got in the way, you’d be very upset. There's no better reason than that.''
As a result, Maddon said Thursday's loss, which dropped them one-half game behind the idle Yankees, hurt more:
"It does because we didn’t really lose the game. I know it works both ways, believe me. We benefited from this in the past. There was a time when it was kid of cute - 2006-07, it was kind of cute. You might lose a game or win a game because a ball hit a roof or a rafter, whatever. It's not cute today.''
The Twins actually thought it was kind of fun.
"I think we’ve lost ballgames here just the same way, so back at ya,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We’ve seen that in the Metrodome a few times ourselves, so hang with ‘em. ... I'm thankful for that speaker today. I’ll take it – I kinda like it right now.''
Specifically, Gardenhire remebered a May 2, 2007, game when a Carlos Pena popup hit a catwalk and fell in for a single that led to the Rays winning rally. "I remember Pena hit one off the speaker and (1B Justin) Morneau had it and it ended up dropping and we lost,'' Gardenhire said. "And there was another one too. I remember they put a mannequin up there in the catwalk, I think it wore a Twins uniform, because it was pretty entertaining to them. So we’ll put a Twins one up there for them today. You know how this game goes, it can make you laugh and make you cry. They got us a couple years ago, today it turned out our way.''