You bring the torches, I'll bring the angry mob
Tuesday night's Devil Rays game was over exactly 45 seconds when the telephone rang at my desk. A caller just wanted to talk, talk to anyone about "that ... that ... that game!'' "That was disgusting,'' the caller said. "I've had about enough of (manager) Joe Maddon.''
Meantime, St. Pete Times baseball writer Marc Topkin got an e-mail about the same time from Ellie Sayre, a Rays fan from Hudson. She wrote: "Well, this is the last straw. Kick Maddon out NOW!! What a crock the ninth inning was tonight! We need a manager interested in winning, not in worrying about hurting someone's feelings by not using them in the game. OUT OUT OUT -- Bye Joe!''
In case you missed it, the Rays blew an 11-6 lead in the bottom of the ninth and lost to Toronto, 12-11 and, apparently, Joe Maddon is to blame. No lie, within 10 minutes of the winning run crossing the plate, the Times sports department received five e-mails. Angry e-mails.
Judging by all the e-mails and phone calls that Marc and I have been getting all season, I'm starting to get the feeling that if there was a sinking ship in the middle of the Atlantic and room for only two in the lifeboat and the choices were between Joe Maddon, Damien from The Omen and, oh I don't know, a very hungry pit bull, Maddon better start learning the backstroke.
Is that true? Are D-Rays fans that fed up with Maddon? I understand it would be great to see him kick over a few chairs, bust up a desk, break a water cooler. Then again, going all Lou Piniella is not going to change the fact that he doesn't have Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers, Mariano Rivera and Goose Gossage sitting in his bullpen.
I don't think anyone honestly expected the Devil Rays to be a contender this year, but it's obvious D-Rays fans are, to paraphrase Marsellus Wallace, pretty stinkin' far from okay. (Photo: Times files.)