Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Tampa Bay Rays manager Maddon celebrates 'Thanksmas' with foster kids

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG

Ask the 10-year-old why Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has come to visit a group foster home, and he says it's "just to have some fun with us and do stuff."

Ask Maddon, and he cites the old saying: "There but for the grace of God go I."

Maddon and other Tampa Bay Rays employees came to the Salvation Army's Sallie House on Monday to cook dinner and hand out presents to foster children.

It was 18 days after Thanksgiving, nine before Christmas. Maddon calls the time and the concept "Thanksmas."

On the surface, Monday's visit was a feel-good moment of giving back. Maddon and others dished out spaghetti with meatballs and pierogi, in homage to his Italian and Polish roots. The food went to the children who have lived at Sallie House and another Salvation Army home for days or months.

Maddon also handed out shoes to the kids and agreed to some autographs — including one for a 5-year-old who wanted him to sign her children's storybook. He did — and recommended the Dumbo story.

But on a deeper level, Maddon said he hopes people who learn about the Tampa Bay Rays and Thanksmas will look for their own ways to volunteer in the community.

It doesn't have to be during the holidays, he said. "Thanksmas can occur in July."

Some people are professional baseball players and some are homeless, but "we're all pretty close to a pretty tough moment," Maddon said. Because of the rocky economy, "a lot of people that used to give are now in need." That's why it's always good to volunteer and give, he said.

Maddon said the idea for this program began when he was in California before joining the Rays and he noticed increasing numbers of homeless people. He said he decided to get something going, "if I ever got a bigger stage."

Now that he is one of the top managers in professional baseball, Maddon has the stage, and he is using it. More Thanksmas events are planned for today and Wednesday at Salvation Army facilities in St. Petersburg, Bradenton and Tampa, and also on Wednesday at the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater.

The cooks and servers on Monday included Rays radio broadcasters Dave Wills and Neil Solondz, and third base coach Tom Foley.

Maddon spent quite a bit of time chatting with the kids, who have been removed from parents or caregivers considered neglectful or abusive.

"Do you know who David Price is?" Maddon asked, referring to the star pitcher.

The 10-year-old boy said no.

But the boy knows who Maddon is. He called the visit "awesome."

Maddon himself kept a keen eye on the action, sort of like a manager who likes to scrutinize every play.

"This kid didn't get his meatballs!" he said, rushing to the dining area with a plate of extras.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8232. Twitter: @ckruegertimes.

 
Comments

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Life in prison, not death, for Adam Matos, Pasco jury decides

Life in prison, not death, for Adam Matos, Pasco jury decides

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 12 men and women on Adam Matos’ jury were chosen from a pool of nearly 300 people in part for their responses to a single question: Could you condemn a stranger to death for a crime?On Tuesday, they said no four times, recommend...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Column: Charlie Rose does not get a pass here

Column: Charlie Rose does not get a pass here

e_SSLqWhat do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible?" Gayle King asked that question on CBS This Morning on Tuesday.She and Norah O’Donnell could teach a master class about how to respond when someone ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

28-year-old man shot dead in Spring Hill home, deputies say

SPRING HILL — A 28-year-old man was shot and killed inside a Spring Hill home Monday night, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies responded to at least two separate 911 calls about 8:15 p.m., in which callers reported shots being...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

PRAGUE — Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay the fines for six Czech tourists who were reportedly detained by authorities in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for dressing up as his character Borat. Sporting lime green "mankinis" and black wig...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Despite Hurricane Irma, Florida hit another record high number in tourists visiting the state in the first nine months of this year, according to figures released this week.Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, said 88.2 million visitors came to...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally, setting up a showdown ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Setting up Bucs vs. Atlanta

Cannon Fodder podcast: Setting up Bucs vs. Atlanta

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman says it’s another week without Jameis Winston as the Bucs prepare to go to Atlanta, and there’s more on the Bucs’ run-game issues and how the defense has struggled on third and long, a situation most defenses love to be i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, we’ll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

On the morning after the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Michael W. Smith had pain in his voice. "It’s awful, it’s just awful," said the Grammy-winning Christian music superstar. "Everybody’s going t...
Updated: 3 hours ago