Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Maddon continues to keep Rays clubhouse loose

ST. PETERSBURG — So a DJ, a magician and a cockatoo all go into the Rays clubhouse …

Only this is not a joke.

Oh, it's funny. Entertaining. And certainly, to put it politely, unconventional. But it's all part of manager Joe Maddon's way of getting the Rays to relax, to not take the game too seriously, and, in theory, to play better.

So that's why they had the DJ dropping beats Saturday, the magician doing tricks Sunday, the bird in hand (well, Maddon's hand) Tuesday, and big plans today, Maddon saying only that it was "another member of the animal kingdom.''

"Just another little diversion," Maddon said. "We'll probably back off on the next homestand for a bit. But for right now, just to lighten things up a bit for this week, and so far, it's been pretty good.

"A lot of times, it gets confused when things aren't going well. It's not because your guys aren't working hard enough or don't care enough. Sometimes, it's just not working. So let's go and take the other road less traveled, which would be the one with birds in your clubhouse."

Maddon, who said he has always wanted a bird, got comfortable enough to have Mindy — an umbrella cockatoo borrowed from Sunken Gardens and accompanied by owner P.J. Murray — perch on his shoulder.

Some players came over to get a closer look, others weren't interested. But Maddon's point was clear.

"He gets it," said 18-year big-league veteran RHP Jamey Wright. "It's good stuff. He's no dummy. There's a method to his madness. He knows what he's doing."

Which gets back to diversionary tactics.

"You get so wrapped up in playing baseball," OF Matt Joyce said. "And when you show up at the field every day, anything you can do to take your mind off the game and all the failure that surrounds the game is definitely a welcome change of the mind-set."

REHAB REPORT: DH Luke Scott went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the first game of his rehab assignment for advanced Class A Charlotte, having been sidelined since March 23 with a right calf strain.

Scott is scheduled to be off tonight then play through the weekend, with the possibility of another day off, for the Stone Crabs and be re-evaluated after Sunday's game. How he feels will also dictate whether he is limited to DH or plays first base and/or the outfield.

The Rays leave after tonight's game for a 10-game trip to Chicago, Kansas City and Colorado, and Scott expects to join them somewhere along the way.

Maddon said it would "be important" to have the ability to use Scott in the field for the DH-less series with the Rockies, but it is not a prerequisite. "It really comes down to how he feels in general," Maddon said. "Yes, you'd like him to be able to play the field. If not, I don't think that precludes him from coming to visit us if, overall, everything is pretty good."

LONGO'S RUN: With his ninth-inning homer, 3B Evan Longoria has reached base in each of the Rays' first 20 games and 34 straight overall.

MISCELLANY: Ben Zobrist passed Carl Crawford as the team's all-time leader with his 36th sac fly. … The Rays were 9-0 when leading after seven innings, and the Yankees were 0-8 when trailing. … RHP Mariano Rivera allowed a homer for only the fifth time in his past 103 save opportunities. … 2B Ryan Roberts has been doing well hitting second, but Maddon said he expects the No. 2 spot to be fluid going forward. … Top OF prospect Wil Myers was 2-for-4 to increase his average for Triple-A Durham to .317 and has reached base in all 16 of his games. … Manager Charlie Montoyo is expected to rejoin the Bulls soon, his 5-year-old son, Alex, doing well after heart surgery, according to Durham GM Mike Birling.

EVASIVE ACTION: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar vaults over the Yankees’ Jayson Nix to complete a double play on speedy Brett Gardner to end the third inning.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

EVASIVE ACTION: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar vaults over the Yankees’ Jayson Nix to complete a double play on speedy Brett Gardner to end the third inning.

Maddon continues to keep Rays clubhouse loose 04/23/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)