ST. PETERSBURG — Rays players were relieved and rejuvenated by management's decision not to make a move before Thursday's nonwaiver trade deadline.
Some believed it served as a vote of confidence and stood by manager Joe Maddon's sentiment that the same players who sparked the run to the top of the AL East are capable of carrying them to the postseason.
Now it's time step up, veteran DH Cliff Floyd said Friday.
"(Executive vice president Andrew Friedman) has told us and Joe has told us, 'The time is now' " OF Jonny Gomes said. "So if they're comfortable with the 25 guys we've got, we're just as comfortable as they are. It's like, 'If it's not broke, don't fix it.' "
The Rays took notice of moves made by other playoff contenders, including the Yankees getting C Ivan Rodriguez and the Red Sox getting OF Jason Bay, who was targeted by the Rays.
But though they were happy to see slugger Manny Ramirez leave the division, the players said they were pleased they didn't lose any of their own from a close-knit clubhouse, which Gomes called "the biggest part of this team's success."
And though Maddon conceded that "If you're going to make a move and everybody out there can see it makes you better, I don't think it impacts chemistry," he said he believes in the group he has and is confident they are up for the challenge.
"Do I feel like we can make (the playoffs) with what we have?" Floyd said. "No doubt."
The sentiment prevailed outside the clubhouse as well.
"Through Aug. 1, they're in first place. That's a long time. They're good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They're the real deal."
MORNING AFTER: Friedman said he wasn't surprised there was negative reaction to the team not making a deal.
"That's the nature of it," he said. "I know there are some fans who are unhappy, and we expect them to feel that way. But when we made the decisions we made, we feel like on the other side of it they would have been more unhappy with us in two years had we done any moves that were possible."
MISSED IT: Leyland said there was "no question" Miguel Cabrera's third-inning shot struck the C-ring catwalk before hitting the wall in left-center and, therefore, should have been a two-run homer instead of a triple that scored one and made it 2-0.
"(But) I think you have to be fair," he said. "It's a … unique place. Those things can happen. I thought (the umpires) were very honest about it and actually handled it very well. They said they weren't sure and couldn't change it if they weren't sure."
No way it hit the catwalk, CF B.J. Upton said.
"I've seen a lot of balls hit everything in there, and there's never been a ball that's made it that far hitting something up there," he said. "He hit that ball pretty high. And if it hits (a ring), it's going to come down on the field."
GLOVER GONE: Veteran RHP Gary Glover cleared waivers but declined an assignment to Triple-A Durham, making him a free agent. Glover, making $1.075-million this season, appeared in 29 games this season, going 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA.
Miscellany: Carl Crawford became the first Ray to triple in three straight games. He has five in his past six games and increased his AL-leading total to 10. … Seven Tigers are from the Tampa Bay area — Kenny Rogers (Plant City), Ryan Raburn (Tampa), Gary Sheffield (Tampa) and Matt Joyce (Riverview) — or have been with the Rays — Bobby Seay, Casey Fossum and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, who is also from Tampa… Upton and Crawford will sign autographs from 4:35 to 5:05 at the first-base line. … Troy Percival's 348th save moved him past Randy Myers for eighth all-time.