Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña takes optimistic viewpoint

NEW YORK — Sometimes, it truly can be a matter of perspective.

You can look at 1B Carlos Peña's .210 batting average after a season-high four hits Saturday and see a problem. But Peña can look at how far he has come and see progress, and promise.

After a 34-game stretch from April 30-June 5 in which he hit .114 with three homers and 11 RBIs, Peña has been relatively sizzling over the next 34 at .275 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs.

"Sometimes, when you look at the overall picture, it makes it a little more difficult," Peña said. "I have to be mentally tough to be able to look at it the right way and understand that I had … a bad May, and that's the end of that. Otherwise, I think that I've been able to help out the ball club in the last month and a half."

Manager Joe Maddon, who has preached patience when questioned about returning Peña to the cleanup slot, also has been pleased.

"Obviously," he said, "that's more of what we think he will look like on a consistent basis."

Peña's homer was his 18th as a Ray against the Yankees, most of any major-leaguer since 2007. And he had his first four-hit game since May 2007.

WET 'N' WILD: INF Sean Rodriguez rejoined the team, having spent the previous two days dealing with the aftermath of a flood at his Redington Beach rental condo.

Rodriguez was minutes from leaving for Thursday's 1 p.m. Tropicana Field workout and ensuing flight to New York when water started spewing from a faulty fire alarm sprinkler in the bedroom of his fourth-floor unit.

It took an hour, and some assistance from firefighters, to get it to stop, and it took Rodriguez most of the rest of Thursday to sort out the soggy mess with the rugs needing to be removed and several of his personal electronic items ruined. Then there was a mix-up at the airport Friday over his flight, and he didn't get to New York until the game was ending.

OLD TIME GUYS: Maddon was disappointed to hear Yogi Berra missed the Yankees' old-timers day festivities after falling at his home Friday. Maddon hoped to get a photo taken with Berra and a book signed.

Many other past Yankees greats, including Reggie Jackson, were there and paid tribute to owner George Steinbrenner, who died Tuesday.

"There are players and owners in history that are tied together in the sport, and I'm proud to be tied to him," Jackson said. "That will never change."

ZIM IN FOCUS: Senior adviser Don Zimmer is the subject of an MLB Network documentary called Don Zimmer: I've Seen It All that debuts at 10 tonight.

DUTY CALLS: Top Rays officials and several players, likely including LHP David Price, RHP James Shields and Rodriguez, will appear with first lady Michelle Obama at Baltimore's Camden Yards on Tuesday morning to announce a joint White House/MLB/players union initiative to combat childhood obesity. Rays and Orioles players also will conduct a youth clinic.

BALK THIS WAY: Maddon agreed with B.J. Upton that reliever Mariano Rivera balked during Friday's ninth-inning pickoff and said the ambiguity in defining what is and isn't allowed, specifically in terms of deceiving the runner, is a growing concern.

"We have to do a better job of that, making it more uniform, especially to a team like us that runs a lot," Maddon said, noting he also believes balks have been unfairly called against his pitchers.

MISCELLANY: LF Carl Crawford's three-strikeout game was his first since June 29, 2008, at Pittsburgh and only his 15th overall. … The Rays are 6-7 at new Yankee Stadium after going 26-65 at the old one. … Tenth-round draft pick OF Deshun Dixon signed.

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña takes optimistic viewpoint 07/17/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  2. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.
  3. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win


    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  4. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.