SEATTLE — You don't have to look hard for signs of the sense of urgency that has overtaken the Rays.
The stunned looks in the clubhouse Friday night were an obvious expression of the magnitude of the heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the Mariners.
The equipment bags of new catcher Gregg Zaun indicated the front office's efforts to find ways to address deficiencies and improve the team.
And the continued tweaking of the lineup card reflects manager Joe Maddon's pledge to field the squad that maximizes the matchup opportunities for each game without regard to the names involved.
Maddon calls it being "process-oriented," which is his way of saying the Rays need to focus solely on winning that day's game, with no other concerns or complaints.
"I really believe that we're at that point now where everybody has to put any kind of ego you may have left in your back pocket and come out here on a nightly basis and do something to help us win," Maddon said.
"I believe our players are like that, but I'd like to see us even take that to another level. Just really be totally process-oriented every night. … And if we do do that, I really like our chances of getting back to the Series."
Making changes means bruising feelings, and obviously what he's hoping is that the players on the wrong end respond in the right way — Carlos Peña and B.J. Upton being dropped in the batting order, Gabe Gross getting bumped from the lineup so Willy Aybar can play more, Dioner Navarro losing playing time to Zaun.
"I'm going to do even a little bit more matching up as we move this along," Maddon said. "We're at this point, like I said: Egos aside; let's go win the ballgame. And just try to make our best guess on a nightly basis who are the appropriate nine people to play."
He makes a point to say how the Rays were "fair" in doing things one way for four months and they aren't being "unfair" in making more changes at this point. (And, yes, he said that could include sitting Pat Burrell on some nights and starting Aybar at DH.)
"Anything's possible," Maddon said. "Let me put it that way: anything's possible."
It's that time.