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 would like fans to not help their opponents

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon says the Rays love their fans, appreciate their support and realize how important they are to their success.

But Maddon also wants to educate them after one fan drew some ire in Sunday's game for giving the Red Sox a second chance in the ninth inning.

With the Rays up 5-3 with two outs, a fan a few rows back on the third-base side reached up for a potential game-ending pop fly by Jacoby Ellsbury that was seemingly destined for 3B Evan Longoria's outstretched glove. But the fan caught the ball.

Ellsbury ended up flying out to right. But Longoria was "a little upset," giving the fan a stern stare and yelling some "choice words," though he said afterward he wasn't directing them specifically at the fan, just the situation.

"I was a little bit chapped," RHP Troy Percival said. "You got (Dustin) Pedroia on deck, in a two-run ball game. …But you know what, fans aren't thinking about that at the time, they're thinking about the $12 ball that's coming down."

Maddon pointed out that if a player reaches into the stands, and a fan catches it, there would be no interference call.

"I'd like the fan on the third-base side to understand you don't do those things," he said. "Really, our fans need to know that, in a game like that, in your ballpark, you let our fielders field that ball."

Said Longoria: "He knew he was wrong. And I think some of the fans were giving him some stuff after. They did their job."

STRONG SHIELDS: RHP James Shields went the first month without his "good stuff," and his best pitch, his changeup, wasn't where he wanted it. But he got it back on track Sunday, when he gave up two runs in 71/3 innings, getting into a groove after a tough first inning. "When my changeup is there for the first time all season long, my stuff's there," he said. "My changeup's there; everything comes right off of that."

SPECIAL DAY: Mitchell High senior LHP Patrick Schuster's whirlwind month had another high point when he played catch with his baseball idol, Rays LHP Scott Kazmir, before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Schuster, who threw four straight no-hitters, impressed Kazmir with his maturity and "nasty" movement on his pitches. Kazmir showed him some grips and joked that Schuster "gave me a few tips." The two signed autographs near the Rays bullpen, with Schuster signing four balls for former pitcher and TBS broadcaster David Wells.

"This is definitely the way to end the streak," Schuster said.

Kazmir said it was special because he has been in Schuster's shoes and "knows exactly what he's going through." Schuster has to decide whether to pitch for the University of Florida or go pro, with Kazmir telling him to be "100 percent" sure, "don't have any regrets" and "take your time."

BACK ON TRACK: Kazmir said there's still work to do in getting over the mechanical issues he has dealt with since last season. Maddon said he had a good conversation with Kazmir on Friday, "trying to help him think his way through the whole thing."

JOIN THE FAMILY: RF Gabe Gross and his wife, Kelly, had their first baby Sunday, a daughter, Allie Lee, who weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was born at 11:39 a.m. in Alabama. Maddon said he expects Gross to be back for Tuesday's game.

MISCELLANY: LF Carl Crawford is hitting .435 in his past 12 games (20-for-46), hiking his average 93 points to .317. … LHP Brian Shouse's 45-pitch outing Saturday was his most since June 15, 2005, when he threw 42. … C Dioner Navarro will appear today at Coachman Fundamental Middle School (2235 Coachman Road, Clearwater) from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. as part of Raytheon's Math Moves U program.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays would like fans to not help their opponents 05/03/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 2:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the warm response from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute were proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings, allowing 15 hits and 11 runs while lasting just seven innings total.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Oleg Sosunov, competing in the Lightning’s preseason opener, is a 6-foot-8 defense-man whom Phil Esposito jokes can reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494