Joe Maddon offers his reason for the Rays’ struggles this past week: Blame the rings and banners.
The nine-game road trip that begins Tuesday in Seattle comes at a perfect time. The farther they can get away from here right now, the better. They were 57-24 last season at the Trop but any resemblance to that team is purely coincidental.
Rays manager Joe Maddon conceded as much after the carnage ended Sunday…”With all the dig-me week that just went on, it’s about time we got out of here and just got back to playing baseball,” he said.
Interesting. Maybe somebody can explain to us how Joe Maddon receiving his manager of the year award caused Scott Kazmir to walk six on Saturday night. Or why receiving their championship rings earlier in the week caused the baserunning errors. Or why handing out replica AL Championship trophies led to the hitters not being able to draw a walk or the pitching staff’s ERA to be over 5.00. Somebody please explain why any of those pregame festivities or fan giveaways had anything to do with what we witnessed between the white lines.
The only reason we can fathom is maybe it was all caused by a bloated sense of their own baseball abilities based on what happened last year. And if that is the case, going on the road won’t cure those ills. But all the losing sure will.
Perfect time for Rays to leave town [Tampa Tribune]