Earlier this week, on the “Baseball Today” podcast, Mark Simon of ESPN.com was discussing Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. Simon decided to head over to the Rays locker room following the game.

This was his description (you can listen to the entire 7/11 podcast here)…

That was one of the most unusual experiences I have ever had in a defeated team’s locker room. It was extremely pleasant. Everybody was upbeat. You would have never known the Rays lost the game. Joe Maddon talked with a smile on his face the whole time…You could tell he really appreciated the idea of being a part of a historic moment…David Price seemed a little bummed. He seemed a little drained from the entire experience…That was probably the most unique losing locker room I have ever been in.

We’re not sure any of that is terribly surprising for many Rays fans. Maddon is often at his most jovial after losses. It is just his way of trying to keep his players from getting too high or too low. But you do wonder if the Rays were a little too caught up in the moment.

Later, Simon talked about asking Maddon about pitching to Jeter with the game on the line in the 8th inning…

Joe Maddon: “This is Derek Jeter. There are only so many holes you can defend. I actually thought about using a five-man infield.”

As Eric Karabell mentioned, with Mariano Rivera, that hit by Jeter was like a walk-off. And Jeter does hit groundballs 65.0 percent of the time.

Looking back, we are a little surprised Maddon did not. And we wonder if the same situation happens again, if he will pull the trigger. After all, this is the same manager that walked Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded, and considered doing the same with Magglio Ordonez in a one-run game.

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  1. Don says:

    I can tell this was Simons first experience watching Joe Maddon in action..If he watched it every day he wouldn't be so surprised...
    There ar a lot of people in the funny farm that will smile if you slap them in the face..but then again there not baseball managers or are they?

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