Playing A Little Pepper

Do a Google search for “Joe Maddon rips Rays fans” and you will get a million hits today. I’ve been critical of the Rays criticizing the fans in the past, but saying Maddon “ripped” the fans is a bit of a stretch. Here is the quote:

“Yeah it’s great. It’s great that it’s sold out. And I understand that the people like Derek Jeter. But you’ve got to come out and root for the Rays, too, you understand. I mean, I totally understand what’s going on. But I’m not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees’ favor in our ballpark. I’m not going to defend that. So we’re going to come out and root for the Rays. We’d appreciate that.”

Of the Rays’ last 5 losses, 4 have come in the 9th inning or later, including yesterday’s game…Drew Smyly has now allowed just 5 runs in 20 innings with the Rays (2.25 ERA). David Price has allowed 8 runs in 22.2 innings with the Tigers (3.18 ERA)…David Price will face the Rays on Thursday…The Yankees have not won any of their last 8 series against the Yankees (0-6-2) dating back to June, 2013.

Game Graph

[Will be up at game time]

Source: FanGraphs


  1. Flash Jennings, CF
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Matt Joyce, LF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Yunel Escobar, SS
  7. Vince Belnome, DH
  8. Jose Molina, C
  9. Kevin Kiermaier, RF
  10. Jeremy Hellickson, SP




  1. Ken H says:

    Anyone at the game yesterday totally got JoMa's remarks. As much as we're very used to East Coast fans coming down to root for their team and spend their $$'s locally, it still sucks hearing more cheers than moans like I did in the 9th yesterday.

  2. Jimmy Delach says:

    "The Yankees have not won any of their last 8 series against the Yankees (0-6-2) dating back to June, 2013."

    Boy the Yankees can't even beat themselves. 🙂

  3. edward williams says:

    this is one time that i agree totally with Joe. But it has been that way for years even with the bucs and lightning. I will also say that it is like that in other ballparks too, where ever the yankees play . I really don't thing the ownership is too upset over a sell out, even if most of the fans are yankee fans, what i don't understand is how you can live here, pay your taxes here, send your kids to school here and not support the local team, yes you have a right too it, but i just don't get it. Go RAYS

    • Joe Dunn says:

      Edward I agree 100% especially the folks that moved down here when they were 10 and now they are 40 -50 yrs old.

      Grow up I say!!

    • Rob says:

      Girardi said he hasn't heard anything like that all year. He said it sounded like a home game and even on the farewell tour where Jeter is playing his final game at a stadium it hasn't been that loud in favor of the Yankees.

  4. monte says:

    Starting in 1956, living in central Georgia, I committed myself to the Milwaukee BRAVES. I was elated when they moved to Atlanta because I could then cheer for the home team. In 1975 I moved to central Florida and remained a loyal Atlanta Braves fan.

    In 1998 I started watching the hapless Devil Rays but did not let go of my loyalty to the Braves. But there was really not a conflict at that time. By the time Ben Zobrist played for the Devil Rays in 2006, my loyalty was leaning heavily to the Tampa Bay team. When the Rays came into existence in 2008 I had completely forgotten the Braves and was really no longer a Braves fan in any way. Instead, I was a Rays fan lock, stock and barrel. I love the Rays. I just wish we could fill the stadium with Rays' jerseys.

    I do not understand why Joe Madden kept an inexperienced rookie hitting zero in the lineup for three essential games against the Yankees.

  5. Jim says:

    A simple shake of the head if I t was a direct question, not even bringing it up if not. How hard is that?

    Joe needs to focus on things he can control, like his ball team and the next game, and let the stop getting upset about the crowd, and thongs he can't control Joe loves to see his name in the headlines, it's definitely is not his best asset.

  6. Kaptain Morgan says:

    In no way do I support the Yankees or the Red Sox. However, this area primarily has been established by northerners who have left the big cities and established themselves here in the bay area (unlike myself born and raised here!) Check the history of the (Devil) Rays and without George Steinbrenner who used his influence to help sway other owners to vote for Tampa/St. Pete we wouldn't have a professional team here at all. Heck, we even named the a high school and a minor league stadium after the Yankee owner. The Rays will continue to live in the Yankees shadow here as long as their minor league complex is right across the bay AND until the Rays beat them in the playoffs to go to the WS like they did the Red Sox AND WIN a WS title of their own. The Rays need to write their own baseball history of winning the World Series to shut up Yankee also won't hurt too that the last of home grown 'Yankee legends' (Jeter) will be retired!

    • Kaptain Morgan says:

      Saw a comment by one of ESPN's Baseball Tonight talking heads on TV a few days ago that might enraged a few Rays fans, but makes sense too. Jeter is beloved in the game and should be used as an ambassador for the game. He lives locally in Tampa, why not utilize him after he retires to help drum up support locally and nationally for a new ball park in Tampa (not St. Pete) for the Rays. He would give instant credibility to any project he endorses for a new stadium.

  7. Ken H says:

    Makes a bunch of sense Kaptain. He's also expressed a desire to be part of an ownership group once he retires. The Rays should welcome him aboard. He does know a bit about playing the game.

  8. Mike10 says:

    Look, the point of all of this is we need to get this team and stadium out of that garbage city and put it in front of its real fan base. Being a Rays fan from Tampa, it's almost embarrassing having my city attached to a team that plays in a gymnasium, in front of a "quirky" fan base, behind a choir of cow bells (still!). I feel bad for Joe and the Rays. Give them a REAL stadium, under the lights of a REAL city, in front of a REAL fan base....


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