phpDZMOHYJoe 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]



  1. Dave says:

    It's not so much that the Rays have been losing, but that they look like the lack the urgency of last year. Maybe 9=8 needs to be brought back. I singled out Gabe Kapler as looking bad last week, but after the series this weekend it now looks like he's just blending in. I just want to see the Rays play the game right and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully we get back to that soon!

  2. Don says:

    Gee...Someone had the heart to take a swing at Maddon!
    Maybe.. Joe... YOU didn't have the players Ready to accept the RESPONSIBILITY of WINNERS!
    And YOU are not using the available talent the Rays have in order to be WINNERS again!
    No more thropy presentations till October...Hope you get to accept them again!

    • You must not have been around these parts last summer when we had Maddon in a McDonalds cap wondering if that was his next job if the Rays didn't start playing better.

  3. bobrittner says:

    Maddon is very much concerned with motivation and attitudes, and his comments often reflect those kinds of concerns. I think much of it is pap for the media, whether he believes what he says or not. But to the extent that they do play a role, there is no reason to think Maddon has not prepared his team properly and fully.

    What I always find interesting in Maddon's statements are not the feel-good generalizations but the evidence of close attention to detail and his ability to provide nuggets of insight about mechanics or tactics within the more syrupy stuff. I wouldn't get too exercised over this sort of public statement; it likely tells us nothing of what is actually happening or how he will deal with the situation.


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