Rays dress as nerds, wear bow ties to honor Ken Rosenthal (Pictures)

The Rays traveled to Boston on Thursday and wore costumes on their road trip as usual. But this themed road trip was different from their others — it was a tribute to a baseball reporter.

The Rays dressed as nerds to honor FOX Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal, who wears bow ties for charity while reporting on FOX Saturday MLB telecasts.

Like usual, manager Joe Maddon came up with the idea for the road trip. He says he was inspired by his granddaughter.

Maddon called Rosenthal to make sure he was OK with the team’s bow tie tribute, and the reporter gave his approval. The team is donating $3,000 spread to 18 charities — $100 for each bow tie.

Below are more pictures of the Rays in their nerd outfits:

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Tampa Bay strip club offering free drink with a Rays ticket (Picture)

Now we’re talking. The Rays continue to put winning teams on the field year after year despite their amazingly low payroll, but they still struggle to sell tickets. Putting a strip club inside Tropicana Field probably wouldn’t go over all that well, but the Rays are fortunate enough to have a popular local strip club working with them in an attempt to boost sales.

As you can see from the photo above that Darren Rovell shared with us, Thee Dollhouse gentleman’s club in Tampa is offering a free drink for those who can show a Rays ticket. Since the Rays offer tickets for $9.00 and strip clubs typically have astronomically high drink prices, this works out to be a tremendous deal. If someone told you that $9.00 would buy you a baseball game, a drink, and a fantastic show, you probably wouldn’t think twice before opening your wallet. As we learned a month ago from this gesture and we can see again here today, strip clubs just make the world a better place.

Joe Maddon, Evan Longoria, other Rays shave heads for charity (Pictures)

When Joe Maddon announced last week that he would be shaving his head to pay tribute to children with cancer, he vowed to recruit as many of the Rays players and front office members as he could to participate with him. From the look of it, Maddon did a tremendous job. The head shaving commenced Thursday morning as several Tampa Bay players, coaches, and front office workers went under the buzzer, many of the sporting yellow t-shirts that read “Fortune favors the bald.”

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was in attendance while all the trimming and buzzing was going on and did an excellent job of documenting the entire event. Hats off — no pun intended — to the Rays who participated for a great cause. Here are some of the pictures Topkin posted on his Twitter account:

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Rays giving away creepy Don Zimmer bear this June (Picture)

Is this the most frightening giveaway sports has ever seen? What ever happened to the traditional bobbblehead? Is that too boring now? According to Rays Index, the Rays will be giving away this creepy Don Zimmer bear on June 29. They are giving away Joe Maddon, Flash Jennings, and Matt Moore bobbleheads at other points throughout the season, so maybe the Rays marketing department didn’t want to overdo it.

They should have overdone it. What are people supposed to do with these things? I can’t imagine a parent in America that would give this to their child. I certainly wouldn’t want my kid looking at this thing before he or she went to bed at night. If they’re looking for creativity, the Rays should take some pointers from the Memphis Grizzlies. They had the funniest giveaway of the year on Valentine’s Day.

H/T Big League Stew

Rays Fan Shares Updates of Red Sox-Orioles Score on White Board at the Trop

The Rays are not in the business of scoreboard watching as the season winds down. The fans are suffering as a result, and they’ve resorted to writing the score on a dry erase white board to help spread the word as Jimmy Traina pointed out:

That sign was held up in the 7th inning of the Rays-Yankees game after Baltimore went up on Boston following Robert Andino’s 3-run inside-the-park home run. The sign produced a lot of cheers among the nearby fans:

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Rays Wear Letterman Sweaters on Road Trip (Picture)

The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t the hottest team in baseball, but they’ve taken six of their last seven with the Red Sox and are now just two games back in the wild card race. They only have nine games left to make up the ground and they traveled to New York for their final road trip of the season. You know manager Joe Maddon wouldn’t miss a chance to keep with the team’s tradition of dressing up for road trips. For this one, they went with Letterman sweaters:

The Rays went with derby hats as they road the train for their last themed road trip and they’ve performed well since then. It seems like the themed trips along with Maddon’s unconventional ways help keep the team loose down the stretch. They’re playing pressure-free while the Red Sox might be worried about blowing things. The mental advantage goes to Tampa Bay in that regard.

Here are all the themed road trips the Rays have had:

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Joe Maddon Wants Rays to Practice Less, Arrive Later as Part of New Approach

Rays manager Joe Maddon has always been an outside-the-box thinker. He’s not confined by typical baseball conventions, and that mindset has helped the Rays do well under his watch. Now we’re seeing Maddon do the opposite of what most teams preach; he’s encouraging his players to arrive at the park later and practice less. Maddon is hoping the new concept will help keep his players fresher later in the season. The logic makes sense.

“We’ve done better on the road than at home this year. Part of that is we go to the ballpark later on the road than we do at home,” Maddon reasoned. “When you’re on the road you normally don’t do as much work and guys show up a little bit later. That’s part of it.

“I want guys to show up later,” Maddon explained before Saturday’s game. “I don’t want them to sit around all day getting lazy. I think sometimes it’s such a misconception the whole ‘first one at the ballpark.’ That means he drinks the most coffee, eats the most snacks, watches the most TV — that’s what that name means most of the time. So that’s always been a misconception in baseball.

“So I want them to come later, have a life, go out take their wives or girlfriends out to lunch, mess with the kids and then come here at a decent hour and play baseball. That’s part of it.

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