The Tampa Bay Rays have the worst record in baseball. They have lost 13 of their last 14 games and are currently 15 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. And it’s only June.
On Monday, Rays manager Joe Maddon sought help from a local medicine man. He’s hoping Seminole Tribal elder Bobby Henry can help wash away the losing energy at Tropicana Field
“We just turned him loose on the Trop,” Maddon told Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune. I guess this guy made it rain in Tampa in the mid-80s at some point, so I guess he’s got some supernatural powers. If it rains in the Trop I’ll be really impressed. That will be his best moment ever.”
Henry, who is known to many as The Rainmaker, is 77 and has lived in the Tampa area for 45 years. He walked around Tropicana Field on Monday morning and spent some time sitting in the Rays dugout and clubhouse area. Henry doesn’t believe the team has a major problem on its hands.
“That field, not so bad,” he explained. “I walked around. … I don’t think it’s real bad, you know? We just have to open, just key opening and let them (bad spirits) out.”
If Henry did something to help the Rays, the results did not show immediately. They were shutout by the Seattle Mariners 3-0 on Monday afternoon. David Price didn’t seem impressed.
The Rays are hitting .244 as a team and their opponents are hitting .250 against them. They have a team ERA of 4.15 and have scored an average of just 3.6 runs per game. Maddon’s team is one of the worst hitting and pitching teams in baseball. A rainmaker probably isn’t going to do them any good.
H/T Big League Stew
Photo: Twitter/Roger Mooney
The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox met on Friday in the second game of their three-game series and early on tempers flared.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, David Price came up and in on Mike Carp and hit him on the right arm. Carp took exception to the pitch and had a few words for Price and then James Loney.
Then, benches cleared and seemingly everyone had words for each other, including David Ortiz and Sean Rodgriguez, who were both involved in rather heated exchanges.
Acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo was ejected after the incident. Lovullo took over for John Farrell, who was ejected after Ortiz was plunked in the first inning. Brian Butterfield became the third Red Sox manager to be tossed in the sixth inning after Boston’s starting pitcher Brandon Workman threw a pitch behind Evan Longoria. Workman was also ejected.
Fairly uneventful night at Fenway Park, I’d say.
The Red Sox and Rays play each other 12 more times during the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Rays swept both ends of a day-night doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. The Rays were happy with the results, but they were strongly opposed to playing two games in one day — especially since they thought Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads were the reason for the doubleheader.
According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox had their choice of when to make up their game against the Rays that was postponed on Wednesday night due to the threat of heavy rain. The options were a day-night doubleheader on Thursday, a doubleheader when the Rays returned to town later this month or in September, or a makeup on a mutual off day.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Wednesday was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead day at Fenway Park. Once the game was postponed, there were reports that the Rays felt the Red Sox wanted to make up the game so quickly because they did not have enough storage space for the bobbleheads at Fenway.
The Tampa Bay Rays went Little League on the Dodgers on Saturday, and their tactic worked.
The Rays successfully executed the hidden ball trick to help them get out of a fourth-inning jam in Los Angeles. They were down 4-0 with the bases loaded when A.J. Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to center. Juan Uribe, who was at second, moved up to third on the sac fly. After the run scored, Uribe had his head down and stopped keeping track of the play. While he wasn’t paying attention, the Rays threw the ball to Evan Longoria, who tagged him out as soon as he took his foot off of third.
Instead of having runners on second and third with one out, the Dodgers were left with a man on second and two outs after Uribe’s mistake.
[Related: Dodgers tease Juan Uribe with gag gift after game]
The play was executed so smoothly, it left FOX broadcasters Chris Myers and Eric Karros confused. They thought Uribe was called out for leaving second base too early on his tag up, but they later learned it was because of the Rays’ trick play.
The Tampa Bay Rays have won 18 of their last 21 games, and their incredible streak of play has allowed them to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the AL East from the Boston Red Sox. On Monday night, the Rays won a makeup game at Fenway Park behind tremendous pitching from David Price and a lot of help from home plate umpire Jerry Meals.
Meals blew a call on a tag play at home plate when he called Daniel Nava out on what would have been the tying run in the eighth inning. He even admitted after the game that he missed the call, but that didn’t stop the Rays’ official Twitter account from bragging about the win.
Whoever was operating Boston’s Twitter account was not about to sit back and let their division rivals get the best of them.
You could make the argument that the Rays-Red Sox rivalry has become more intense than Red Sox-Yankees in recent years, and these are the reasons why. The AL East is the best division in baseball, and the consistent play of the Rays despite their lack of financial resources has allowed that to happen.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, has written a letter to the Tampa Bay Rays requesting that the team remove its Rays Touch Tank from center field Tropicana Field.
According to The Tampa Tribune, Delcianna Winders, director of PETA captive animal law enforcement, argued in the letter that the placement of the tank makes it so the rays are in danger of being struck or killed by a home run ball.
“And as recent events have demonstrated, that threat is all too real,” Winders wrote.
The Tampa Bay Rays, aka the masters of the themed road trip, did what they do best on Sunday night with another fantastically original idea before they boarded the plane for their trip to Houston. This time, the Rays went with the preppy look.
All of the players and coaches pulled off the style nicely with plenty of pastel colors, popped colors, and trendy sport coats. But unfortunately, there can only be one winner. You all know who that is:
Washington Nationals pitcher Henry Rodriguez came dangerously close to having to charge the mound on himself on Sunday during a game against the Cincinnati Reds. In the top of the 8th inning, the right-hander threw a wild pitch. Oftentimes wild pitches lead to bench-clearing brawls. If Rodriguez’s wild pitch came any closer to his own head, he may have been forced to punch himself in the face.
As you can see, Rodriguez bounced a pitch into the dirt and it somehow came back and almost landed on his head. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it. Fortunately, he was able to keep his cool. It was an accident. I think he understood that.
The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Texas Rangers 5-4 Monday on a dispute strike called on Ben Zobrist to end the game.
The count was full as Joe Nathan was facing Zobrist with a man on first and two outs in the top of the ninth. Nathan threw a breaking ball that dipped down and appeared to tail out of the strike zone. Home plate umpire Marty Foster thought it was a strike and called out Zobrist to end the game.
Rays manager Joe Maddon couldn’t believe the call. He came running out of the dugout to plead with Foster as the fireworks went off at the Ballpark in Arlington. He got in the umpire’s face, but it was no use. Nathan was credited for his 300th career save, and all Maddon could do was vent after the game.
Those who are planning to purchase tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays season opener against the Baltimore Orioles on April 2 can still do so through the team’s ticket office, but you might want to hold off until tomorrow. David Price has 100 tickets that he is planning to give away to folks who are in the Tampa area on Thursday.
Price made the announcement on Wednesday morning and told his followers that it would be smart to wear their Rays gear around the Tampa area tomorrow. He has retweeted a few people who talked about wanting the tickets, but said that he will decide on a time and place on Thursday.
Athletes giving away tickets on Twitter never gets old, especially with all the stupid stuff we are used to seeing on social media from most of them. Price is not the first nor the second athlete to do something like this, but that doesn’t make the offer any less generous.
H/T Hardball Talk