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Tag:Joe Maddon
Posted on: September 7, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:05 pm

Rays test their bench

Joe Maddon How about this for a record you didn't know existed?

Monday night the Rays tied a major-league record by using six pinch hitters in one inning. It was the ninth time that's happened -- and the seventh in September, when rosters expand.

Joe Maddon did it in the seventh inning of Monday's game in Boston because his team was being blown out and wanted to give his regulars some rest and get his bench players some at-bats.

"They all looked good up there. We like our depth, we like our bench," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin . "I want to keep them sharp, I've got to get them out there. Hopefully as we proceed and hopefully make the playoffs we're going to have to make a lot of tough decisions regarding who those 25 people are going to be, so these guys have got to play. If they're going to contribute the rest of this month they just can't sit on the bench."

How'd it work? Well enough for six pinch hitters to get to bat -- as well as three starters -- who accounted for two of the three outs. None of the starters got a hit, with Carlos Pena walking. The pinch hitters went 3 for 4 with two walks, scoring all three runs in the inning.

Here's how it went down:

The Red Sox started the inning with Robert Coello replacing starter Jon Lester.

Dan Johnson, batting for Ben Zobrist, singled to center.

Kelly Shoppach flied out to center.

Matt Joyce, batting for B.J. Upton, singled to right.

Willy Aybar, batting for Jason Bartlett, singled to center, loading the bases.

Brad Hawpe, batting for Carl Crawford, walked, scoring a run.

Desmond Jennings, batting for Evan Longoria, walked, scoring a run.

The Red Sox pulled Coello and put in Dustin Richardson.

Carlos Pena walked, scoring a run.

Out goes Richardson, in comes Scott Atchison.

Reid Brignac, batting for Sean Rodrgiuez, pops out to first.

Rico Baldelli flied out to end the inning.

The last team to use six pinch hitters in an inning was the Mariners in 2007 and the last two do it in a non-September game was the Expos in May of 1970.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:26 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 7:12 pm

Rays to hit the road in style

Joe Maddon Fans love to nit-pick lineups and in-game decisions, but most of a manager's job is done behind the scenes. I've always said, that the position is called a "manager" for a reason -- there's more managing, people and situations, than coaching involved with a big league manager.

If I'm running a team, there are few managers I pick over Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon. His players love him and it goes a long way.

One of the things Maddon has done this season to keep his team in good spirits is organize themed road trips, but his grand plan has all come together for the Rays' next trip,

As the Rays travel from Tampa to Oakland following Wednesday's game against the Rangers and then on to Anaheim before returning home, the Rays will be sporting new custom-designed and custom-made "BRayser" -- a Rays blazer.

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times has allowed us to share this picture he took of the BRayser on his blog .


"The BRaysers are in, they're fabulous, they met with everybody's approval," Maddon told Topkin. "We're going to wear them on this trip -- the team BRayser."

It's a good thing is Maddon pulled this out of the closet after the team changed its color palette.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Maddon, Rays
Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:17 pm

Maddon wants catwalk rules changed for postseason

Joe Maddon The catwalk at Tropicana Field cost the Rays one game, manager Joe Maddon doesn't want to cost the team more.

Maddon told reporters before Friday's game in Toronto that he believes the ground rules could be changed before the postseason.

"I honestly believe that if we were to get to the playoffs you might see some real strong consideration or more thought given to changing something now," Maddon said. "I think that's possible. I do. Truly, just think about a game being won or lost -- just say it were the seventh game -- and say that game was impacted by that, both sides would be yelling bloody murder."

As a solution, Maddon suggested the ever-popular "do-over" -- and also added that if a car came down the street while the ball is in play, it's a dead ball and there's also a "do-over." However, if a ball goes through Old Man Brown's window and he won't give it back, the hitter's team forfeits the game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Maddon, Rays
Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:48 am

Add Rays reliever to list of freak injuries

Grant Balfour It seems 2010 is the year of the freak injury -- first Kendry Morales breaks his leg jumping into home plate, then Chris Coghlan injured his knee in a post-game shaving cream pie accident and now Rays reliever Grant Balfour has gone on the DL after "wrestling" with his pitching coach.

Balfour is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a left rib strain and was placed on the disabled list this weekend. His injury was one of the reasons the Rays acquired a reliever, Chad Qualls, rather than a bat at the deadline, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes .

Balfour had a 2.08 ERA and had struck out 44 batters in 43 1/3 innings.

The injury occurred Friday before batting practice when Balfour was "messing around" with Jim Hickey.

"[It was] just kind of a freaking thing," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "[It's] something that guys do almost every day in these situations. Nothing ever happens. It happened."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 5, 2010 7:38 pm

Two benchings, two reactions

B.J. Upton There are two ways to take not being in the lineup: the B.J. Upton way and the Gordon Beckham way.

Upton is out against the Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Manager Joe Maddon told Upton it was because he was 1-for-13 with a homer against Matsuzaka.

The White Sox are sitting Beckham for the second straight day in favor of Brent Lillibridge.

Both managers, Ozzie Guillen and Maddon, say these moves aren't permanent, but that was no consolation to Upton.

Upton was upset and told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin so , "I thought I was an everyday player," Upton said. "I don't know if I'm subject to matchups now or not. I'm not going to get too bent out of shape about it, but obviously I want to be out there everyday."

Maddon told Upton he'd be in the lineup for the remaining six games before the All-Star break, but that was no consolation to Upton. Asked if he was an everyday player, Upton told Topkin, "I don't know. I have no idea. I could not tell you."

Upton is hitting .228/.321/.399 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.

Gordon Beckham Beckham is playing even worse. He's hitting .206/.271/.280 with two homers and 20 RBI.  Lillibridge was 4-for-6 on the White Sox's recent road trip.

"Lilly has been getting hits and hitting the ball hard," Beckham told the Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzales . "I don't think I'm hitting the ball softly. I'm not lucky, that's for sure. There's nothing I can do about it."

Guillen stood by Beckham and denied speculation that Beckham could be headed to the minors.

"[Beckham] is my second baseman," Guillen said. "He still is my second baseman. But right now, I think the way Lillibridge is playing, I'm going to give him a shot."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 27, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2010 1:24 am

Longoria, Upton have dugout altercation

Justin Upton

In what is becoming something of a trend in the last couple of days, teammates had heated words for each other in the dugout.

This time it was the Rays' B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria and Upton was restrained by teammates from going after Longoria. Here's how the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin described the action :

That came after Upton didn't run hard to chase down a ball hit into the gap that became a triple for Rusty Ryal in the top of the fifth. It appeared Longoria initiated the confrontation by saying something and Upton reacted angrily and had to be restrained by Willy Aybar.

Upton took his normal turn batting in the fifth and walked, than was picked off.

I'm sure there'll be more updates later, and we'll have the he-said, he-said following the game. Or more likely, everybody says, "it's no big deal, it happens in the course of the season."

UPDATE: On Twitter, Topkin says Upton declined comment and Joe Maddon will decide later if there will be any discipline.

UPDATE 2: Another from Topkin's Twitter account : Upton changes course, does talk and says the matter has been settled, it was a "difference of opinion." That opinion, from what we saw, was that Longoria thought he dogged it, Upton disagreed. Longoria says the issue has already been "buried."

UPDATE 3: The Tampa Tribune 's Tony Fabrizio has more up on the newspapers' Rays blog .

From Maddon: "B.J. came in off the field after that particular play, and everybody saw it, and some guys were not real pleased. I was walking down that way, and certain things were said. It’s not unlike what had happened a couple of years ago at Texas, where we had the [Matt] Garza-[Dioner] Navarro confrontation. It’s something that happens during the course of a major league season. It happens on many teams, actually. It’s just one of those moments that happen, and now it’s up to me to handle it properly."

Upton: "Over the course of the season, it’s going to happen. It's done with and over."

Longoria: "B.J. is an emotional player. When we’re not playing up to our potential, things get multiplied. I don’t think it got that out of hand, to be honest with you. It looks a lot worse from the outside."

So if you're keeping score, that's two, "it happens in the course of the season" quotes out of three. Not too shabby.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 10, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2010 10:06 pm

He needs a T-O, Bay-bee! Vitale hit by line drive

ESPN yeller Dick Vitale was hit by a foul ball sitting in his normal front-row seat at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the Associated Press reports .

Vitale, a season-ticket holder for the Rays, was hit in the stomach area by a foul off the bat of Blue Jays leadoff man Fred Lewis, but appeared to be fine after the incident, talking to fans seated around him.

UPDATE: Vitale told the St. Petersburg Times he was fine, "It was scary -- it was a bullet. I've been here for 11 years, never had a line drive come to me. Maybe a popup. I don’t know how that happened."

Vitale said he got a call from the ESPN Baseball Tonight set and also got singed balls by both teams' managers, Cito Gaston and Joe Maddon, as well as Rays special assistant Rocco Baldelli.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or