Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Maddon: Big Papi was right
Posted Oct 11, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Oct 11, 2008 at 04:54 PM
David Ortiz implied following last night’s game that the Rays looked a bit tight or panicked during Game 1.
“I’m telling you, I saw faces tonight different than what I see in the regular season,” he said. “I don’t blame nobody. It’s a lot of pressure out there right now in this game. You know you have to win or otherwise you go home.”
Asked his opinion on the topic this afternoon, Joe Maddon immediately concurred.
“For the first time yesterday, I thought we were impacted a little bit by the event,” said Maddon. “I’d like to think that we’re going to get beyond that today. I agree with him.”
Maddon attributed his team’s jumpiness—which he said manifested itself mostly in impatient at-bats—to a situation that was unique to most of the Rays. Of course, they have spent the entire season handling themselves well in uncharted territory, but for some reason it was different Friday.
“In spite of all the preaching, all the attempts to stay within the same parameters. I thought yesterday we got away from ourselves just a little bit,” said Maddon.
He did add, however, that he figured that edginess would be a one-and-done situation for his team.
“I’d like to believe that we learned a lesson yesterday and we can move on today.”
One other pregame note from Maddon: He said Troy Percival returned to California rather than remaining with the team for the ALCS because he wanted to spend some time with his family. Maddon said Percival will continue throwing and will be able to return at “a moment’s notice” if he is needed.