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 not pleased with winning effort
Posted Jun 25, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Jun 24, 2008 at 11:20 PM
MIAMI—Based on Joe Maddon’s mood after the game, you might have assumed the Rays lost tonight’s hideous affair at Dolphin Stadium.
While acknowledging that even the ugly ones count, Maddon described the game as “mentally exhausting to the point that it becomes physically exhausting” and went on from there.
“We did not play well at all tonight,” he said. “We made way too many mistakes. If we’re going to get to the promised land, we cannot make those kind of mistakes. We cannot. We have to be more aware in situations and we have to react to situations better, pure and simple. We’re not going to beat the Red Sox and the Yankees, they’re coming on, etc. – all these really good teams – if we continue to make the same kind of mistakes. They’ve got to go away.”
He was not, by the way, upset about Longoria’s case of the pop-up yips in the fourth inning—“I’m not even concerned about that”—but was not pleased about the run that gave the Marlins a lead in the seventh. That’d be the one that Carl Crawford muffed and B.J. Upton mishandled twice.
“We can’t permit Hermida to score from first base on a single to left field, basically,” said Maddon. “We just can’t.”
He also seemed sort of frustratingly bemused about what it took for the Rays to get back on top in the eighth—the two bases-loaded walks following the two groundouts.
“We had 3-1 counts three hitters in a row with the bases loaded and we had to rely on a full-count walk to get that first run in,” said Maddon. “Probably an unprecedented situation. I would bet if you went back in the annals of baseball lore, you would never find that situation had occurred in the past.”
As for Troy Percival’s situation, the closer told his skipper he was fine during the ninth inning and Maddon left him in even though he was “very uncomfortable” with Percival’s highly uncharacteristic inability to throw strikes. Was not able to check in with Percival because I had to race back upstairs to finish up my game story for the Trib’s new earlier deadlines. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow…