Last season Rays’ Manager Joe Maddon had a lover’s quarrel with the Big Ballpark by the Bay. He complained that the catwalks cost the Rays a game mid-season only to apologize to the park via Twitter weeks later and get, as he described it at the time, a gift when the Trop “moved” a catwalk to allow a late-inning Rays home run.
Rays’ radioman Dave Wills was revisiting Maddon’s mea culpa during the 8th inning of yesterday’s game while discussing the Rays’ recent struggles on 16th Street and 1st Avenue South. (I took my family to the beach instead of watching the game on tv which, in case your interested, is the only way to take in a stink bomb like Sunday).
Following Dave’s lead, I discovered that the Rays are 1-7 in the 8 games at the Trop since Evan Longoria and David Price made their much-publicized comments about the atmosphere in the ballpark during the pennant chase. Eight games is a small sample size but, the 1-7 stretch is a notable departure from the Rays’158-87 (.645) home record since the start of the 2008 season (3rd best in baseball).
The Rays are 1-3 in David Price’s four post-comment starts (scoring a whopping 8 runs — total — to support Price’s efforts) and Longo has gone 1-for-18 with a strained oblique and a 15-day vacation.
Does that mean the Trop is taking some vengeance on the outspoken members of the club until they offer an apology? Probably not. But, to paraphrase the immortal words of Crash Davis “A player on a streak should respect the streak. If he thinks he’s [struggling] because he wears women’s underwear, or because [he said mean things about the ballpark, or because the ballpark hates him], then he is.”
How about it guys? Just tweet an I’m sorry. The ballpark is big enough to forgive and hip enough to follow you both on Twitter.