There will not be a primate shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice. That was going to be Joe Maddon’s latest and undoubtedly greatest stunt to lighten the mood among the fellas. “It was undoable” Maddon said Friday before the Rays played the Mariners at Safeco Field. “You can’t have a primate shag during BP. I didn’t know that.” That was Jeremy Hellickson’s idea by the way. After a python penguins and a cockatoo visited the clubhouse this season Hellickson suggested a monkey chasing down fly balls alongside the pitchers during BP. “I thought it was a great idea” Maddon said. So the Rays will have to chase down a playoff spot without any pregame entertainment from the animal kingdom. “There’s nothing left” Maddon said. “The bag’s empty.” The same could be said about the Rays’ offense. The Rays entered Friday’s game with a 13-19 record since July 31. They averaged 3.2 runs per game (29th in the majors) during that stretch and have hit 26 home runs (23rd in the majors). The Rays had been sixth in the American League in runs scored (4.65) before this stretch. The biggest culprit has been the Rays’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position especially when the bases are loaded.
Rays’ Maddon always eager to lighten mood
Tampa Tribune | Sep 7