Found August 13, 2013 on
Fox Sports Florida:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays entered Tuesday night in a bit of a funk, but Yunel Escobar had a plan to lighten the mood.
The shortstop walked to his stall before a game between the Rays and Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field with a cardboard sign that read, "WE NEED TO WIN". Tampa Bay began a six-game homestand with a five-game losing streak following defeats at the Arizona Diamondbacks (two games) and Los Angeles Dodgers (three). The skid marked the team's longest since losing six consecutive games to begin the 2011 season.
"He's always about winning," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Escobar. "He'll run around the dugout prior to the game and mention that to everybody prior to every game. Great energy. This guy does want to win."
The sign was in good fun, but it is another example of Escobar's impact on the Rays this season. After hitting .169 with two home runs and seven RBI in April, Escobar has become a major contributor for Tampa Bay. Entering Tuesday, he hit .256 with eight home runs and 47 RBI, and he became known for highlight-reel defensive plays.
Escobar's loose, free demeanor has become popular within the clubhouse after he was traded from the Miami Marlins last December. Likely, the humor Tuesday was welcomed: The Rays landed in Tampa, Fla., at 5:15 a.m. Monday following a Sunday night finale in Los Angeles. The game Tuesday was their first after an off day.
Despite the Rays' slide, the American League East lead remains in sight. They trailed the Boston Red Sox by three games entering Tuesday. As Escobar pointed out in a humorous way, winning again was their goal.
"He's got one agenda," Maddon said. "He has been playing great. He has been playing really well. His batting average has climbed steadily. His defense has been outstanding. He does want to win."
You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at email@example.com.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ninth-inning tension was brushed away by a surprising bat, the Tampa Bay Rays longest losing streak in two years drowned in the emotion shown between first and second bases. There, teammates bounced around previously unheralded outfielder Jason Bourgeois, marking the end of their six-game slide.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said it best, while lounging in his...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Wesley Wright thought his season would end much differently. After the non-waiver trade deadline passed July 31, the left-handed reliever pictured his season closing with the Houston Astros, the only franchise he had known since making his major league debut in 2008.
But plans changed, as they often do this time of year in the nomadic baseball world. When...
TAMPA, Fla. -- On Tues., Aug. 13 at 10:30 p.m., Sun Sports, the statewide television home of the Tampa Bay Rays, will premiere the latest episode of "Inside the Rays," featuring the life and career of rookie outfielder Wil Myers.
This episode will give fans an exclusive look into Myers' childhood in Thomasville, North Carolina, including interviews with his parents...
Tampa Bay released veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth on Sunday.
On Friday the Rays announced that Farnsworth had been designated for assignment which meant they had 10 days to trade or release him. He is now free to sign with any interested team.
Farnsworth had 25 saves and a 2.18 ERA for the Rays in 2011 both career bests but has mostly struggled since. He began last season on...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Matt Moore will not start this weekend for the Tampa Bay Rays, a decision made after a 55-pitch bullpen session Wednesday.
Moore has been on the disabled list since July 31, retroactive to July 29, with left elbow soreness and had been optimistic that he would return to the rotation this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. However, the...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Leave it to right-hander Chris Archer, a cerebral and deep voice, to place the Tampa Bay Rays' six-game losing streak into unexpected perspective.
"The oldest, most wise things in nature need a little weather to continue to grow -- and that's a tree," he said after the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Tropicana...
The Tampa Bay Rays have reinstated right-hander Alex Cobb from the 60-day disabled list to make his first big league start since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago.
Cobb, struck on the right ear June 15 by a liner hit by Kansas City's Eric Hosmer, is scheduled to pitch Thursday night against Seattle. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon says it's great news for...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb is expected to pitch Thursday night for the first time in the majors since getting hit in the head by a ball in June.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Tuesday night's game against Seattle that the team feels Cobb is going to be ready to face the Mariners.
Cobb was struck in the right ear by a liner hit by...
Over the past week, as the hot Tampa Bay Rays suddenly cooled, there was reason for new caution. Five consecutive losses to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers included a little of everything: spotty starters, a struggling bullpen and an offense that failed to produce against elite pitching.
When revisiting the trip, missed chances are easy to find. By all accounts...
The Tampa Bay Rays claimed reliever Wesley Wright off waivers Monday, the team announced. The left-hander, formerly of the Houston Astros, is expected to join the team prior to the game Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.
A corresponding move for the 25-man roster will be made at a later time.
Wright, 28, is in his sixth season in the majors, having spent...
USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 American League Rookie of the Year is coming down to Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers.
The decision is going to be tough, mainly because Myers has been incredible for the Rays but has played nearly 30 games less than Iglesias.
Iglesias started his 2013 season at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. It seemed he was hitting...
Goddamn interns are still on the job this summer causing stations to get screencapped for their errors. Does that really look like Mike…
Mired in their worst losing streak of the season, the Tampa Bay Rays could use improvement on offense, but manager Joe Maddon knows that he needs more out of his starters.
Maddon will send rookie Chris Archer to the mound Tuesday night as the Rays try to end a five-game slide in the opener of a three-game home set against the Seattle Mariners.
Tampa Bay (66-50) capped an 0-5 road...