Found April 19, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
39c0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Suddenly, to Joe Maddon, a baseball result turned more than small. In an instant, his day changed, thoughts turned deep, and travel out of Boston became a time to place life in perspective. Maddon stood near the home dugout Friday at Tropicana Field, four days after he and the Tampa Bay Rays were at Fenway Park the afternoon three people were killed and more than 170 injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. He was asked about the experience before a game against the Oakland Athletics, the first appearance at his home stadium since returning from a scheduled 10-game, 11-day road trip that included a stop in Boston on that sad day. Monday was supposed to be about celebration, a time for Patriots Day and Jackie Robinson Day, for fun and families and honoring a proud citys heritage. Instead, Maddon and the Rays were witnesses to shock for a proud people, shock for a nation. We had lost a tough game on that day it was 3-2, I believe, Maddon said. Im going to the airport, and all that stuff is breaking. Man, if you need perspective or youre looking for perspective, its smacking you all over the place on that bus ride regarding what had happened. On a normal day, baseball would have occupied Maddons mind on that ride. That afternoon, the Rays had lost their third consecutive game to the Red Sox, as part of what became a 2-7 road trip. Tampa Bay had tied the score at 2 in the top of the ninth inning, after Ben Zobrists single to left field. But Mike Napolis game-ending double in the ninth, which scored Dustin Pedroia from first base, ended the comeback bid before a charged home crowd. The game ended about 40 minutes before the bombs detonated near the finish line. Smoke and screams lifted close to Copley Square, about a mile from Fenway Park. Maddon learned of the events from a Rays staff member on the walk to a bus before leaving for the airport. That night, Tampa Bay was scheduled to arrive in Baltimore prior to a three-game series with the Orioles. A routine turned to a time for reflection. Id like to believe that I tried to keep this whole thing in perspective all the time, Maddon said. Were playing a game. Its a baseball game. Lets get our country on the right page in regards to hopefully finding the answers to all these difficult problems that are arising way too often recently. I have a different outlook sometimes. I think I do see the big picture. So losing 3-2 is not very good in a baseball sense. Having bombs blow up at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, thats pretty substantial. On Friday, a moment of silence was held at Tropicana Field. Maddon stood above his dugout, his right hand holding a blue cap over his heart. The national anthem sounded. There were cheers. Another game was played. Life carried on. Perspective, and heavy hearts, were present with all. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Photo: Joe Maddon, Rays hire disc jockey to play jams in clubhouse

There is nothing better than a little pre-game music to jazz up the mood.Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays, who hired a disc jockey, DJ Fresh to be precise, to crank up the jams prior to their game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday. The photo (seen above) shows him spinning tracks in the middle of the Rays' locker room.Right on, Tampa."Whatever allows these guys to relax...

Is Joe Maddon’s Seat Warming Up?

Joe Maddon’s Rays are off to a slow start, but is his seat starting to warm up? The American League East this season is the total opposite of what was expected after a flurry of impact moves made by the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays and Rays, both of whom were considered favorites to win the division, are off to very slow starts. The Rays are off to...

Rays loosen things up with DJ... in clubhouse

Joe Maddon is resourceful in many ways. Loose clubhouse rules, themed dress-up road trips and other laissez-faire approaches have made the Tampa Bay Rays one of the majors; most interesting franchises since he became manager before the 2006 season. Add a DJ-in-the-clubhouse idea as the latest example of his uncommon, but cool perspective. Things had become a little tense around Tropicana...

A genius versus accepted dugout wisdom

I have often leaned against the tide when it comes to defending the role of a closer. But managers do take it too far and you would think someone with the reputation of Joe Maddon would not be one of those guys who goes with accepted dugout wisdom. But he does. What is that accepted dugout wisdom? If you are on the road, you do not pitch your closer in a tie game because if you...

Photo: Tampa Bay Rays have DJ playing music in clubhouse

Tweet   There always seems to be something interesting in the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse, like an Over the Hill sign. Or custom football-style batting gloves. Maybe even a DJ playing music.   Reason No. 761 why @raysjoemaddon is awesome–he brought a DJ to Rays clubhouse to loosen things up. Yes, seriously: twitter.com/RaysBaseball/s… — Tampa [...]

Longoria, Zobrist spur Rays past A's 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 on Friday night. Jose Lobaton also drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to back the pitching of Alex Cobb (2-1), who allowed three runs and 10 hits over 7 1-3 innings. Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie, who went 4 for...
CRUSHED IT

Matt Wieters hits walk-off grand slam

If there’s anything better than a walk-off win, it’s a walk-off extra inning win.  If there’s anything better than a walk-off extra inning win, it’s a walk off extra inning home run.  If there’s anything better than a walk-off extra inning home run, it’s a walk-off extra inning grand slam.  Touch ‘em all, Matt Wieters, you did just that!  The Baltimore Orioles defeated...

Hellickson goes 7 strong, Rays blank A's

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven strong innings and Matt Joyce hit a solo homer to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Saturday night. Hellickson (1-1) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six to win for the first time in four starts this season. Joyce homered off Jarrod Parker (0-3) leading off the second inning. Joel...

Rays 8, Athletics 3

The Tampa Bay Rays are finally showing signs of heating up offensively. Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles to pace a 10-hit attack that carried the struggling team to an 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. A night after slugging four solo home runs in a 10-inning loss that concluded a 2-7 road trip, the Rays matched a...

Rays 1, Athletics 0

Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven strong innings and Matt Joyce hit a solo homer to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Saturday night. Hellickson (1-1) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six to win for the first time in four starts this season. Joyce homered off Jarrod Parker (0-3) leading off the second inning. Joel Peralta pitched the eighth for...

Brett Anderson leaves start early after spraining ankle

Brett Anderson lasted only an inning before he was jettisoned from the A’s loss to the Rays in Tampa Bay on Friday. Even though he gave up four runs on four hits in that time, Anderson’s getting the hook wasn’t performance related. The team announced the left-hander suffered a sprained ankle. From Susan Slusser: Anderson said he hurt his ankle on a pitch to Yunel Escobar, the...

Oakland LHP Brett Anderson departs with ankle sprain

After a difficult couple of injury-affected years, it doesn't seem as though Oakland pitcher Brett Anderson is going to have it any easier in 2013. The A's left-hander came out of Friday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays after just one inning with a right ankle sprain after giving up 4 runs to the Rays. John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News reported that Anderson hurt...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.