Maddon seeks inspiration before facing Yanks

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 25, 2013
Joe Maddon sought some assistance in devising his lineup for Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees, so the Tampa Bay Rays manager walked from his team's hotel in Times Square to St. Patrick's Cathedral. Maddon said he sat in the back for his late-morning visit. ''I was looking for inspiration,'' he said. ''I saw St. Jude - don't know how good he is with the hit and run. Was a pretty good defender.'' St. Jude is considered the patron saint of hopeless cases. Maddon lit a candle, but not specifically for the Rays. ''For general purposes,'' he said. Maddon didn't start outfielder Desmond Jennings (tight left hamstring) and shortstop Yunel Escobar (sore left ankle), and he had Delmon Young at designated hitter instead of Luke Scott. Maddon said he was concerned the Yankees would take out starter Phil Hughes early and bring in a left-hander. Closing in on its fourth postseason berth in six years, Tampa Bay began the day with a one-game lead over Cleveland in the AL wild-card race, with Texas another game back. Tampa Bay has an 88-69 record despite a $59 million opening-day payroll, 28th among the 30 major league teams and ahead of only Miami and Houston. Maddon says tougher testing for performance-enhancing drugs has helped the Rays, who during the Steroids Era could not afford players with inflated statistics that led to higher salaries. ''With a better drug-testing policy in place, I think the playing field has been leveled, not somewhat but a lot,'' he said, ''and because of that we are back to pretty much real baseball again, getting pretty close to it, where average human beings get tired this time of the year, we've got to rest people.'' Payroll isn't likely to increase by much if at all. The Rays drew just 1.51 million fans to Tropicana Field, which will be the fewest in the major leagues this season and would be the lowest total for a playoff team since the 2003 Florida Marlins drew 1.3 million, according to STATS.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker