ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. You might expect a team that had just swept three of four series and won five straight to be bouncing off the clubhouse ceiling.
You might think the players inside would be giddy over having steamrolled the pitching staff of the Los Angeles Angels in four games and closing the gap on the first-place New York Yankees to four in the AL East.
But the general mood of the Tampa Bay Rays is remarkably calm these days.
Sure, the team still has its fun with postgame dance party antics that follow victories. And there have been the usual themed road trips orchestrated by manager Joe Maddon, the most recent of which featured the Rays going to Anaheim as an offensive juggernaut.
Yet here's the biggest theme to emerge this season for Maddon's guys: They manage to keep their emotions in check, not getting too low when they lose or going sky-high when they win.
And they're gaining ground, in part, by staying grounded.
That even-keeled attitude was certainly put to a ma...