FT. MYERS, Fla. Their morning in the visitors clubhouse began in an atypical way, but with Joe Maddons Tampa Bay Rays, there is, after all, no such thing. The sight was business as usual for this unique enclave, an exhibit of the laissez-faire atmosphere that has proven trust and results can be complementary in an emotional game.
Shortly after the Rays arrival at JetBlue Park on Monday, before a 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, Maddon walked through the cramped space with a challenge. As players settled, the manager played T. Rexs 1971 hit, Bang A Gong on his iPad and offered 100 to anyone who could name the artist of the clubs walk-on song. Young left-hander Adam Liberatore guessed The Rolling Stones, an admirable effort, but silence promptly followed the try.
I saved 100 bucks, Maddon said.
Such is life in Maddons orbit, an existence that includes daily examples of the humorous and spontaneous, intellectual and sometimes strange. Its why he has become one of the most respected ...