Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Maddon: Win is nice, progress is focus
In lieu of party hats, the manager sticks to his not-too-high, not-too-low mantra as skid ends.
By JOANNE KORTH
Published March 17, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG - The streak is over.
Watch for flying corks.
Rays manager Joe Maddon went to great lengths Friday morning to explain why he was not panicking over the team's 13-game spring training losing streak. After an 8-3 win against the Pirates in the afternoon, he even poked a little fun.
"We do have the Visqueen draped all over the lockers so that we don't get the champagne all over our clothing," Maddon said of the plastic sheeting commonly used when teams celebrate championships. "Where are the hats?"
The win improved the team's spring record to 2-14, hardly worth celebrating. Maddon was pleased his team played a complete game - solid pitching, errorless defense and a spring-high 12 hits - but puts no more stock in a spring victory than 13 straight losses.
"It's always good to win regardless of the time of the year," Maddon said. "I like the fact we came out and played a complete game, all aspects. That's what I've been looking for. I'd like to keep working the process in that manner."
The presence of a scoreboard indicates winning is the point, but Maddon and his staff have stressed progress above victories through the first half of the spring schedule. But any progress was typically overshadowed by the losing streak.
"I can understand why people would, and I don't blame them, quite frankly," Maddon said. "They can make a stink out of it. I accept that. But the pitching is the big issue. The defense is the big issue. I'd be much more scared if we were 13-1 right now."
Outfielder Rocco Baldelli realizes Rays fans who have seen more than their share of losing streaks might grow weary seeing their team lose day after day. But inside the clubhouse, losing has carried no psychological ill-effects.
"People come to the games and want to see the team that they root for win," Baldelli said. "But they also have to know these games aren't really played the way you play regular-season games. ... I think if you went around to any other team in baseball, they probably couldn't tell you how many spring training wins they have."
Still, how can losing 13 straight games not have a negative effect?
"Well, let's see," veteran catcher Josh Paul said. "The starting players for most teams are out by the sixth. You're dealing with guys that are pitching with the No. 87 on their back. The shortstop is No. 92. This is apples and oranges. This is the time for guys to get their work in, sharpen up their skills."
Maddon is not worried a losing mentality will set in with the players.
"The only way that would happen is if I portray that as being fact," Maddon said. "They will assume my posture. It's all dependent on the way I carry myself. Straight up, I don't like the record. Straight up, it doesn't concern me. Again, my concern at 13-1 would be at that point we would think we were that good, and we're not.
"If we're going to get our brains beaten out a little bit, I'd rather it be now. Part of the record is also the fact we are working on so many things. Whenever you make changes, I don't care if it's business or on the baseball or football field, there's always regression before progression. So, I expected a lot of that, actually."
Maddon continues to target early next week, after an off day Monday, as the time he hopes to see results on the scoreboard. By then, the starting lineup will play more regularly as the team's focus shifts toward the April 2 opener against the Yankees in New York.