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Maddon welcomes opinions
Manager Joe Maddon didn't necessarily agree with Rocco Baldelli's assessment that the Devil Rays didn't show up "ready to go and have a good effort" on Saturday.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published April 16, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS - Manager Joe Maddon didn't necessarily agree with Rocco Baldelli's assessment that the Devil Rays didn't show up "ready to go and have a good effort" on Saturday.
But Maddon had no problem with Baldelli saying it.
"If one of our veteran players believes something like that, I'm okay with him voicing his opinion," Maddon said. "We talked about that in spring training, looking for the leadership among the group. It sounded as though he did it in a professional, tasty way, and I'm good with that and I hope the other guys take heed to it. It's a good thing."
Maddon said it was similar to when Ty Wigginton spoke out after being hit by a pitch in a spring game, saying the Rays need to stand up for their teammates.
"I want that," Maddon said. "I want some people within the clubhouse to be willing to step out there and say what's on their mind and hopefully in a positive way. ... We need that. Every team needs that."
As for Saturday's poor showing - a 12-5 loss - Maddon said it was more a product of a young team letting a bad start evolve into a horrible night.
"I don't know necessarily that guys weren't ready or didn't care, I just think that it did truly present itself in a bad way and it just kept getting worse," he said. "With a youthful situation, that's going to happen once in a while. Not that I like it, not that you're looking to condone it, but it's something that does happen within a group like this and we have to make sure that we minimize that."
STAND-UP GUY: 3B Akinori Iwamura didn't seek the scoring change on the sixth-inning hard ground ball hit by Michael Cuddyer on Saturday. But when communications director Chris Costello, who questioned the initial call, asked, Iwamura said he thought it was an error. That was relayed to official scorer Tom Mee, who made the change, giving Iwamura his first error, and also lowering the ERA of relievers Shawn Camp and Gary Glover since two runs became unearned. "I'm a player; it's someone else's judgment." Iwamura said through interpreter Masa Koyanagi. "I thought it was my error. I wanted to be honest."
ON THE RUN: The Rays were caught stealing twice more on Sunday, making a major-league high 11 to go along with 11 steals. Maddon said they will seek to make smarter decisions but continue to keep running: "We're not going to stop, and we want everyone to know that."
MISCELLANY: Delmon Young's 12-game hitting streak matches his career high and is one shy of Baldell's 2003 team-record season-opening streak of 12. ... Rookie OF Elijah Dukes, 1-for-his-last-20 with four strikeouts Saturday, is scheduled to be back in the lineup tonight after working with hitting coach Steve Henderson on a mechanical adjustment. ... DH Jonny Gomes batted ninth for the first time. ... Carl Crawford said he enjoyed the experience of wearing Jackie Robinson's No. 42 in tribute. .. Maddon said "nobody could hit a ball farther or harder" than Carlos Pena did on his 426-foot home run to centerfield Saturday. ... The eight-game homestand is the Rays' longest of the first half. It includes the first Throwback Tuesday, featuring $1 hot dogs.