Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon revisited his postgame comments Saturday about New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter when asked Tuesday if he expected Rays fans to cheer the returning David Price on Thursday.
On Saturday, Jeter drove in the winning run in a 3-2 Yankees win, resulting in cheers from the sellout crowd at Tropicana Field.
Maddon said he understood why fans shower Jeter with cheers; the New York captain is retiring this season after 19 years in the majors.
However, the Rays’ manager said local fans need to root for the Rays.
“It’s great,” Maddon said Saturday. “It’s great that it’s so loud and I understand the people like Jeter, but you got to come out and root for the Rays, too. I totally appreciate what’s going on, but I’m not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees’ favor in our ballpark. So if you come out, root for the Rays. I’d appreciate that.”
Maddon clarified his comments Tuesday, saying he was more upset with fans booing Jake McGee — who allowed the winning hit — than fans cheering for Jeter.
“I was not upset about that at all. That had nothing to do with the price of anything,” Maddon said. “I was upset with the way people booed Jake McGee on the pitch that was tight (to Jeter), and I was upset with the way people booed Jake McGee by throwing to first base.
“That kind of reaction should never happen at your ballpark. I will not back off that stance.
“To boo Jake McGee at all is unconscionable among Rays fans, and I would hope that’s who attends games at Tropicana Field. It’s right down the street. There’s a couple of bridges. It’s not that hard to get to.”
Price, traded to Detroit on July 31, makes his first start against Rays on Thursday.