Snakes alive! Asia, a 20-foot, 115-pound reticulated python that lives at Busch Gardens, visited the Rays clubhouse before Thursday’s game. The reaction was what you’d expect — some players ran, some wanted to hold it, some continued to play cards. “Doing my research, 2013 happens to be the year of the snake on the Chinese calendar. I kind of like that thought. We needed a little bit of motivation within the clubhouse, and then furthermore you find out it’s representative of risk taking and creative thinking,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon felt his team was a little tight after the 0-5 West Coast road trip and was looking for a way to lighten the mood, just as he tried earlier in the season with the penguins, magician, DJ ... etc. Maddon wanted to have Asia visit earlier in the homestand but could only arrange the visit for Thursday. Maddon pointed out that closer Fernando Rodney, OF Matt Joyce and head athletics trainer Ron Porterfield were born during the year of the snake. “I think I’m a horse, and that’s next year,” Maddon said. “Heads up.”