Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Salsa music, hanging plantains in clubhouse
ST. PETERSBURG -
Tampa Bay Rays players arrived at the clubhouse before Tuesday’s game against Boston and found Aramis Gutierrez and Sol Caribe playing salsa music and 27 plantains hanging from the ceiling near the lockers of RHPs Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Roberto Hernandez.
“I wanted one Dominican trumpet player, but we got the entire band, because nothing can be hotter than a Dominican trumpet player on the right evening,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon said the band and the plantains were a tip of his cap to the Latino players on the team.
“It’s just one of those things that we do here in Tampa,” Price said. “You probably don’t see it a whole lot of other places, not at a time like right now, not during the season. But we’ve had that type of thing happen a couple times, and we all enjoy it. It just lightens the mood, and we all appreciate it.”
A DJ on the last homestand, a merengue band on this one? Price was asked what type of music he’s like to see next.
“The Spice Girls,” he said.
HELLICKSON REACTS TO MADDON
RHP Jeremy Hellickson said he wasn’t happy to read Sunday that Maddon called him out publicly after he blew a four-run lead the night before. He also said he wasn’t upset with being the subject of rare postgame criticism by Maddon.
“It stinks waking up and reading about it, but he’s right. I just got to be better, basically,” Hellickson said. “I pitched my heart out for seven innings and then to give that up was heartbreaking. That’s the best word I can think of. It just hurt. I pitched so good for the whole game and I just had a stupid approach to that inning.”
Maddon was upset Hellickson walked the leadoff batter in the seventh after retiring 16 straight, then allowed a two-out grand slam that tied the score.
“I’m not happy with that. That’s inappropriate,” Maddon said.
Hellickson said he was glad Maddon talked to him Sunday, though he added hearing Maddon reiterate his frustration wasn’t a whole lot of fun.
“As frustrated as he is and everyone else is, I’m a million times more frustrated,” Hellickson said. “I’m the one who did it.”