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The Rays Tank: Off Day and the Sneaker Soiree

The Rays got a day off to relax on Thursday. Joe Maddon and Evan Longoria attended the Tampa Bay Sports Commission's Sneaker Soiree.

Tom Szczerbowski

Well, an off day for the Rays on Thursday meant that no leads could be blown in the ninth inning! That’s always a plus!

It was a slow news day for the most part. Joe Maddon and Evan Longoria both attended the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s ‘Sneaker Soiree’. Maddon discussed the Rays clubhouse atmosphere with other head coaches from the Bay Area, the Lightning’s Jon Cooper and the Buccaneers’ Greg Schiano. He told reporters,

There's already so much pressure on the boys. There is always so much going on. Treat it as it's supposed to be treated. It's a game. It's not life and death. If they show up with a clear mind and not a heavy cloud over their head, they will be fine. Give them freedom. They are, for the most part, grown-ups. Give them some latitude and you're going to get much greater return.

Evan Longoria was recognized for his partnership with RedBull's Tampa's Got Wings program. Evan discusses the Tampa's Got Wings program and what this means to him and local little leagues.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Congrats to a successful project. <a href="">#TampasGotWings</a> @<a href="">evan3longoria</a> @<a href="">sportstampabay</a> <a href="">#SneakerSoiree</a> <a href="" title="">…</a></p>&mdash; Red Bull Tampa Bay (@redbullTPA) <a href="">May 24, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Luke Scott spent his day off catching some fish. Cue the Luke Scott and water jokes. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>A day off fishing with my bro <a href="" title="">…</a></p>&mdash; Luke Scott(@LukeScottOP) <a href="">May 24, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times wrote about how Longoria was experiencing fatigue in his legs during the first two weeks of the season. If he’s still feeling the fatigue, he certainly isn’t showing it. Longo is batting .335 with one triple and fifteen doubles on the season. He has reached base safely in 45 of the 46 games that he has played and currently has an OPS of .984.

The Rays take on the New York Yankees today at the Trop as Roberto Hernandez faces David Phelps. Reid Brignac will return back to St. Petersburg in pinstripes after being traded for cash from the Rockies earlier this week.

Another homestand for the Rays should mean more pre-game antics. Who or what do you all think will show up to the clubhouse while the Yankees and Marlins are in town? I think sooner or later a mime will show up, or an alligator wrestler. You never know.


-The University of Cincinatti’s baseball team gave some pretty interesting post-game interviews this year. Take a look at this compilation of their shenanigans.

-You may have heard by now that Braves player, Evan Gattis, used to be a janitor before he hit the bigs, but that’s not all he used to do. This is the legend of El Oso Blanco. (There’s a dig at Yunel Escobar around the 1:45 mark.)

-A Blue Jays fan threw some kind of drink at Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth moments after Nate made a spectacular catch in which he ended up in the stands during yesterday's game.

-Speaking of the Orioles, rookie pitcher Kevin Gausman was greeted with a locker full of donuts after being called up from double-A. In his major league debut Thursday, Gausman went five innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five.

-The MLB Fan Cave recently took Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to the Chelsea Pier driving range to practice their swings.

-Derek Jeter stole someone’s coffee at a Starbucks. Sorry Philip, now you’ll have to order another grande half-caf half-fat soy latte. Perhaps Starbucks gift cards come in Jeter's infamous gift baskets?