A message to fans from Maddon

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon admits that the increased fans at Tropicana Field to start this season has in fact helped his team.

But there was one particular play late in Sunday’s game that could’ve hurt his Rays.
With two outs and Tampa Bay leading, 5-3, in the top of the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a pop up in foul territory to the third-base side. Evan Longoria ranged over and reached into the crowd, but the ball was caught by a fan before it could land in Longoria’s glove.
Afterwards, Longoria smacked the wall in frustration and looked back. Whether or not he could’ve caught it is unknown — and Troy Percival did end up getting the last out — but Maddon doesn’t want something like that to cost him the game while playing at home.
“I’d like to point out to the fans that when you’re on the third-base side, you don’t do those things,” Maddon said. “Really, our fans need to know that.
“That was a big play. You never want to give the Red Sox an extra out.”
With a crowd of 32,332 on Sunday, the Rays raised their season total to 317,533 through 11 home games. That total gives them an average of 28,867 per game and a 62.6 percent improvement through the same amount of games last season.
“I want them to understand they’re a big part of our success
– they really are,” Maddon said. “When they come out and this place rocks, it presents a
different attitude. It just does. It’s just the way professional life works.”
– Alden Gonzalez

6 Comments

No argument, Longo was pretty upset with what happened and it could have cost us dearly. I am a season ticket holder in 109 and we immediately starting yelling Bartman at the person though we could not see exactly who reached out to glove the ball.
My greater concern is with the large contingent of Boston fans. I really thought we were past this after the way we were able to control the Trop during the playoffs last year and anyone who was there knows well the difference the fans were able to make.
Please, please do not let this happen!!! We are the defending AL Champs (and East Champs) and this is our house!!! If you cannot come out to every game (few can) make it a point to help our guys during these important series against our rivals.
Reasonably sure 3/4’s of the Sox fans live here and it is ludicrous (oh yeah, Rays have him in concert too) to have this still happening.
Enough watching the Rays on TV and then telling everyone your a true blue RAYS fan!!! We need you in the seats defending our house!!!

Great to have that attendance increase. That gives our team a boost of energy and much–needed respect.The only problem, of course, are Bartmans who have a tendency to knock balls from their favorite team’s gloves. Stay out of the way and let your team win. If you cost us a big game, you are a pariah forever. Think before you react, and we all win.Brentonhttp://braverays.mlblogs.com

You are correct as this could have been a disaster had Ellsbury come thru with a hit. Tampa fans are still novices when it comes to home team etiquette. I was at the first game (which was wild) and also at Sunday’s game and for some reason there were a lot of Sox fans there on Sunday. I think that the tide has changed in our favor but I would be happy to see no Sox or Yankees fans at all. All of the Rays players and managers deserve the full support of everyone here in the area. I had the misfortune of having a obnoxious Sox fan sit right behind me and I took great pleasure after the game was over to tell him to have a nice trip back to Boston. Their fans show no respect for the Rays. One more year of success will change that!
GO RAYS!!!

You are correct as this could have been a disaster had Ellsbury come thru with a hit. Tampa fans are still novices when it comes to home team etiquette. I was at the first game (which was wild) and also at Sunday’s game and for some reason there were a lot of Sox fans there on Sunday. I think that the tide has changed in our favor but I would be happy to see no Sox or Yankees fans at all. All of the Rays players and managers deserve the full support of everyone here in the area. I had the misfortune of having a obnoxious Sox fan sit right behind me and I took great pleasure after the game was over to tell him to have a nice trip back to Boston. Their fans show no respect for the Rays. One more year of success will change that!
GO RAYS!!!

I disagree with Joe. The ball that was hit was well into the stands. We’re not talking about a ball that just cleared the fence or was in the field of play. Besides, fans are looking up at the ball, not looking at the approaching player.

It is unfair to compare those fans along the third base side to Bartman. The ball in the Cubs game was just barely inside the stands. This ball was three or four rows in.

Sorry, Joe. I think right now the emphasis should be on a team that is not playing up to expectations.

I’m with tomasn…I was at the game and from my seats I couldn’t see what happened clearly so I watched the play on MLB.tv First, the gentleman who snagged the ball wasn’t the only one reaching. Second, it was obvious that he felt bad once he realized Evan could have gotten the out. Third, the man was with his son. Fourth, the fans’ actions weren’t interference. Fifth, he was looking at the ball and not at Evan.

Seriously people…this man needs to be cut a break. We have all been there maybe not at a baseball game, but in something important.

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