Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
Most Recent Entries
- Maddon changes stance on Escobar’s home run guesture
- Panini previews Rookies & Stars football
- A peek at Panini’s 2013 Cooperstown Collection
- Wharton athletes sign NLI’s
- Touchdown Club of Atlanta names Hargreaves top defensive back in the country
- Rays @ Jays: Cobb looking for 5th win
- FACA Baseball Classic Rosters announced
- Stargell stands tall in biography
- Profar is second Bowman redemption card
- Rays @ Jays: Victoria Day matinee
- Green seeking funds for trip
- Area Athletes Shine at Golden South Classic
- Rays @ O’s: Moore looking to go 8-0, Rays looking for sweep
- Collect call: 2013 Bowman baseball
- Rays @ O’s: Rays on FOX game of the week
- Bucs Report -Tribune staff
- Rays Report - Roger Mooney
- Bolts Report - Erik Erlendsson
- Bulls Report
- Prep Report - Hillsborough
- Prep Report - Pasco
- Prep Report - Region
- Prep Report - Recruiting Updates
- Prep Report - Football
- Go Fishing: On The Waterfront
- The Sports Bookie - Bob D'Angelo
- Gators Report - Tribune staff
- Youth Sports Report
- NFL Draft Report
- Go Ask: Frank's Tacklebox
- Bucified Bert Blog
- BUK Power - Bucs Fan Blog
- Pigskin Preacher - NFL Fan Blog
- Breakfast Bonus - Tom McEwen
- Highlands Sports
Maddon changes stance on Escobar’s home run guesture
Posted May 21, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 21, 2013 at 06:40 PM
TORONTO Rays manager Joe Maddon backtracked Tuesday on his comments concerning Yunel Escobar’s gesture while crossing home plate Monday after his ninth inning home run against the Blue Jays.
Maddon said after the game that he would talk to Escobar, adding, “I’m certain you’re not going to see that again.”
Apparently, you will.
Escobar occasionally makes the safe sign when he steps on the plate, which he did Monday. Maddon said he was not aware of it.
Now, Maddon encourages it.
“He does do that, as I found out, quite often after home runs,” Maddon said. “Some people point to the sky, he shows a safe sign. It’s one of those things people are going to interpret according to their own prejudices or thoughts or judgmental opinions. For me, I love the way he is. I want him to remain the way he is. He did nothing wrong.”
Escobar, when asked Tuesday if he talked to Maddon, became upset that the gesture had become an issue.
Escobar, who played for the Jays from 2010 to 2012, was booed by the Rogers Centre crowd throughout the game, something that contributed to his gesture at the end of the home run.
“Part of it, it seems a lot of times when a good player comes back to Toronto he gets booed here, even though they have played here well in the past and given this town some really good effort,” Maddon said. “Regardless of that I’ve been around some players in the past who were booed and I don’t quite understand that sometimes. I thought Yunel did a great job yesterday in the game. I loved his home run, and I’m never going to subtract from his celebratory manner.”
Maddon has said since December when the Rays acquired Escobar from Miami in a trade that he likes the “chrome” in Escobar’s game.
“I love his animation,” Maddon said before Tuesday’s game.
And those he started some of the fallout Monday by saying he would put a stop to Escobar’s celebration, Maddon came to Escobar’s defense Tuesday.
“He did nothing wrong,” Maddon said. “People that want to say that he did. That’s a fabrication on somebody’s part based on your own personal judgments, period.”
Rays @ Jays: Cobb looking for 5th win
Posted May 21, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 21, 2013 at 06:42 PM
TORONTO Alex Cobb will try to return the Rays to their winning ways tonight against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Here’s is the Rays lineup:
Rays @ O’s: Moore looking to go 8-0, Rays looking for sweep
Posted May 19, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM
BALTIMORE Saturday’s star Alex Torres is on his way to Durham this morning.
Torres was optioned back to the Triple A Bulls to make room on the roster for LHP Jeff Beliveau, who was called up from Durham to add a fresh arm to a tired bullpen.
Beliveau will head back to Durham after the game to open a spot on the roster for RHP Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi will officially join the rotation Monday and make his Rays debut against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
As for today, Matt Moore is looking to 8-0 or, at the very least, help the Rays to remain undefeated this season in his starts.
A win today and the Rays, winners of eight of their last 10, record their third series sweep this season.
Here is the Rays lineup:
Rays @ O’s: Rays on FOX game of the week
Posted May 18, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 18, 2013 at 03:00 PM
BALTIMORE The Rays return to the field today for a 4:05 p.m., national TV game on Fox.
Roberto Hernandez is on the hill for the Rays. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens will make his Orioles debut.
Here are the lineups:
Hernandez RHP (2-4, 4,43)
Jurrjens RHP (season debut)
Rays @ O’s: Hellickson returns to mound to start trip
Posted May 17, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 17, 2013 at 04:25 PM
BALTIMORE The Rays return to the Inner Harbor tonight to begin a three-game series with the second-place Orioles.
Jeremy Hellickson, who has his share of troubles holding on to leads, takes the mound tonight.
Hellickson couldn’t hold on to a 6-2 lead in his last start, when a leadoff walk in the seventh jump-started a San Diego rally that ended with a two-out grand slam on a 3-2 pitch.
The Rays rallied for an 8-7 victory on Evan Longoria’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning.
Still Rays manager Joe Maddon was critical of Hellickson after the loss, saying blowing four-run leads and blowing them in the manner in which Hellickson let it get away was unacceptable.
Hellickson and Maddon spoke Sunday morning about Hellickson’s approach to the inning and Maddon’s post-game comments.
“He basically he told me what he told (the media). It was a bad approach that inning. Walking the leadoff guy was frustrating to everybody, and it came back to hurt me,” Hellickson said. “He let (the media know) how frustrated he was. It hurt reading about that. I pitched my heart out for so long and for that to happen it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. And then I say that. But he was frustrated, he was right. As frustrated as he is and everyone else is, I’m a million times more frustrated. I’m the one who did it.”
The Rays will try to bounce back from Thursday loss, in which closer Fernando Rodney allowed a two-out, two-strike double with the bases-loaded that drove in three runs as the Red Sox rallied for a 4-3 win at the Trop.
The loss was the second in a row for the Rays, who dropped back to .500.
Here is the Rays lineup: