The Tampa Bay Rays' clubhouse is becoming a Wonder Ball -- you never know what's inside.
Manager Joe Maddon has surprised his players with a D.J., a magician and even a cockatoo during the past few weeks. And while we'll never know if these distractions actually led to winning, the Rays tend to do well when they're confronted with a surprise in the clubhouse.
With a big series looming against the Boston Red Sox, Maddon dug deep and wrangled up some more pre-game entertainment for his players. This time it was the Tampa-based merengue band Sol Caribe. The players enjoyed the group, and reliever Joel Peralta even danced with one of the band's drummers.
Taking the Caribbean feel a step further, closer Fernando Rodney had nine groups of three plantains hung above the lockers of some of the team's Latin players.
Great vibe in the clubhouse today with music by Sol Caribe. Let's see if it carries over into tonight's game. twitter.com/RaysJoeMaddon/…
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) May 14, 2013
"It's just one of those things we do here in Tampa (Bay)," Rays ace David Price said of the pre-game entertainment. "You probably don't see it in a whole lot of other places, especially not at a time like right now, not during a season. We’ve had this type of thing happen a couple times, so we all enjoy it."
And it seems like something worked, as the Rays picked up their sixth straight win with a 5-3 victory over Boston.
For the time being, at least, the plantains are staying.
Rodney's magical plátanos are here to stay. They're on a roll. We're looking for some good recipes.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) May 15, 2013