08/01/08 7:35 PM ET
Chemistry is key for Rays post Deadline
Tampa Bay moves forward without any reinforcements
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"I think it's a great move on [management's] part, not making any moves," reliever J.P. Howell said. "The most important ingredient is chemistry, and that's what we have here."
Veteran closer Troy Percival acknowledged that when a team doesn't make a deal it can sometimes be a letdown in the clubhouse.
"But I didn't see that it would be [a letdown] here," Percival said. "I mean all we were looking for was a right-handed bat for right field and I'm looking at the production in right field right now, and we're looking at about 29 home runs, a decent amount of RBIs. So I don't see that we're losing that much for not getting [Jason Bay] versus what we would have had to give up."
Percival said the team knew management was working hard to try and improve the team.
"But people are asking for David Price, what are you going to do?" Percival said. "And asking for [Jeremy] Hellickson, who I've heard nothing but great things about -- there's only so much you can do when you're an organization that relies on your Minor Leagues to compete up here year to year."
Carlos Pena interpreted management's tact of sticking with their team as a show of faith.
"We understand how powerful chemistry can be," Pena said. "We know that because we've seen it work. We've seen it manifest out there on the field. ... People are saying, 'Oh, the Rays didn't make a move.' We're like, 'Great, let's keep this going just the way it is."
Pena concluded that "bringing in someone else is not the problem."
"It's having someone who is so dear to us leave," Pena said. "That's the biggest thing."
Jonny Gomes' playing time, or spot on the team, likely would have been most affected had a trade for Bay been made. But the always energetic Rays outfielder said the Trade Deadline "didn't bother me a smidge to start with. I never really bought into it at all."
"The one thing I do know is I'm happy to be a Ray," Gomes said. "With these coaches, this manager, these people around here, this town, I'm just happy to be here, that's for sure.
"You know the old saying, 'If it's not broken, don't fix it.' And I think the one reason we have so much success is it starts here in the clubhouse."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.