06/17/12 6:30 PM ET
Maddon, players reflect on dads' influences
By Bill Chastain and Greg Zeck / MLB.com
After all, these were the men in their lives that raised them, pushed them to new heights, sacrificed and, most importantly, were there for them.
"My parents, my dad, they worked every single day, and they gave up a lot for us to be able to play baseball and do what we wanted to do in our lives," starting pitcher James Shields said. "That's what I'm most grateful for. ... My dad was always there for me whenever I needed him, all the time."
Shields said a specific memory didn't come to mind immediately about his father, but rather it was a collection of them that he's fond of. Others, like outfielder Matt Joyce, didn't have such a problem of thinking of one on the spot.
Joyce said there was one day his father stressed the importance of hard work in order to fulfill his baseball dreams. He took the advice to heart and one day took one of his father's tarps and set it up with bungee cords so he could hit baseballs into it to practice his swings. After his dad got home from work though, he yelled at him for using his "good tarp."
Joyce looks back on the moment and laughs about the irony of it. He said his dad encouraged him to do it some more, albeit with something else subbed in for the tarp.
Maddon has a memory chiseled in his head he's still fond of nearly 49 years after it happened. His father took him to Yankee Stadium on Aug. 24, 1963, to see Whitey Ford and the Yankees win 3-0 over Ray Herbert and the Chicago White Sox.
Maddon remembers Johnny Blanchard's home run and Tom Tresh in center field saving another to end the game. But most importantly, after the game was over, he and his dad walked on the field to see the monuments after the game, and as they were leaving, his father asked him if he wanted to buy a hat.
"That's when I picked the St. Louis baseball Cardinal hat, it was blue with the red STL on it," Maddon said. "That was 1963 and the moment I became a Cardinal fan in baseball, football, Hawks in basketball, Blues in hockey, which weren't even alive yet. ... I liked it, I liked the blue with the red STL on it."
Tampa Bay will be hoping to make more memories on Sunday, and are 7-7 on Father's Day, historically.
Gomes optioned to Durham after Sunday's win
The Rays announced after Sunday's win against the Marlins that reliever Brandon Gomes was being optioned back down to Triple-A Durham.
Gomes was called up after Luke Scott was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff back on Thursday, retroactive to June 9. He appeared in two games, allowing one run in three innings of work with four strikeouts.
"I feel like I threw the ball well while I was up here, and I'm back to where I was last year," Gomes said. "Whenever the next opportunity comes, I'll be ready to go. ... It's leaps and bounds compared to where I was a month or two ago. If I keep progressing and stay sharp while I'm down there, hopefully I'll get back up here sometime soon."
Manager Joe Maddon said a key factor in the decision was to have another position player before traveling to Washington and Philadelphia, where the Rays will be without the luxury of having a designated hitter.
The roster move to replace Gomes could happen either Monday or Tuesday.
He added neither third baseman Evan Longoria nor infielder Jeff Keppinger would likely be called up. Both players are currently rehabbing with Durham, as well.
"What we were talking about was to reevaluate them on Tuesday," Maddon said. "Today is Sunday so they've really hardly played and they've been sore, so I doubt they would be the guy on Tuesday."
Rays winless all-time in games over 14 innings
ST. PETERSBURG -- Saturday night's 15-inning, 5-hour, 7-minute affair was the fourth game in Rays history to go 15 or more innings, and was the fourth longest by time of game.
The Rays lost to the Marlins, 4-3, dropping to 0-4 in games of 15 innings or more.
Of note, the Rays' 1-5 hitters combined to go 2-for-30 and it was the third game in which the Rays have allowed one earned run or less and lost.
The longest two games by innings played are 16 innings and both came against the Red Sox on July 17, 2011, and April 1, 2003, when they lost 1-0 and 9-8, respectively.
The longest game by duration was last season's 16-inning game against the Red Sox that lasted 5 hours, 44 minutes.
Defensive lapses continue at alarming rate
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays committed three errors Saturday night, giving the team its fifth game with three or more errors this season and the most three-error games since 2007, when the team had seven games with three-plus errors.
Through 65 games this season, the Rays have committed 57 errors and have 16 multi-error games. A year ago at the same juncture, the Rays had 31 errors and three multi-error games, and they did not commit their 57th error until Aug. 24.
Errors lead to unearned runs and the Rays have allowed 35 unearned runs this season, tying them with the Tigers for the most in the Major Leagues and leaving them two unearned runs shy of their total for the entire 2011 season, a total that ranked first in the American League.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.