The Tampa Bay Rays have lost 14 of 15 games and haven’t scored a run in 28 innings. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that the Rays (24-42) – who have the worst record in baseball – invited a witch doctor to their clubhouse to work his magic at Tropicana Field.
“Over the course of my time here, I’ve learned not to come into the clubhouse and expect anything other than craziness,” Rays pitcher Alex Cobb said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I walked in the other day, and there was a guy throwing water in my locker. So he went around and threw water in everybody’s locker and smoked out a room in the Trop. Just doing witch doctor stuff. Sadly, I wasn’t too surprised. It’s just something that’s become normal around there.”
Over the years, the Rays have also allowed animals in the clubhouse, including chickens and birds, and once hired a mariachi band.
“Man, it never ends,” Cobb said. “We’re always trying something to keep the clubhouse loose. I think that it doesn’t really speak directly to your performance on the field. I think it’s more just keeping you loose and realizing we’re still just playing baseball and to have fun and just go with it.”
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Rays have been shut out nine times this year, including five times in the month of June.
What’s the problem?
“I think if I had an answer to that question, it would make things a lot easier,” Cobb said. “We’ve tried a bunch of different stuff. We just haven’t seemed to click on all cylinders yet. Whether it be hitting at the right time or pitching at the wrong time, we’re just not all getting on that groove that baseball teams (need).”
Cobb did note, however, that Rays manager Joe Maddon has maintained an upbeat attitude.
“Joe’s been great. (He’s) still trying to keep us loose,” Maddon said. “The friendships are still there. The guys are still having a good time in the clubhouse before the game, and the spirits are high that we’re going to pull one out that night. After the game, it’s kind of tough to handle, but then we show up the next day ready to go again.”
While it’s been a rough season for the Rays, Cobb is just glad to be back in baseball. He suffered a concussion last June, this after Eric Hosmer ripped a scorching line drive off Cobb’s head.
Cobb suffered from severe vertigo and didn’t know what his future held.
“All I wanted to do was just be able to put my uniform back on and go out there and play,” he said. “You get a whole new perspective on the game and on life in general. So to go through a three-game rough patch is not the end of the world, by any means. You’ve realized that there’s a lot more people with a lot more difficulties out there. If you can’t handle something as minor as a few bad games, then you’re really not going to make it in the game or baseball – or life.”
Cobb was also asked about the incident between David Price and David Ortiz last month. Price hit Ortiz with a 94-mile-per-hour fast ball, which Ortiz didn’t appreciate.
Whether Price threw at Ortiz intentionally can be debated, but Cobb said that Price would never try to intentionally hurt Ortiz – or any batter, for that matter.
“You have to have 100 percent command and really control yourself and settle down and realize, ‘I need to get this ball down and around the waste,’ – and (then) just deliver the message,” Cobb said, explaining a pitcher’s mindset before a beaning. “And that’s it. The last thing anybody’s trying to do is hurt anybody severely in the head. I understand things can happen when you’re (intentionally throwing at someone). That’s why it doesn’t happen very often. But it is part of it, and you have to be able to handle it when you’re called upon to do it.”