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Maddon's Trop comments attract attention

10:25 PM, Jul 20, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL-- When talk should have been about the Rays' big series with the Yankees, there were still questions about Joe Maddon's Tuesday comments, critical of Tropicana Field.

Maddon told reporters that the Trop is an improper major league facility, and area officials need to look outside of St. Petersburg to build a new facility. 

Team President Matt Silverman echoed those comments, saying the Trop and its many quirks had become a distraction in the clubhouse.

One quirk was emphasized Tuesday night, when the Yankees' Curtis Granderson lost a fly ball in the Tropicana Field roof, and the game's tying run scored.

But the players 10 News spoke to Wednesday, didn't think the Trop had become a distraction.

"It's not a distraction for me.  We're playing here wherever the Trop is," said Rays' starting pitcher James Shields.  "This is our field, we come here every day, this is what we have to do, so I don't think it's a distraction at all."

"There have been a lot of quirky things that have happened here the last week," said Rays' outfielder Matt Joyce, a Tampa native.  "It's definitely something that's been noticed nationally, and a lot of guys will make comments about it.  But at the same time, it's our own field, we want to feel comfortable here, and I think we do."

When asked if his comments about the Trop on Tuesday would create the mini-firestorm it did, Rays' manager Joe Maddon said, "I didn't realize that it did."


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