Rays manager Joe Maddon uses ’80s pop song to pick lineup

DETROIT — No one knows where Jenny was Thursday night, but hopefully she was watching Tampa Bay play the Tigers.

In honor of Tommy Tutone’s 1981 smash hit, Rays manager Joe Maddon went with an 867-5309 batting order in the series opener against Detroit.

(Well, the lineup technically went 867-5309-24, but Maddon did the best he could.)

It wasn’t an accident, either. Madden was blasting the song in his office before the game, and mentioned it on Twitter:

But it didn’t prove to be the right number, as the Rays lost 7-1.

As far as anyone knows, this is the first time a manager has used an ’80s pop song to pick his lineup, but he’s hardly the first to go to extreme measures. On Aug. 13, 1973, with his Tigers on the verge of falling out of the AL East race, Billy Martin picked the batting order out of a hat. That day’s cleanup hitter, light-hitting Eddie Brinkman, doubled home the tying run in the sixth inning and scored the winning run.

Coincidence? Probably, but the Tigers did rally down the stretch to win the East.

Tampa Bay is in last place in the East, so they would need a pretty spectacular rally.

But at least they will have Jenny on their side.