MLB

20-foot python visits Rays clubhouse

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)

Tampa Bay's latest addition is slow and methodical, but has great length and presents all sorts of matchup problems for opponents.

Rays manager Joe Maddon had a 20-foot python brought to the clubhouse before Thursday night's game against Seattle.

''In doing our research, my personal research, 2013 happens to be the year of the snake on the Chinese calendar,'' Maddon said. ''I kind of like that thought. We needed a little bit of motivation within the clubhouse. And then further more you find out that it's representative of risk taking and creative thinking. I thought it fit in perfectly with what we're trying to do around here.''

Maddon and closer Fernando Rodney were among those who picked up the snake. Others stayed as far away as possible.

''It was more about the facial, the visual reaction that's even better than whether they say no,'' Maddon said. ''Come hold that snake, and you get that look like no way. That was kind of cool.''

Maddon also welcomed a pair of penguins, a magician and a disc jockey to the clubhouse earlier this season.

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