20-foot python visits Rays clubhouse

Tampa Bay’s latest addition is slow and methodical, but has

great length and presents all sorts of matchup problems for


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


Maddon also welcomed a pair of penguins, a magician and a disc

jockey to the clubhouse earlier this season.