Say this for Rays manager Joe Maddon: He does not lack for confidence.
The Rays are down, 2-0, in the best-of-five Division Series against the Red Sox. But Maddon expects to win the next two games at Tropicana Field.
“I'm really looking forward to Game 5 here,” he said. “Boston this time of the year is kind of lovely, and I'm looking forward to coming back in a few days.”
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia smiled when that comment was relayed to him.
“That's what Joe should say. He's a great manager. He has those guys believing,” Pedroia said. “I'm not going to say anything bad about Joe. I respect the heck out of him and so does our whole team.”
Said David Ortiz: “He’s got a right to say it. He’s a good manager.”
Maddon also talked about the Rays getting "out-Fenwayed" by some of the quirky hits in the game by the Red Sox.
Before you doubt Maddon, he predicted on Sept. 12 that the Rays would face the Sox in the playoffs.
"It's going to be tough to put them away. They've been through that before this year," Pedroia said. "We know that. So we're looking forward to playing Game 3."
• Rays rookie Wil Myers is 0 for 9 in the series and made a defensive mistake that turned Game 1 Boston's way. The crowd at Fenway was razzing him all night, chanting his name. In the fifth inning, when Myers caught a routine fly ball, he got a standing ovation.
Myers didn't react beyond smiling.
"I think he handled [Friday] extremely well. Couldn't have been handle any better than he did," Maddon said. "And I'm really proud of him for the way he did handle that moment. I was just hoping that he had bowed and tipped his hat when he caught that fly ball. I was really hoping that he would have. But he did not.
"So he's a young man. He's a future All-Star. He's going to put up huge numbers in the future. When you go through a tough moment like this, you don't abandon people; you try to support them."