Tampa Bay Rays turn to medicine man

Posted: June 11, 2014

THE PHILLIES ARE in an awful slump, have dropped 11 games below .500 and have the worst record in the National League.

The Tampa Bay Rays are 24-41 and have the worst record in the majors.

So what are the teams doing about it? The Phillies appear to be standing pat, waiting for a hot streak, waiting for their .210, .220 and .230 hitters to catch fire and for their starting pitchers to find the strike zone.

The Rays have a different approach, which is nothing new for Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. They enlisted the help of a Seminole medicine man.

Maddon, who in the past has brought a python, penguins and a magician into the clubhouse, invited 77-year-old tribal elder Bobby Henry to Tropicana Field yesterday to give the team, well, a ray of hope.

"We just turned him loose on the Trop," Maddon said.

Maddon talked about Henry's "supernatural powers," specifically when it comes to making it rain.

But, Skip, you guys play indoors.

"If it rains in the Trop, I'll be really impressed. That will be his best moment ever," he told reporters.

There was no rain inside the dome, but a heavy downpour did begin outside Tropicana Field soon after Henry's visit, which the team noted on its Twitter account.

The Rays have lost 13 of 14 and are 17 games under .500 for the first time since the end of 2007, the final year they were known as the Devil Rays. Maybe taking the Devil out of Tampa Bay wasn't a such bad idea. They faced the Phillies in the World Series the next year.

The results were not immediate yesterday. Tampa was shut out for the second straight game, losing to Seattle, 3-0.

OK, Phillies, the next move is yours. Signing Nate Spears to a minor league contract? Nope, not a good start.

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