December 08, 2008
You might remember that Joe Maddon pledged to find at least one Rays fan walking around Europe while on his honeymoon in November.
Well, in a bigger upset than winning the AL championship with an up-and-coming squad, it turns out that Maddon's search was a successful one. After spending three days in Rome, he and his new wife Jaye spied a young man boarding a train in Rome while wearing Rays gear.
Needle, meet haystack.
"I said Jaye, I gotta go get this guy's photograph," Maddon recalled at the winter meetings on Monday.
Maddon put the man's name — Ryan Atwood from Tampa — into his iPhone and then retrieved it for those of us who asked about it. He also took a photo of Atwood, just as he said he would, but said the wayward Rays fan wasn't aware of Maddon's quest.
Nor did he seem interested in taking a picture of or with Maddon.
"We just left it at that and we went our separate ways," the Rays manager said.
All in all, a pretty fun and light story, which is why I left out the obligatory joke about there being more Rays fans in Italy than in the Tampa Bay area.