Manager Joe Maddon isn't the only guy with the Tampa Bay Rays who knows a thing or two about looking for unconventional tactics designed to motivate over the 162-game grind. Slugger Evan Longoria does too, and he looked in the bathroom to find a new way.
Longoria arranged for the Rays to have a miniature toilet put in the bat rack inside of the Rays dugout at Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The toy makes a flushing sound when you jiggle the handle. As soon as the Rays can get another — they're on back order from the internet — they'll take a toilet on the road with them. The metaphor is simple: Have a bad at-bat, a disappointing moment in the field or even an unhappy thought and just "flush it away."
The Rays have a lot of bad feelings to flush right now, sitting in last place in the AL East with an 11-14 record after losing to the White Sox on Sunday. Imagine the line for the john after they made four errors in the sixth inning.
Though the players don't want to talk much about it, the concept is pretty much what you'd think: It's imperative to be able to flush away each pitch.
"You can make that assumption," Longoria said. "It's just kind of a get-rid-of-it-tool, a fun way to just kind of say, 'That's in the past.' "
Longoria got the idea from two places: One, a sports psychologist from Longoria's days at Long Beach State had "a stash" of them before handing them all out. Two: As with Maddon, Longoria's father was a plumber.
This makes so much sense, because some of the best thinking is done in the bathroom. If the Rays aren't better after turning their dugout into a sanctuary, Longoria will eat his hat. (If he can find it.)
Earlier this season, Longoria had T-shirts made that were inspired by Dave Parker visiting the team.
"If you hear any noise, it's just me and the boys boppin," the shirts said, just like Parker's in the late '70s when he played with the Reds.
Boppin, poopin' — whatever it takes.
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