Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rays Support Blackhawks, Manager Bans Flyers Gear

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has hockey fever. All jazzed up over the Stanley Cup Finals, Maddon set the dress code for the Rays' road trip to Toronto, on Sunday, as mandatory hockey sweater night.

Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, whose nephew works for the Chicago Blackhawks, swapped messages with the hockey club and they offered red home jerseys to any Rays player who wanted one, for the occasion. Many accepted, others opted to wear the jersey of their favorite team instead.

Additionally, Maddon would not allow any Philadelphia Flyers jerseys to be worn. The Flyers are facing Chicago in the finals of the NHL playoffs. Maddon said he had enough of Philadelphia when they defeated the Rays in the 2008 World series. The Rays and Blackhawks teamed up for the sake of anti-Philadelphia sentiment

This is certainly an odd situation, as Tampa has its very own NHL franchise known as the Lightning. I wonder how Lightning owner Jeff Vinik feels about his neighbors supporting rival out-of-towners.

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