Maddon: We are a target now

Mike Petraglia
February 27, 2009 - 6:54 am

Port Charlotte, Fla. - In between hosting a mock wine tasting prior to stretching Friday morning and suggesting taxidermy for a wild boar from near the lake outside the Charlotte Sports Park field, the always affable and metaphysical Joe Maddon talked about his team playing the Red Sox for the first time since beating them in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series last October. "You can't just live with the status quo," the Rays skipper said. "And it's not the same road. Things aren't going to break the same way. We are a target now, we're targeted. Maybe by the middle of last season or toward the end, we had that target but at the beginning we didn't. So, now we're carrying this with us all the time. I'd like to think it's going to bring out the best in us." As for the wine tasting on a table, Maddon said it was a playful response to his players' behavior a few days earlier, just to teach them a little bit about the finer things in life and how to handle them. Jeff Bailey didn't make the trip up I-75 Friday morning thanks to taking a foul ball off his toe during Thursday's game against Pittsburgh. "He fouled a ball off his big toe yesterday in his last at-bat," Sox skipper Terry Francona said. "I don't know know if he'll lose his nail or not. He actually showed up today (in Fort Myers) feeling a little bit better than he anticipated. But he wasn't playing anyway, he was just coming as an extra so we just told him to stay back."