The 2008 AL Manager of the Year hopes to lead the first team in MLB history to overcome a nine-game deficit in September and reach the postseason.
Are you bothered by the media bias in favor of big-market East Coast teams like Boston and New York?
JOE MADDON: We've circled the wagons well down in Tampa Bay. It actually fuels us more than anything. I think playing in our division has made us better quicker. Back when I began here in 2006, we got beat up a little bit. But having our young guys play at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park ... what better places to grow up quickly? I think in some perverse way it's actually helped us.
Do you care about winning Manager of the Year?
JM: Not really. I'm more concerned with Team of the Year. I'm just so proud of our group and how we fought back into this thing.
What changed since the beginning of September when the Rays appeared to be out of the race?
JM: This may sound corny, but we never stopped believing that we could do this. The fact that we had to play the Red Sox and Yankees so often made it possible. When you see that schedule at the beginning of the season, you think, My God, that's not a really cool schedule. It's benefiting us that we're playing these guys so often late.
Is there a baseball imprint on pitcher David Price's chest after he got hit by a line drive on Sunday against the Red Sox?