ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In the true style of their manager, the home team at Tropicana Field wasn’t going to let an unceremonious exit wreck years of great memories.
“Good Vibrations” were the only thing on the Rays minds when it came to welcoming back their former manager on Tuesday night.
Early in their game against the Cubs, Tampa Bay paid tribute to Joe Maddon for his nine-years of service for the franchise with a special tribute played on the main videoboard in right field.
It featured The Beach Boys song “Good Vibrations” and featured a number of highlights from the manager’s time with the Rays, from his hiring to the World Series apperance in 2008 and the incredible September comeback for a Wild Card berth in 2011.
The video, which lasted over a minute, highlighted the successful era of Maddon in Tampa where he won 754 games and had a .517 winning percentage. Four times the Rays made the playoffs before the manager left at the end of the 2014 season to join the Cubs.
If there were any bad feelings about the abrupt departure, it wasn’t shown by the crowd at Tropicana Field. The video was greeted with a lot of applause and when it ended, Maddon tipped his cap to the fans who stood to salute the best manager in Rays history .
Of course, many of these fans weren’t cheering Maddon a few hours later. That when his Cubs took another step closer to a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over Tampa for their seventh-straight victory.