There were two general thoughts around the Rays regarding Evan Longoria’s comments that longtime teammates James Shields and B.J. Upton remained scarred by their Devil Rays past and that the current squad was in “a better mental state” without them.
One thought was Longoria was not necessarily wrong in what he said.
The other was he was absolutely wrong for saying it how he did.
Shields and Upton were key players in the team’s ascension to the successful, well-respected, positive-thinking group of today, and manager Joe Maddon is on record saying both aided the evolution of becoming the Rays.
But there were times, when things weren’t going well, when they would reflect on those Devil Rays days, when the team was abysmal on the field and there was still negativity pervading the clubhouse, and that would come out in a snarky comment or reaction.
A number of people around the Rays —as well as Shields and Upton — were surprised by the comments, wondering what the heck (though they didn’t say heck) Longoria was saying and why he was saying it.