What's Buzzing:

Big League Stew

Joe Maddon calls out Rays fans for cheering Derek Jeter

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

The Tampa Bay Rays played in front of their second home sellout crowd of the season on Saturday, but it didn't feel anything like home with the New York Yankees and especially Derek Jeter in town. The Yankees' captain, who has already announced his retirement effective at season's end, was cheered at every turn, including a standing ovation prior to his first plate appearance of the game, and extended chants in the ninth inning after he delivered the go-ahead and ultimately game-winning single.

The first at-bat ovation is something that has been occurring regularly during Jeter's farewell tour, regardless of which stadium he's playing in. However, the ninth-inning response on Saturday is a little different story, and a lot more awkward when it appears the home fans are rooting against the home team.

Not surprisingly, that didn't sit well with Rays manager Joe Maddon. What is surprising, however, is how strongly Maddon spoke out about the situation, and particularly against Rays fans. 

From MLB.com:

"Yeah it's great," Maddon said. "It's great that it's sold out. And I understand that the people like Derek Jeter. But you've got to come out and root for the Rays, too, you understand. I mean, I totally understand what's going on. But I'm not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees' favor in our ballpark. I'm not going to defend that. So we're going to come out and root for the Rays. We'd appreciate that."

View photo

.
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Here's the problem: The Yankees have long been associated with and linked to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area because that's where they hold spring training, and they also have a minor league affiliate, the Class-A Tampa Yankees, who have played there since 1994.

Not to mention it's an area where many New Yorkers retire. Even Jeter owns a home on the waterfront. 

It's basically another subdivision of Yankees country, which is understandably frustrating for the Rays, but it is what it is. Until the Rays establish a stronger fan base for themselves, this will continue to be an issue. And it should be noted that it's not just an issue when the Yankees visit; the Red Sox and other opponents have healthy followings in the area as well. It's just more prominent and prevalent when the Yankees stop by.

By the way, the Yankees will make one more stop in the middle of September, which will definitely be Jeter's final regular season series at Tropicana Field, and could be very interesting if both teams are clinging to playoff hopes. If Maddon thought it was noisy on Saturday, it's possible he hasn't heard anything yet.

BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

- - - - - - -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (847)
  • Blues even series on Backes' OT game-winner, beat Stars 4-3

    Blues even series on Backes' OT game-winner, beat Stars 4-3

    David Backes gave the St. Louis Blues a big gift on his 32nd birthday, with another overtime goal to go home even. What a serenade of ''Happy Birthday'' for the Blues captain from his teammates after Backes scored off a rebound during a power play … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Baseball-Highlights of Sunday's MLB games

    May 1 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's Major League Baseball games: Giants 6, Mets 1 Hunter Pence homered and finished with three RBIs and the San Francisco Giants stole four bases on their way to a 6-1 win over the New York Mets, whose … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Jefferson Responds to Barkely

    Jefferson Responds to Barkely

    The Cavaliers' Richard Jefferson responds to Charles Barkley's comments from last week. … More »

    NBA.com - 15 minutes ago
  • Red Sox beat Yankees 8-7 to complete 3-game sweep

    Red Sox beat Yankees 8-7 to complete 3-game sweep

    BOSTON (AP) -- Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster to break a seventh-inning tie Sunday night, sending the Boston Red Sox to an 8-7 victory over the New York Yankees and a three-game sweep of their archrivals. … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • May 1st: Top 10

    May 1st: Top 10

    The best of the best from Sunday's Playoffs action highlighted in the Top 10. … More »

    NBA.com - 19 minutes ago