ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, in an effort to change the fortunes of his slumping club, invited Seminole Tribal elder Bobby Henry to Tropicana Field on Monday.
“We just turned him loose on the Trop,” Maddon said.
Henry, known as The Rainmaker, is a 77-year-old medicine man who has lived in the Tampa area for the last 45 years.
“I guess this guy made it rain in Tampa in the mid-80s at some point, so I guess he’s got some supernatural powers,” Maddon said. “If it rains in the Trop I’ll be really impressed. That will be his best moment ever.”
Henry arrived Monday morning and walked around the field. He spent time sitting in the Rays clubhouse and in the Rays dugout.
“That field, not so bad. I walked around. … I don’t think it’s real bad, you know? We just have to open, just key opening and let them (bad spirits) out,” Henry said.
When asked what he can do to help the Rays, losers of 12 of their last 13 games, Henry said he didn’t want to reveal his secrets.
“We’ll see what happens this time,” Henry said. “I told Joe I’ll come back Sunday.”
Maddon has brought penguins and magicians into the clubhouse in years past to lighten the mood and help the Rays shake their funk. But with his team mired in last place with the worst record in the majors, Maddon decided it was time for something more than a DJ spinning records.
“As they say in Spanish, ‘Por qué no?’ ” Maddon said.