Yankees

Rays’ Joe Maddon: We Still Have Shot To Catch Yankees, Red Sox

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(credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)

(credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Rays manager Joe Maddon isn’t quite ready to deliver a concession speech, even though Tampa Bay is running out of time — behind New York and Boston — in the AL playoff race.

And that’s even after the Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-2 on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay trails the AL wild card-leading Yankees, who beat the Red Sox yesterday, by 8.5 games with 26 left. That leaves the Rays in need of a huge rally to reach the playoffs.

Or a huge collapse by the Yankees. Just ask the ’07 Mets, who lost a 7-game lead in the NL East to the Philadelphia Phillies with 17 to play.

Still, Maddon hasn’t given up hope.

“The math doesn’t permit me to shift focus,” Maddon said. “We have to get toasty the next few weeks.”

His players also insist they haven’t abandoned their playoff aspirations.

“Until it’s finalized that we can’t, we still have the mindset that we are going to make it,” outfielder Matt Joyce said. “We’re capable of getting on a roll. We have the potential, the guys that can do it. It’s a matter of getting hot and getting rolling.”

Yankees fans: What do you say to Maddon and the Rays? Sound off below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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