ST. PETERSBURG -- Throughout the playoffs and down the home stretch of the Rays' regular season, Evan Longoria has been front row and center in dealing with the media, further demonstrating how he has evolved into a leader on the team.
"The thing I've always mentioned is leadership is taken, it's not given," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "With him, he understands his role, within the organization and within the game. I think again, I've spoken about that for the last couple of years."
Most recently, Longoria addressed the media on Sunday when many of the Rays players did not attend the day's volunteer workout or were not available to the media.
"So it doesn't surprise me that he would understand the moment, 'I need to be there. I know most of the guys aren't, but I need to be there and talk and speak on their behalf,' and he did," Maddon said. "And it doesn't surprise me in the least."
When asked if Longoria's addressing the media helped the team, Maddon replied, "Of course it does."
"When one guy or guys might take the brunt of all of that, especially this time of year, it permits them to chill a little bit more, it definitely matters," Maddon said.
Maddon staying even-keeled in tight spot
ST. PETERSBURG -- Even though the Rays were facing the prospect of elimination, manager Joe Maddon's demeanor was no different on Monday than any other day hours before Game 3 of the American League Division Series vs. the Red Sox.
"I swear to you, no, [the mood is the same]," Maddon said. "I don't look at it any different. I'm thinking about [Jeremy] Hellickson pitching tomorrow. What's going to happen after that? But not getting too far into the future. Just about winning tonight's game. Trying to set it up to win tonight's game, but definitely believing tomorrow's going to happen."
Maddon noted that his team's mindset is anything but uptight.
"They've been good. We didn't play well in Boston, no question, we did not," Maddon said. "But it wasn't because we were too tired or anything. We just didn't play well. They beat us. But it wasn't because we were lacking in any area. They just beat us."
Maddon finds himself in the difficult position of using virtually any player just to advance to Game 4 without looking too far forward.
"The difference between today's game and what we've just gone through [was] there was a bigger bench," said Maddon, citing the fact that the Rays do not have an expanded roster as they did in September.
"... Even the Cleveland game was a bigger bench, because it was a Wild Card Game, you were still able to stack the bench [because it was just one game]. You felt more comfortable doing things earlier [in the game]. This is a regular-season kind of an affair. You still do whatever you can to win this game, absolutely, but you don't have the same kind of backup you had in the previous moments, in the September games. … It's different."
Price 'deeply sorry' for Twitter comments
ST. PETERSBURG -- Left-hander David Price offered an apology on Monday for comments he posted on Twitter on Saturday night after losing Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
"It's not the way anybody should handle themselves at any time. It's not the way anyone, especially myself, should handle something of that nature," Price said a few hours before Game 3 at Tropicana Field. "I am a person, I feel like, that takes pride in character. That was probably the exact opposite of that. I hurt a lot of people. I embarrassed myself. I embarrassed my family. I embarrassed this organization. It's not good. It's not good for baseball. It's not good for our team, especially at a time like right now.
"I am deeply sorry I let my emotions just completely take over the situation. I've never felt anything like that before in my life. I want to be big. I want to do great things for this team on that field, especially in moments like that. And I felt like I let our organization down, I let my teammates down. That was just a very dark spot in my career up to this point. It doesn't set well with me, and I know I've hurt a lot of people. That's probably the worst part about it. I feel like I am somebody who tries to treat people the same way that they would treat me. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I didn't do that. And I'm sorry."
Price realized he'd made a mistake "probably a couple of minutes" after firing off a post directed at TBS analysts Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci. He read it over a few times, but his "emotions were just going so high. I knew that was nothing to tweet about."
He plans to keep using his @DAVIDPrice14 account.
"I take a tremendous amount of pride in the effort I put forth every single day, whether I'm pitching that day or not," he said. "Whether it's in the clubhouse with my teammates, on the bench or in the weight room, I love what I do. I understand that baseball has made me into the person that I am today. I do feel like I'm a good person.
"With the things that I said after the game and Saturday, I know a lot of people have probably changed ... the way that they view me. That probably is what hurts the most."
Price also apologized to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz after criticizing him for watching his second homer on Saturday.
"He's somebody that is always smiling. He's always having a good time. He's there for his teammates, and we've all seen that over the years," Price said. "He takes the time for the little people. Every time he sees my little nephew, he takes the time to talk to him. And every time they're in town here, he takes the time to go over to my parents and speak to my mom and dad. That was just an extremely poor decision on my part."
• Maddon said that right-hander Chris Archer is available out of the bullpen on Monday but that he doesn't want to use left-hander Matt Moore. If the series goes to Game 4, Hellickson would be on a short leash, and Maddon would prefer to have Moore available.
• Since the start of 2008, the Rays are 54-24 when playing in front of home crowds of 30,000 or more. They entered Monday night 49-17 in the regular season and 5-7 in the postseason.
• Game 2 of the ALDS drew a 12.2 TV rating, with 222,000 homes watching in the Tampa region at its peak. That marked an increase from the Game 1 numbers, which peaked at 10.7 and 195,000 homes.