ST. PETERSBURG -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia is obviously well acquainted with Rays manager Joe Maddon, who served as Scioscia's bench coach for the Angels. He noted that he considered Maddon "the perfect guy" to join the Rays and manage the young talent in the organization.
"He's always been incredible at player development -- whether he was working in player development or bringing young players along as he was coaching," Scioscia said, before the teams met here on Wednesday night. "No surprises there. As far as some of the themed road trips, I'm not going to say it's a surprise, but it's vintage Joe. It's just the way he is. He loves to connect with people. That's just one way he does it.
"I think one thing Joe does as good as anybody is connecting with the passion that players have to play the game of baseball. Sometimes, it overlaps in other areas, with the themed road trips or whatever the thing du jour is that he might have going. But Joe's very insightful."
Rays set to embark on season's themed trip
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will depart for Texas after Thursday afternoon's game against the Angels for a three-game series with the Rangers.
When they do depart, they'll be going light in the luggage department since they have declared this their "minimalist" trip.
Joe Maddon explained the theory behind the season's first themed road trip.
"It's just a three-day trip and it's a great opportunity for us to practice our minimalist tendencies," said the Rays manager with a customary twinkle in his eye. "I'm hoping everybody just brings their little carry-on luggage, one pair of jeans, three shirts, some socks. Those who wear underwear, bring underwear, and your toiletries. And you can make a nice three-day event where it really cuts down on the amount of work that [the clubhouse staff has] to do.
"As we move forward into this century, I think minimalism is going to become a more popular concept. So we are just doing our best right now to promote that particular concept. We're starting with our trip to Texas."
Maddon attributed the genesis of the trip to a "last moment thing" decided upon on Tuesday.
Clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland "wanted to know what we were doing for the trip," Maddon said. "And I said, 'Let's just go with the minimalism on this trip,' and then we made it into the minimalist trip."
Maddon was asked which player would have the most difficulty downsizing for the trip.
"Carlos [Pena], I'll go with Carlos," Maddon said, adding that among the coaching staff it would be batting coach Derek Shelton. "Shelty wants to bring his foot locker and he's not going to be able to bring it on this trip."
Rays looking for spot to get Allen into game
ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Allen joined the Rays on Saturday after he was claimed off waivers from the A's on Thursday. Normally Joe Maddon likes to get his players "wet," or into games, quickly after joining the team. But Allen has not yet been used in three games entering Wednesday night's contest against the Angels.
Maddon explained why.
"I'd love to," the Rays manager said. "It's hard right now based on what he does and what we have going on. I'm telling you, man, he's as advertised. He is one solid, A-plus human being. And I just have to try and get him out there at some point. I don't know exactly how or when it's going to work yet. I want to see it ... I can't tell you when yet, either."
Maddon was asked about where he would consider playing Allen, who is considered an outfielder/first baseman, when his time comes to play.
"I just met with the coaches and [outfield coach George Hendrick] said he liked him in the outfield," Maddon said. "He said he moved out there pretty well. I would not be afraid to do that either."
Scioscia not surprised by Rodney's hot start
ST. PETERSBURG -- Fernando Rodney has converted five saves in five opportunities for the Rays this season, prompting his former Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, to be asked whether he was surprised by Rodney's success.
"I wouldn't say surprised, because at times he pitched well for us, but he's definitely throwing well for them," Scioscia said on Wednesday, before the second game of the series at Tropicana Field.
Sciosica addressed the problems Rodney had while pitching for the Angels.
"The last month of '10 he wasn't as sharp as he had been," Scioscia said. "You saw a carryover where he wasn't totally comfortable at the start of the '11 season, and he missed about five weeks with that injury and never got back in sync. There's no doubt his arm was there, but he just couldn't locate it."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.