Johnny Damon Holds ‘Players-Only’ Meeting After Rays’ Sixth Straight Loss


Johnny Damon Holds 'Players-Only' Meeting After Rays' Sixth Straight Loss The Red Sox aren't the only ones struggling out of the gates this season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have also encountered a winless start, tying with the Red Sox for the worst record in the AL East after they dropped to 0-6 with a 5-1 loss to the White Sox on Thursday afternoon.

Just like the Red Sox, the Rays are trying to figure out where they are going wrong so early in the season, and league veteran Johnny Damon is stepping up to help the team bounce back in the right direction.

According to, Damon took his new teammates aside for a "players-only meeting" after Thursday's loss to help the team maintain a positive outlook despite the frustrating start.

"We just talked amongst ourselves to make sure we stay together," Damon said. "This is not what we envisioned where we were going to be at this point. We can either sulk about it or embrace it and say, we have to get better. We have to forget about all this that happened. 0-6, it stinks, we hate to be in this position, but it's not the end of the world."

Damon may be a newcomer to the Rays' lineup, but he's been a leader in the league for a long time. The former Red Sox stuck it out with the Tigers last season after being placed on waivers because he felt a strong obligation to his teammates and their run toward the postseason. It's clear he wants to continue that leadership role in Tampa Bay as well.

"We're in this together," Damon said. "There's not going to be any separation of why aren't the hitters hitting. No, we're together in this. We're 0-6 together. And now it's time for us to win some games together.''

The Red Sox are in the same boat with the Rays, struggling to catch breaks and seemingly finding new ways to lose with each game. The Sox' players hope to snap out of this funk when they play in front of the Fenway crowd on Friday.

"Luckily we have our fans and we have great fans on our side that will bring us out of this," third baseman Kevin Youkilis said after Thursday's loss. "We thrive on them and I know they thrive on us, so it's time for us to go out there and play for them and play for each other in here."

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