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(AUDIO) Kevin Kennedy: Joe Maddon Needs to Start His Best 9

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Former major league manager Kevin Kennedy joins Booger and Rich every Wednesday to break down the Rays and Joe Maddon’s managerial moves.

Kennedy talked about Tuesday night’s loss to the Red Sox and said Clay Buchholz outpitched David Price but Booger thinks Joe Maddon needs to shoulder some play. Kennedy said he’s surprised Maddon doesn’t know what to do because he’s such a positive, solid manager. However, Kennedy said you have to throw matchups out the window and play your best 9. This games about adjustments, Kennedy said and those scouting reports need to stay in the past.

Kennedy did say that Evan Longoria is the player that needs to step up to lead this franchise down the stretch. He’s the guy who’s been there and Kennedy said now is the time players have to go out and grind every at-bat but Longoria has to be the one to step up and get runs in if they’re on base for him.

Kennedy said that if he were Joe Maddon, he would try to avoid the matchups and put players in positions that can spark a team. Kennedy likes guys like Matt Joyce at the top of the lineup because he can create a spark with a home run or base hit ahead of guys like Evan Longoria and Wil Myers and he always gives you good at-bats. He would also put more hit and runs on to ensure your hitters are shortening up their swings to get their guys in.

So what’s the prediction for the Rays? Kennedy says he still thinks the Rays get a Wild Card spot.

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