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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Python visits Rays clubhouse

ESPN.com news services

A 20-foot python became the latest unique visitor to the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse.

Before Thursday's game against the Seattle Mariners, Rays players were surprised to see manager Joe Maddon with a python in the clubhouse.

Maddon says he found out through research that 2013 is the year of the snake on the Chinese calendar. He says the team needed "a little bit of motivation within the clubhouse."

The Rays posted a photo of several players and Maddon holding the massive snake on their official Twitter account:

A 20-foot python is in the Rays clubhouse today. Why? Because it's the Chinese Year of the Snake. Duh. pic.twitter.com/uM1jVy0Zut

— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 15, 2013

In a later tweet, the team stated that the python's name is Asia.

The python's name is Asia. She's making lots of new friends, including Peralta, Maddon, Escobar and Rodney: pic.twitter.com/HbN2oYlYaH

— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 15, 2013

The unconventional Maddon has made it common practice to loosen up the Rays clubhouse with live entertainment and animal visits.

This season alone, the Rays have had a magician, a merengue band and a DJ perform in the clubhouse.

Maddon also has arranged separate visits this season from a cockatoo and a pair of penguins.

Newly acquired left-hander Wesley Wright tweeted that he was surprised to see the python in the clubhouse Thursday:

Never thought I would see a 20ft python in the clubhouse but I also didn't know I would be @RaysBaseball player. #thatjusthappen

— Wesley Wright (@realweswright) August 15, 2013

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.