Python visits Rays clubhouse

Updated: August 15, 2013, 9:32 PM ET
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:

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

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:

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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