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Joe Maddon's new gong is clanging to life at Tampa Bay Rays games

11:48 AM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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When you go out to Rays game, cowbells ring out during every inning. That clanging has become a common sound at the Trop, but now, so has the cowbell's noisy cousin.

A gong is now made its way out beyond the outfield stands. It's an idea born out of the brilliant mind of, who else.

"All of the sudden on Pandora here comes 'Bang A Gong' by T. Rex. I love that song," Rays manager Joe Maddon recalls. "A hundred buck bounty on anyone that could name whoever was playing, knowing none of them could.

"I felt like my hundred dollars was safe."

During spring training, that song popped into Maddon's head and he started singing it for "three, four days in a row" according to bench coach Dave Martinez. He suggested to Joe that the Rays play the song as the team took the field before games and a new theme song was born

It's already very popular and not just with fans.

"The first time I heard it, (Fernando) Rodney hit it with a ball," said Martinez. "It was loud. I thought this is going to be pretty cool."

It's become big time competition during batting practice: who can hit the gong with the ball from the furthest away?

Many Rays are taking aim. During BP before Sunday's game against the Indians, Rodney, Joel Peralta and others were winging balls up to the standings trying to hit the gong.

See if they hit it in our story from Sunday's 10 Sports Extra.

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