Joe Maddon's latest idea smells like a winner

If your last name is ODORzzi, you can expect to field questions about clubhouse scents.

"If you're on a winning streak, it's the cologne's reason why you're on a winning streak," said Rays' starter Jake Odorizzi. "It's like, 'Put one on and see what happens'."

What do you do when you stink? Shower, normally. But, if you can't wash away the stench of losing baseball, at least you can try to mask it with a dash of good luck, bravado and, in the Rays' case, cologne.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon came up with the idea to splash on a little cologne or aftershave before games before the Rays road trip to Seattle and Los Angeles two weeks ago. Maddon didn't want his team to worry about recent losing streaks. He found a way to calm everyone day thanks to an old, childhood memory.

"When I was a kid, my dad would go bowling, I think it was on a Monday night, and he'd get all clean shaven. He'd come in the bedroom to say good night," said Maddon. "You would smell your dad before he left and you knew everything would be fine. I would imagine a lot of the guys here have had that same kind of moment with their pops in the past.

"It's about 'Who's Your Daddy' and 'Let it Fly'."

Both of those catchphrases were written on a sign in the clubhouse above the cologne bottles. What started with 8-9 choices has ballooned into nearly two dozen pre-game odor options.

"The first day we did it the dugout smelled like you would go into a Macy's or something and you'd walk past all the cologne section. It was a mix of every smell. You couldn't stay in one spot too long," said Odorizzi. "It was just like, 'Dang, we may need to scale this down a little bit' because we went overboard on the first day."

The first game with the cologne in the mix, Tampa Bay lost to Seattle 12-5. After that, they reeled off three wins in four games and the only loss came on a walk-off homerun by the Angels' Mike Trout. The Rays then lost four in a row but bounced back by winning four in a row, including a sweep of division rival Boston.

Up or down, win or loss, the cologne seems to be helping.

"It's just a different aspect Joe brings from other managers," said recent call-up Cole Figueroa, who got his first game-winning hit after the colognes arrived in the clubhouse. "He's trying to get you to focus not so much on the in-game play stuff. It kind of calms you."

In the collection so far are classic aftershaves like Hai Karate, English Leather, Skin Bracer, British Sterling, Old Spice, Jade East, Clubman, Drakkar Noir, Aqua Velva, Sex Panther, Stetson and – Maddon's newest addition – a trio of bottles from a company called Demeter Fragrance Library that really drives home the comforting, stinky nature of baseball.

"Dirt, Leather and Grass," Maddon said, explaining the scents. "They actually have the essence of dirt, leather and grass. You can spray it on like a cologne. So, it's gotten to be kind of fun."

But which is the best?

"I'd probably say the Sex Panther. I've got a t-shirt," said Figueroa. "That'd probably be my favorite and it smells the best."

Check out these great shots of Joe Maddon!


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