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Damon's postgame message: Stick together

Damon's postgame message: Stick together

Damon's postgame message: Stick together
CHICAGO -- Everybody on the Rays is looking for answers for their 0-6 start. Said beginning can pull a team apart, and Johnny Damon doesn't want such a situation to develop, so the veteran addressed his teammates following Thursday afternoon's 5-1 loss to the White Sox.

Damon began his comments shortly after everyone arrived in the clubhouse following the game.

"We just talked among ourselves to make sure to stay together," Damon said. "This is not what we envisioned where we were going to be at this point. We can either sulk about it or embrace it. [I said] we have to get better and we have to forget about all of this that's happened.

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"[Being] 0-6, it stinks. We hate to be in this position. But it's not the end of the world. We know we have to go out and start winning games. And we feel that once we do, try not to put that much pressure on ourselves, we can start to roll."

Damon stressed that the team is in the tough situation "together."

"There's not going to be any separation, 'Why aren't the hitters hitting?'" Damon said. "We're together. We're 0-6 together. Now it's time for us to win some games together."

Included in Damon's remarks were concessions to the pitching staff.

"It's real miserable because we feel like our pitchers have been doing a good enough job to get victories," Damon said. "... The players commended the pitchers for doing this. I mean, I've never seen six guys as cold as we've been."

Damon cited B.J. Upton (.364), Sam Fuld (.333) and Ben Zobrist (.190) for accounting for all the team's offense.

"But everyone else, we're hitting .050 to .120 and you just never see that," Damon said. "You'd think there would be a bloop hit here or there. I don't think we've had a bloop hit all year. Or a broken-bat hit. There's been nothing like that."

Thursday's starter -- and loser -- David Price said Damon's words were meaningful, but he noted that the hitters would begin to hit and that at some point of the season they would be hitting and carrying the pitching. Upton also expressed his appreciation for Damon's remarks.

"Things just aren't going our way," Upton said. "They're just not. ... Johnny said he's never seen anything like this. He's never seen so many guys cold at one time."

Upton said that "miserable" might be a little too "strong" for the team's present situation.

"I just think we're starting to get to the point where we're a little frustrated, and I think that's what the meeting was about. Just don't get too frustrated," Upton said. "It's too long of a season to beat yourself up over six games.

"It was good to hear, especially coming from him. He hasn't said too much all spring. You know, for him to step up. [He] just kind of stood in here and talked. ... Just keep going out there and grinding. It's going to happen."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.comm. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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