Feel the burn: Rays box up bad memories

Feel the burn: Rays box up bad memories

ST. PETERSBURG -- Perched on a table in the Rays' clubhouse following its first win in 12 games was a plain brown box with a plain white piece of paper taped to it. It was what the Rays hoped would turn around their worst losing streak in seven years.

Taped to the front were the words "Burn Box." Inside were two bats, some batting gloves, a cup and jock strap, shirts, underwear, and game notes from June 16 -- the day the misery all started.

It all started before the Rays played the Red Sox to begin an 11-game homestand on Monday night. Starting pitcher Drew Smyly organized it, and everyone within earshot made sure to contribute.

"It was just something in your locker that's been a part of you during our losing streak," starting pitcher Matt Moore said. "You go ahead and get it off your body, get it out of your locker."

Moore put in his jock strap that he'd had since the first day of Spring Training.

Kevin Kiermaier put in the arm sleeve he wore when he drove and broke his left hand in Detroit on May 21.

Taylor Motter, who entered Monday's game batting under .180, put in his bat. He promptly got three hits right after.

Desmond Jennings put in batting gloves and Curt Casali donated a used green mouth guard.

"They didn't have any hits in them," said Jennings.

Matt Andriese tossed away his Durham Bulls workout clothes, because he never wanted to be sent down to the Rays' Triple-A affiliate.

Jake Odorizzi dumped his oft-used workout shirt. Ryan Garton gave some leggings. Tim Beckham gave arm sleeves. Enny Romero put in some shoes, because he had a newer pair of the same kind. Smyly gave shoes, too, along with a pair of shorts.

But not everyone even knew about it. Some players like Steve Pearce, Xavier Cedeno, Logan Morrison, Jaff Decker and Brad Miller didn't donate anything.

Danny Farquhar, who had just been recalled from Triple-A Durham, said he didn't bring anything to give up. Injured closer Brad Boxberger said he didn't put anything in, because he wasn't part of the 11-game slide.

"I haven't done anything but sit here," said Boxberger.

The first game after the box was created, the Rays won. It's unclear what exactly will happen with the box. It might be burned, it might just be stored. But once everyone's donated to it, it will be out of sight and out of mind.

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.