ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have drawn 175,613 fans (29,269 per game) through their first six home games this season, their highest total through six games at Tropicana Field since the inaugural 1998 season. In addition, this is an increase of 62 percent over their attendance through six home games last season (18,116 per game) -- though all six games this season have fallen from Friday through Sunday while three of the first six games last year were from Tuesday to Thursday. The Rays did not reach 175,000 in attendance last year until their 11th home game.
Nothing yet official between Matsui, Rays
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are expected to sign former World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a Minor League deal. It just hasn't come to fruition yet.
"None of that is official right now," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I have nothing to comment on that, that's all speculation at this point. You have not heard that from me. You just heard that from me, but you haven't heard the other thing from me."
When asked if the Rays needed another bat, Maddon said the team is always looking to make itself better through depth and that Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman "does a very good job with that."
"The moment you don't have depth, that's when it really creeps up and bites you," Maddon said. "Andrew's constantly working to make us a better team."
Matsui, 37, played in 141 games with the Athletics last season, hitting .251 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs. He started just 27 games in left field, serving as the team's designated hitter 108 times and entering as a pinch-hitter in his other six appearances.
The left-handed-hitting Matsui spent his first seven Major League seasons with the Yankees, with whom he was selected to two All-Star Games and won the 2009 World Series MVP. He signed as a free agent with the Angels the following season and hit .274 with 21 home runs in 145 games in his lone campaign with the Halos.
Matsui is a career .285 hitter, with 173 homers in the Major Leagues after hitting .304 with 332 home runs in nine seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan.
Maddon offers tips for fans at The Trop
ST. PETERSBURG -- In the aftermath of Sunday's fan interference by Matt Geiger, which wasn't called fan interference on the retired NBA center, Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked about the play on Tuesday.
"When the ball's like that near the edges, permit our players to try and make that catch," Maddon said. "If a fan reaches over onto the field, then of course there can be fan interference, and you're out. But if you're reaching into the stands, clear out. Give our guys a little bit of a chance to make the play. It could be the difference between us winning and losing a game."
Maddon was asked for some fan etiquette tips for Rays fans while at Tropicana Field.
"If it's going to favor us in any way, like if we're hitting the foul ball and there guy comes into the stands, go ahead and maul him," said Maddon, tongue in cheek. "If it's our guy going into the stands, leave our guy alone."
Geiger, who sat near the front row on the first-base side, tried to catch a ball that could have been hauled in by Rays first baseman Carlos Pena.
Geiger told 620-AM he was trying to get a ball for his 4-year-old son, noting that he lost track of where he was. Because the ball was not deemed in the field of play, he was not ejected from the ballpark.
"Once they got out of the inning, I felt a lot better," Geiger told 620-AM.
Maddon noted that Geiger, who stands 7-foot, was "huge."
"I'm sure he'll never do that again," Maddon said. "Box him out."
Rays set team record with four sac flies
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays set a club record with four sacrifice flies on Sunday vs. the Twins. They were the first American League team with four-plus sacrifice flies since the Mariners tied the Major League record of five on April 15, 2008, against the Royals.
Since sacrifice flies were first recorded in 1954, the Rays are the ninth club to have four sacrifice flies while scoring six or fewer runs.
According to the Elias Sport Bureau, the Rays entered Sunday's game with the AL's second-lowest percentage of runners driven in from third base with less than two outs this season (11 of 29, 37.9 percent).
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.