Maddon dyes hair black

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Maddon is in favor of the change at the top of Tampa Bay's on-field leadership.

The Rays manager came to the ballpark for Tuesday night's game against Baltimore with his silver hair dyed black, a head start on a Johnny Cash-themed road trip next week.

"I thought, why not in advance?" Maddon said. "Lighten things up a bit. It's part of the grand scheme."

Tampa Bay uses various themes for longer trips in an attempt to keep the team loose.

"I didn't know it was him," Tampa Bay designated hitter Pat Burrell joked.

The Rays started Tuesday four games behind AL wild-card leader Texas.

The last time Maddon dyed his hair was in 2002, when he was a bench coach for the World Series Los Angeles Angels.

"It was time to do something different," Maddon said. "It's here to stay."

Maddon is not the first Rays manager to dye his hair. Lou Piniella, now with Chicago Cubs, added hints of blond to his hair six years ago to fulfill a pledge after Tampa Bay won three games in a row.

Tampa Bay, which ended the 2003 season with 99 losses, went 33-44 after Piniella's dye job, including an 11-3 loss to the Chicago White just hours after Piniella's hair was dyed on July 6.