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Maddon gives Jennings pep talk about his play

Maddon gives Jennings pep talk about his play

Maddon gives Jennings pep talk about his play play video for Maddon gives Jennings pep talk about his play

ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Joe Maddon had a pregame conversation with Desmond Jennings on Wednesday to talk about the center fielder's defense in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Red Sox.

Mike Napoli led off the fifth inning Tuesday night with a drive off David Price, who had retired the first 12 batters he faced, to the center-field wall. Jennings could not make the catch and Napoli ended the perfect game bid with a double.

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Jennings had experienced two dropped balls in the outfield over the past couple of weeks prior to Tuesday night's game, and Napoli's ball was a play that he normally makes.

A dejected Jennings, who is a Gold Glove-type center fielder, told reporters after the game: "I don't know what it is actually. It's a bad time to be playing bad."

Maddon said he had a "nice conversation with Desmond, who is pretty much in the listening mode all the time" and "listens well," noting that he just brought a couple of things to Jennings' attention.

"One, that he's really, really good," Maddon said. "Number two, that he's going to be a great player in this league. And don't ever worry about making mistakes here, don't ever. I'm never worried about anybody making a mistake here."

Maddon stressed to Jennings that he could "impact this game here for us, possibly like nobody else in our locker room can" based on his abilities.

"Just a reaffirmation of what you're all about and understand that we all get our confidence dinged once in a while, we all do," Maddon said. "Sometimes you just need somebody to remind you of what you're good at and how you absolutely are. So hopefully that will help a little bit, because I do believe in him a lot."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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