Concern over Irma impact on Tampa Bay area "gut-wrenching" for some Rays
The Rays will be playing the Red Sox today in Boston and the Yankees for three games starting Monday at Citi Field in New York, but several players, most poignantly RHP Jake Odorizzi, said their minds will on the impact Hurricane Irma may have on the Tampa Bay area.
"It's tough; there's a lot of guys in here that are really monitoring the situation and worried about what's it going to be like when we wake up tomorrow,'' Odorizzi said.
"And it's a tough thing if something bad happens that it's three days we have to wait up here before we can go back and try to do stuff. You just have to focus best you can. There's really no special thing you can do, you just have to really lock it in and focus. It's unfortunate. We just have to hope for the best tonight.''
Odorizzi, one of several players who live year-round in the Tampa Bay area, said he figures a lot of Rays won't get much sleep tonight trying to check in and keep up with the news reports.
"There's a lot of guys in this lockerroom that could wake up tomorrow and not have a place to live, me included,'' said Odorizzi, who starts Monday. "A lot of us wake up and it's mass destruction, whatever it is, it's going to be tough to focus on a baseball game. So I'm more worried about the off-field things than the circumstances at the game.''
Depending on the extent of the damage, Odorizzi questioned whether the Rays should even be playing.
"Seeing what happened in Houston and how their players and coaching staff and how they handled it, they weren't too thrilled about having to play. And I can absolutely understand that, now us going through the same thing,'' Odorizzi said.
"It obviously depends on what happens, but if it's the worst thing, the worst side, there's probably a lot of guys that would err on the side of not wanting to play and just try to focus on their families, their belongings, whatever it is, just helping people.
"It's not our call; we have a job to do. But at the same time it's kind of, just in my opinion, rude to play a game up here when people in our area would be suffering. It's an "it is what it is" type of thing, but there's going to be a lot of mixed emotions.''
He said it has been tough to see the reports of the projected impact on the Tampa Bay area.
*It's kind of surreal to see,'' he said. "It's weird when you see that type of stuff. Like in Houston, you may have been somewhere in Houston, but when you're at this place year-round it's a lot different feeling for everybody. We have to hope for the best. There's really nothing you can do.
"It's kind of helpless feelign of just sitting back waiting and seeing what the weather is going to do. You can't control it, you just have to adapt to it. So it's kind of gut-wrenching. You just have to wait it out I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people tonight that might not get a lot of sleep.''