Live from Port Charlotte: Afternoon update on Damon-Red Sox, intrasquad
The Rays wrapped up their final full-day, full-squad workout today, with a 2 1/2 controlled intrasquad game planned for Friday and the exhibitions starting Saturday.
* Johnny Damon, having spent four seasons in Boston, had an interesting take on the Carl Crawford-Red Sox investgation issue, saying: "I know Boston had followed guys before like Mo Vaughn especially; they wanted to see what he was doing all the time. The Boston fans, they follow you around too to see what you’re doing, it seems like they’re everywhere. they follow u around to to see what yourre doing it seems like they’re everywhere … But when a team’s investing $142-million they probably have a right to know every little bit of your history, ex-girlfriends, how’s his family … It’s a big investment. You don’t like to have that happen, but it needs to. … Teams can’t afford to make a risk like that for their to be any problems. … Teams have to be prepared – a lot of teams signed guys in the past and they didn’t know certain things.’’
* The pitchers for Friday's 2 1/2-inning intrasquad game will be Joel Peralta, Cory Wade, Mike Ekstrom, RJ Swindle, Alex Cobb. Some of the regulars will get at-bats. The game will be played on the stadium field, from 9-10:15, and admission is free.
* RHP Wade Davis was pleased with his work in his first batting practice session, specifically improving his alignment to the plate. The pitcher that caught the eye of manager Joe Maddon was Alex Torres, the lefty acquired from the Angels in the Scott Kazmir trade who had an impressive season in Double-A and starred in winter ball in Venezuela.
* The Rays shuffled their minor-league training staff after the resignation of Double-A Montgomery trainer Rodger Fleming. Andrew Hauser, who was to move from Hudson Valley to Class A Charlotte, will instead take over the Biscuits. Kris Russell, a former Rays organization trainer who had been with the Tampa Yankees, will go to the Stone Crabs. Jeremy Spencer was hired for Hudson Valleyy.