Live from Port Charlotte: Afternoon update, on a full day
The first day of full-squad workouts for the Rays was a long day, a windy day and, ultimately, a good day, as all 62 players worked out together for the first time.
Some quick highlights: (View photo gallery here)
* Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon were clearly the main attractions, getting plenty of attention from the large crowd and the media. Ramirez stayed out on the field after the workout for about 15 minutes to sign autographs.
* Manager Joe Maddon said he was most impressed with the energy of the players, and attributed it to the large crowd, which was estimated by a veteran observer at about 1,000.
* With the pitchers already in camp nearly a week, it was tough for the hitters to have to take live batting practice on the first day. As if the fastballs and breaking balls weren't enough, B.J. Upton also had to deal with one of R.J. Swindle's special 50-mph deliveries.
* Johnny Damon had the best T-shirt of anyone, which read: johnny biceps
* Infielders took ground balls on the half-field with the AstroTurf - the same product which was installed at the Trop - and gave it good reviews.
* RHP Jeremy Hellickson played catch for the first time since straining his right hamstring and continues to show improvement.