Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer turned down an invitation to be an honorary coach on close friend Jim Leyland’s American League staff at the July 16 All-Star Game in New York.
And he did so in classic Zimmer style.
Leyland, whose Tigers lost the World Series to the Giants, sought and received permission from Major League Baseball officials for the move, but Zimmer, 82, declined due to the travel issues since he undergoes dialysis treatment three days a week in St. Petersburg.
But Zimmer still had fun with the invite.
“A few weeks ago (Leyland) called me and said, ‘I want you to be an honorary coach for me at the All-Star Game,’ ” Zimmer said Sunday. “I said, ‘I don’t want to travel.’ He said, ‘Not even for me?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t want to travel.’ The next day I called him back and said, ‘(Giants manager) Bruce Bochy called me, and he wanted me to be a coach for him. And I accepted it, because I want to be with a winner.’ ”
Joking aside, Zimmer plans to watch on TV.
Rays 2B Ben Zobrist talks about the game, and the other events that took place Sunday, in a 3-1 win over the Tigers.
The Rays were not pleased with how the Tigers acted in retaliating for what they felt was an inapporpriate pitch to Miguel Cabrera on on Saturday by hitting Ben Zobrist on Sunday, and said so after the 3-1 win.Full Story
Manager Joe Maddon had the most pointed line, saying of Cabrera:
"This guy is outstanding, he's wonderful. I just wish he wouldn't cry so much.'
Maddon said there was no doubt it was premeditated that Rick Porcello hit Zobrist in the first inning on purpose: "I thought it was absolutely uncalled for and hopefully the league will take a look at that.''
And asked about the Rays seeking further revenge, Maddon several times referenced the famous novel, The Godfather: "Just read Mario Puzo, that's all, he'll give you all the answers. Read Puzo, that's all I'm going to say. That's how the family thing works. Just read it, there's many more opportunities to play good, hard baseball and we will.''
Maddon also pointed out the Tigers didn't react anywhere near as much when SS Jhonny Peralta saw a high and inside pitch Sunday from Rodney. "So if I'm Jhonny Peralta, I'm upset,'' he said.
The Rays got the final say in their suddenly heated matchup with the Tigers, taking a 3-1 win on Sunday.Full Story
The Rays had several stars, with Jeremy Hellickson working six innings for his team-record tying fifth win of the month; catcher Jose Lobaton, who knocked in two of their runs with a three-hit day; and closer Fernando Rodney, working the ninth for the save despite throwing 32 pitches over 2 innings on Saturday night.
But arguably none bigger than Jake McGee, who took over with the bases loaded and no outs in the 7th and set the Tigers down in order.
After Detroit manager Jim Leyland said pre-game that Saturday's confrontation resulting from a high and tight pitch by Rays closer Fernando Rodney to Miguel Cabrera was "history," Tigers starter Rick Porcello showed otherwise, plunking Rays No. 3 hitter Ben Zobrist on the shoulder.
Zobrist wasn't pleased, gave a long look at Porcello and chatted briefly with the umpire but took no action. Home plate umpire Vic Carapazza then warned both benches.
The Rays meanwhile took a 3-0 lead. James Loney hustled for a double to start the second, went to third on a groundout and scored on the first of Jose Lobaton's three hits. They added two more in the fourth, getting four consecutive singles by Wil Myers, Luke Scott, Kelly Johnson and Lobaton for one run, then the other when Yunel Escobar walked. They had a chance for more but Matt Joyce lined into an inning-ending double play.
Cabrera had his say in the fourth, driving a Jeremy Hellickson pitch over the centerfield wall and into the touch tank, just the second ball to make a splash landing. (The first was by Tampa native Luis Gonzalez, then with the Dodgers, in 2007 a year after the tank opened.
The Rays may have played a little mind-game with Cabrera in the eighth, bringing in noted tough guy Kyle Farnsworth to pitch to him while Joel Peralta kept warming up. But Farnsworth played it straight and retired Cabrera on a line out to third. Peralta then took over.
UPDATE, 12:05: Tigers manager Jim Leyland said this morning Saturday's confrontation between Cabrera and Rodney is "history" and that he wasn't accusing Rodney of anything untoward, simply saying that no hitter should have a ball thrown at his head. Rodney said he had a plan to throw inside at Cabrera, though not at his head, and will take a similar approach today if the opportunity presents itself. ... Rays 3B Evan Longoria, out of the lineup due to plantar fasciitis, was moving aropund the clubhouse well and spent some time in the batting cage. ... Rodney said he is available today despite working two innings last night.
UPDATE, 12:04: The Rays lineup looks somewhat similar to Saturday, except for a few changes as Jose Lobaton is catching and Yunel Escobar is back to the No. 9 spot.
Rays lineup:Full Story
And the Tigers lineup, with SS Jhonny Peralta getting a day off:
Porcello p …
RHP Brandon Gomes, who was on track to rejoin the Rays next week, had a setback in his recovery from a lat strain and is sidelined indefinitiely.
Gomes was injured while warming up Thursday for what was supposed to be his second to last rehab appearance.
Manager Joe Maddon said Gomes was to be re-evaluated today If he strained it again, he could be out another month.
The Rays will give 3B Evan Longoria a few days to see if his painful right foot improves enough for him to play, and in the interim recalled Ryan Roberts to share time at 3B.
RHP Alex Colome was sent down to make room for Roberts.
"We're going to let it calm down a little bit,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Hopefully he's going to be able to do something over the next couple days in a positive way. We'll just wait and find out. That's one of those injuries that is not debilitating on any kind of a permanent basis. So we'll just play it on through and see how he feels and we'll make our determination as we move it along. So right now, let's just hope by the time we get to Houston (on Monday) he might be okay to play somewhat.''
Longoria had what the team is calling an irritation of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot. It flared up to the point that he had to leave Friday's game after one at-bat, and left the stadium in a walking boot and with crutches.
But he said he feels better today, that he didn't use the crutches and hopes he is done with the boot as well. …Full Story
UPDATE, 5;25: Maddon said the key to beating Verlander will be as much about how Archer pitches as anything the Rays hitters do. Maddon also said he doesn't want rookie OF Wil Myers to feel any more pressure without Longoria in the lineup.
UPDATE, 5:22: With Longoria sidelined, the Rays will start Kelly Johnson at 3B tonight and moved James Loney into the cleanup spot.
DEVELOPING: The Rays will try again against the Tigers tonight, sending rookie RHP Chris Archer to the mound against former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.
The Rays are coming off a tough loss, in which they had 3B Evan Longoria leave the game due to an irritation the of plantar fasciitis issue in his right foot. An update is expected today.
Lineups when available.
Rays 3B Evan Longoria is expected to miss at least Saturday's and Sunday's games after an irritaiton of the plantar fasciitis issue in his right foot, manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon said Longoria "was a little bit tender.''
Longoria was sent home, wearing a boot on his foot, and will be further evaluated on Saturday,
"Of course I'm concerned,'' Maddon said. "I don't know the level yet.''
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has left tonight's game after the second inning after irritating the plantar fasciitis in his foot, the team said.
Longoria will be re-evaluated Saturday.
Longoria didn't look right running to first trying to beat out a grounder up the middle to lead off the second. Longoria appeared to grimace as he passed first base.
He had dealt with a painful plantar fasciitis in his right foot a few weeks ago, forcing him to DH four straight games during the last homestand. The issue had improved enough for him to start every game since at third base.Full Story
LHP David Price will return to the Rays rotation and start Tuesday in Houston.
Price looked good enough in his two rehab starts, and felt good enough after, that the Rays decided there was no reason for another rehab start.
"He's ready to go,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "We felt that pretty strongly. He feels very good. There's no reason to have him throw those 90 pitches in Port Charlotte so we'll just have him do it for us. He's adamant that he felt great, the medical staff feels good about it, so let's do it with us.''
By starting Price on Tuesday, the Rays will be able to keep LHP Matt Moore on a somehwat regular schedule, though with one extra day's rest due to the off-day, by starting him Monday. RHP Roberto Hernandez will get six days rest and make his next start on Wednesday. The Rays will decide between rookies Alex Colome and Chris Archer for the Thursday start in Houston.
Price, out since mid-May with a triceps strain, will get to make three starts before the All-Star break: Tuesday in Houston, July 7 at home vs. the White Sox and July 12 at home vs. the Astros. He also is slated to pitch the first game after the All-Star break, on July 19 in Toronto. …Full Story
Update 5:55 p.m. The big news today is that LHP David Price will come off the disabled list and rejoin the rotation, starting Tuesday in Houston.
Manager Joe Maddon said Price was "adamant" he was ready, and he's looking forward to giving the AL Cy Young winner a chance to start over in his season. Maddon said LHP Matt Moore will start Monday, Price Tuesday, and RHP Roberto Hernandez Wednesday, with Thursday TBA. Maddon said either RHP Chris Archer or RHP Alex Colome could be the odd-man out when Price comes back.
*There was an encouraging sign today with RHP Alex Cobb (mild concussion) emerging from the dugout for pre-game, on-field work, jokingly raising his hands in triumph, "I'm a free man." He played catch with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield. There's still no timetable for his return, but Maddon said he's been glad to hear Cobb has had mostly good days recently.
*Rookie OF Wil Myers said he found a place to live during yesterday's off-day, making a few calls and picking a place close to the Trop where he could sign a month-to-month-lease. He bought some clothes, too, enough to get him through next week's roadtrip. …Full Story
LHP David Price said after his strong performance Wednesday in his second rehab apperance that he felt ready to rejoin the Rays rotation.
The Rays will wait until Friday, to see how he feels and how he comes through a planned bullpen session, to say whether he will come back and pitch for them next week in Houston, or if he will make another rehab start.
Price hinted in a Thursday morning tweet that he felt, well, great: “Woke up feeling like Tony the Tiger...you all know what that means!!’’
Price has been out since mid-May with a triceps strain. He threw 49 pitches in a June 21 rehab appearance for Class A Charlotte, then 72 over five innings on Wednesday, and felt his pitching made it clear he was ready.
“I guess whatever I did out there is going to be my lobbying. If that's not enough, I guess I'll have to throw another one,’’ Price said Wednesday night. "I'm looking forward to (today) and getting in there and seeing what they have to say.’’Full Story
Class-A Charlotte pitching coach Bill Moloney was struck in the forehead with a foul ball during Wednesday's game against Bradenton, and went to the hospital as a precaution, manager Brady Williams said.
Moloney was in the back of the dugout talking to a pitcher when he was hit by the liner, but got up on his own, stayed the rest of the game and is expected to be okay, Williams said.
"Obviously he wasn't himself, but he was still grouchy as always, which is normal," Williams said. "That was scary. Honestly I'm glad it hit him in the forehead, because if it hits him anywhere else, who knows what happens?" Full Story
Ace lefthander David Price said he's ready to rejoin the Rays rotation.
Price, out since mid-May with a left triceps strain, said it's up to the the team when he'll come off the disabled list. But Price made a pretty strong argument in his second rehab start Wednesday for Class-A Charlotte, throwing five two-hit innings while striking out eight in a sharp, 72-pitch outing.
"Obviously it's not in my hands, but I put my best foot forward today," Price said. "It was very good to have the results I had today, to be able to throw the ball the way I threw it today was really good."
Price walked just one, and threw 54 of his 72 pitches for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 19 batters he faced. He struck out four in the second inning, with a hitter reaching due to a wild pitch. His fastball reached as high as 95 miles per hour and he was encouraged with his curveball and slider.
Price said he didn't feel tired at all, and hopes to start for the Rays next week. …Full Story