Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tigers fan avoids infamy after home run stands

DETROIT — The crowd at Comerica Park roared its approval when Detroit's tying homer against Oakland was upheld by a video review.

John Bendzinski might have been the happiest fan there.

"I was relieved," Bendzinski said during Game 4, which Detroit won 8-6 Tuesday night to send the AL Division Series to a decisive fifth game in Oakland. "These guys were all going after the ball and I cleared them all out. It was unbelievable, baby!"

Instead of joining infamous fans Jeffrey Maier and Steve Bartman, the suburban Detroit chef is simply a guy with a story to tell his friends.

Tigers DH Victor Martinez connected in the seventh inning, but the drive to right was disputed by the A's because two fans appeared to interfere with the ball that RF Josh Reddick leaped for.

After looking at replays, an umpire twirled his right finger in the air to signal the homer stood.

"It was clear he was not going to catch the ball, so it was clearly going to be a home run," said Gary Darling, the crew chief and rightfield umpire. "There wasn't any other evidence on replay to turn it another way."

AT THE READY: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said RHP Lance Lynn, chased in the fifth inning of Game 2, and rookie RHP Shelby Miller will be available in the bullpen for tonight's Game 5 of their NLDS against the Pirates. RHP Adam Wainwright is starting against Pittsburgh rookie RHP Gerrit Cole. The Pirates are iffy about using RHP A.J. Burnett in a relief role after the veteran was knocked around in Game 1.

DISSING CHIPPER: When the Braves invited former star Chipper Jones to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the NLDS, they apparently neglected to tell him that he'd be throwing it to the team mascot rather than a player.

They may not have known.

Evidently Braves players weren't happy that on a radio show, Jones had predicted that the Dodgers would win the series in four games, so none volunteered to catch the pitch. Presumably, none will now give him credit for an accurate prediction.

SURGERY FOR KEMP: Dodgers CF Matt Kemp will have cleanup surgery on his left shoulder, which was planned before he was shut down for the postseason with a sprained left ankle.

Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17