Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Bombings leave Rays shaken

BALTIMORE — Having been so close to the scene of Monday's marathon bombings and seeing the immediate aftermath on their way out of Boston, several Rays said they now will be a bit uneasy taking the field.

"We kind of work in places that are targets for stuff like this, and that's a scary thing," 3B Evan Longoria said Tuesday. "We all said (Monday), something could have happened at Fenway Park. We play the American sport, so to speak, the national pastime. If you were one of these radicals, whoever did this, and if you're trying to target Americans, you think about location and where it's going to be affected the most, and it's scary. It's scary."

OF Sam Fuld, whose parents narrowly avoided the explosion site walking back to their hotel, has similar concerns. "I think about it, not constantly, but every now and then. There's 40,000 people here (at a baseball stadium), and if somebody really wanted to affect this country, this would be a good place to do it," Fuld said. "Now that's going to be on our minds a little bit more, I think."

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he hopes his players, and people across the country, don't become paranoid. His thinking is that the bombings were an isolated act by "a bunch of punks" and it is important to not "let them win" and "not permit people like that to scare you."

In response to the bombings, the Rays will increase overnight security presence in and around Tropicana Field and at gates during games.

CLOSE CALLS: Several Rays had friends and relatives close to the bomb sites.

Fuld's parents were walking on Boylston Street to get back to their hotel to pick up their bags and were probably within a block of the first explosion — albeit on the opposite side of the street — when Ken told Mandy the crowd was too thick and suggested they veer off onto a side street.

"No sooner had I said that when we heard a loud explosion, and then we saw the smoke," Ken said Tuesday from their New Hampshire home. "We were right there, more or less."

INF/OF Sean Rodriguez's wife, Giselle, was at the team hotel near the site and had planned to take their two young daughters to the finish line shortly before what would have been close to explosion time. "She decided not to at the last minute, and just to go to the airport and wait there," he said.

1B James Loney's wife, Nadia, was also in town and was able to leave without incident. Longoria's girlfriend, Jaime Edmondson, had considered staying until Monday but left Sunday. Gary Goldring, one of the team owners, was at the race route watching his girlfriend run. She finished before the explosion, and they were unharmed.

TEXAS TRADE: The Rays made their third trade with Texas in eight days, acquiring LHP Jeff Beliveau (bell-eh-VOH), a 26-year-old reliever who had 2012 big-league time with the Cubs, going 1-0, 4.58 in 22 games, for cash.

Beliveau was added to the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Durham. The Rangers had designated him for assignment to make room for C Robinson Chirinos after getting him from the Rays. RHP Jeff Niemann, out a year after shoulder surgery, was moved to the 60-day DL to make room.

MISCELLANY: CF Desmond Jennings hit his fifth career leadoff home run in the 5-4 loss to the Orioles. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson was sent back to the hotel pregame, the latest Ray to be hit by an intestinal bug going around the clubhouse. … DH Luke Scott (right calf strain) ran the bases at about 60 percent effort but needs to do so harder, likely Thursday, delaying a rehab assignment until at least the weekend. … The Rays also started 4-9 in 2001 and 2005. … Top prospect OF Wil Myers has reached base in all 11 games at Triple-A Durham and is hitting .317, though without a home run. … Durham manager Charlie Montoyo has been away from the team. His 5-year-old son, Alex, on Monday had a third heart surgery that was said to have gone well.

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