Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Friedman still relishes relationships formed with Rays

Andrew Friedman, center, talks with Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, right, and hitting coach Derek Shelton in his return to Tropicana Field.


Andrew Friedman, center, talks with Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, right, and hitting coach Derek Shelton in his return to Tropicana Field.

ST. PETERSBURG — Walking back into the Trop on Tuesday was understandably odd for Andrew Friedman, the architect of the Rays' transformation into contenders who now was just visiting with his new Dodgers team.

"It was strange," he said. "Just saying hello to people I walked by for 10-plus years of my life."

There were plenty of handshakes and hugs, questions from Tampa Bay media and a scoreboard tribute he surely would rather have done without given his attempts to downplay his return.

Friedman, who still talks regularly with some Rays personnel and watches "a decent amount" of their games, said there wasn't a singular accomplishment that he treasured most from his run as executive vice president that saw the Rays make the playoffs four times in six years.

"The things that are most special to me were the relationships throughout this building, the staff, the players," he said. "I derive so much satisfaction from what I do from the people that I work with. Obviously, very meaningful relationships were formed here over a long time through some great ups and some downs working together. And that's the thing that probably has the most lasting impact on me."

Coincidentally, the biggest transition in going from the small-market, low-budget Rays to the Dodgers and their $227 million-plus payroll in October 2014 has been finding the same level of comfort in the new relationships there, especially as he turned over a hefty amount of staff.

"Probably just the time it takes to create those relationships," he said. "I just naively expected it to happen immediately and because of how much I wanted that to happen, but it doesn't work that way."

In short, Friedman said he treasures what he did with the Rays and relishes the opportunity with the Dodgers.

"I definitely had a very good thing in Tampa Bay," he said, "but I'm excited and invigorated for this chapter of my life."

Friedman still relishes relationships formed with Rays 05/03/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.