Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria comments cause Rays unease

There were two general thoughts around the Rays regarding Evan Longoria's comments that longtime teammates James Shields and B.J. Upton remained scarred by their Devil Rays past and that the current squad was in "a better mental state" without them.

One thought was Longoria was not necessarily wrong in what he said.

The other was he was absolutely wrong for saying it how he did.

Shields and Upton were key players in the team's ascension to the successful, well-respected, positive-thinking group of today, and manager Joe Maddon is on record saying both aided the evolution of becoming the Rays.

Shields absolutely showed the way for the young pitchers in terms of his work ethic and preparation, and helped lead them into becoming the league's best staff. Upton, despite some past issues, definitely set an example in how hard he took losses, how fearless he was in big moments and how his performance improved as stakes rose.

But there were times, when things weren't going well, when they would reflect on those Devil Rays days, when the team was abysmal on the field and there was still negativity pervading the clubhouse, and that would come out in a snarky comment or reaction.

What Longoria seemed to be saying was that without those links to the past (save for the always genial Ben Zobrist), the players in the room now are able to fully embrace, and be fully invested in, the current program, and totally immersed in clubhouse culture.

But what came across was Longoria was calling out Shields and Upton — after the fact — for not going along with the program or, worse, for causing problems. Also, he raised questions if there were issues between him and them.

A number of people around the Rays —as well as Shields and Upton — were surprised by the comments, wondering what the heck (though they didn't say heck) Longoria was saying and why he was saying it.

With a $100 million contract extension that could keep him a Ray for life, Longoria might feel the need to exert leadership in the clubhouse. But, for a number of reasons, it didn't sound quite right.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

The Rays are set to take on the Red Sox again tonight with a bit of a student-mentor framing as Chris Archer takes on former Tampa Bay ace David Price.The Rays announced they are putting RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL due to the oblique strain he su...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18