Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen says Tampa Bay Rays deserve new ballpark

MIAMI — Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen isn't afraid to speak his mind, no matter the topic.

And Guillen, as he sat in Miami's new $515 million stadium Friday, said he believes the Rays "deserve" and "earned" a new ballpark, joking he'd "put in a couple million" to help.

"Build the ballpark for them, please. Why not?" Guillen said. "They're playing well. They've got a great organization. I think now they deserve that. They earned it. They play the game good, play the game right, and play the game hard, and in a very tough division. … If one team deserves a new ballpark, it's them, because I think fans will support it a little bit better, and I think it'll be great for the city."

Guillen, a Devil Ray in 2000, points out how far the organization has come, making the playoffs three of the past four years.

"I played for that organization when they were very bad. They didn't know what they were doing," Guillen said. "They were terrible, including myself. … But little by little, they put it together. Give them a lot of credit. A lot of people talk about a lot of organizations, that organization put it together quick, and whoever did it, they did it right. …

"Give them a new stadium, I'll put in a couple million."

Guillen credits manager Joe Maddon, saying he is one of two managers (along with the Twins' Ron Gardenhire) that he admires.

"You don't win manager of the year two years because you're cute," Guillen said. "He's not cute. He's good.

"He's been winning all these years. He's a very smart baseball man, very smart. And players love to play for him and respect him. That's all you can ask as a manager. When players love to play for you and respect you, you've got it done."

Maddon has mutual respect for Guillen and laughed when he heard the colorful manager's "cute" reference.

"He meant handsome," Maddon said. "I don't think Ozzie would ever refer to another man as being cute, nor would he refer to them being handsome. Although he could have went there and I would have accepted."

MEDICAL MATTERS: 3B Evan Longoria will take the next step in his recovery from a partially torn left hamstring today by doing running/acceleration drills, which should tell the Rays when he can start his rehab assignment. Longoria has targeted mid June as a return date.

RHP Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow strain) will start a rehab assignment Monday in Port Charlotte. But Maddon said the Rays are going to be cautious and "don't have the absolute finish line with him."

WELCOME BACK: OF/1B Brandon Allen cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham. Maddon was pleased the Rays can keep him in the organization. "I still think he's going to be very helpful to us down the road," Maddon said.

HITS HOME: RHP James Shields was especially disappointed that I'll Have Another was scratched from today's Belmont Stakes and retired due to a swollen tendon in his left leg. Shields' uncle Jim Jimenez is the horse's farrier (provides hoof and foot care), and the Rays starter got to see the horse, which would have been vying for the Triple Crown, this week while in New York.

"It's a shame," Shields said. "It's really sad to be honest with you. He's a great horse."

MORE MOORE: LHP Matt Moore enters tonight's start feeling good, coming off his first win in more than a month, and he believes he is close to where he wants to be.

Moore has a 2.89 ERA over his last five starts.

"I feel like each time out I have better fastball command," Moore said. "And it's just due to me attacking more, being more aggressive. I'm not sure if it's too much like mechanical, I think more of it's just kind of that overall feel when you're out there."

MISCELLANY: The Rays signed three draft picks: seventh-round OF Marty Gantt (College of Charleston), 10th-round LHP Sean Bierman (University of Tampa) and 30th-round CF Michael Williams (Kentucky). … Maddon hit LF Desmond Jennings second to put room between him and RHP Jeremy Hellickson, plus he liked INF Will Rhymes at leadoff against a right-hander.

Comments
Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

FORT MYERS – Just playing on back-to-back days was significant for Rays 3B Matt Duffy.Playing well has made the start of spring training even better."Really liked the way Duffy has continued to play," manager Kevin Cash said after a 4-3 loss to...
Updated: 2 hours ago
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

UPDATE, 11:36: Manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to play Duffy on back to back days a couple times early in spring, believing the short bursts of activity will best help him build up after missing all of 2017. … Matt Andriese will come out of...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The truth about the Tampa Bay Raysí reset

The truth about the Tampa Bay Raysí reset

The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be very good this year.We already knew that.They have gutted a team that won 80 games last season. Among those sent packing: Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and team MVP Steven Souza Jr.Yeah, this thi...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays Saturday scheduleAt Red Sox1:05, JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort MyersPitchers: Rays – RH Jake Faria, RH Matt Andriese, RH Dustin McGowan, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RF Chaz Roe, LH Jose Alvarado, RH Evan Scribner, RH Jose Mujica; Red...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – Two things that tell you a lot about Rays cocksure top prospect Brent Honeywell given Friday's crushing news that he indeed tore a ligament in his prized right arm and is headed for Tommy John surgery that will sideline him wel...
Published: 02/23/18
Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

SARASOTA — Colby Rasmus is making a new start with the Baltimore Orioles after taking an eight-month break from baseball.Rasmus signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles this week, after abruptly leaving the Rays in midseason. The contrac...
Published: 02/23/18
Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

The Rays won the home game of their opening-day, split-squad set, beating the Pirates, 6-3.1B Brad Miller, with an opposite-field double off the wall, and CF Kevin Kiermaier, with a bloop single to shallow center, provided the early offense.2B Daniel...
Published: 02/23/18
Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

PORT CHARLOTTE — One of the key story lines in Rays camp is seeing what kind of bounce-back season they can get out of a healthy Brad Miller, coming off October core muscle repair surgery.And while Miller isn't feeling 100 percent — he st...
Published: 02/23/18