Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Bang a gong; Eckerd's Albi; attendance

The Gong Show

The Rays really are going to bang a gong. First manager Joe Maddon suggested, following a random Pandora moment, that they start using the rock classic, Bang a Gong (Get It On), as the song that plays when they run onto the field. Not only will they do that, but they've installed an actual, and customized, gong on the concourse in rightfield and will incorporate it into the game-day programming. The possibilities would seem endless: Play ball? Home runs? Victories? Bad anthem renditions? And there could be guest gong-bangers, like Rays alums.

Number of the day

15,167

Announced attendance, larger than 27 regular-season games last season.

Word of the day

"Cyclicality"

Used by executive VP Andrew Friedman in talking about the Rays' annual bullpen makeover

Hit the snooze

The best thing about spring training being over Saturday? Simple, manager Joe Maddon says: No more early morning workouts. "The last time the alarm wakes me up at 6 o'clock for a while, hopefully," he said.

It's time to really Meet the Rays

Check out our video series to get the real lowdown on some of your favorite Rays. How is Evan Longoria's diaper-changing technique? Could Ben Zobrist sing one of Julianna's songs? What does David Price think about all the attention Astro gets? For all that and more, check out all 16 videos at tampabay.com/meettherays or scan the QR code at top left.

Who is this Ray?

Played 18 seasons in majors, earning All-Star honors four times, two Silver Sluggers and two World Series rings. Hit 267 big-league homers. Coached for Cardinals, Angels, Padres (minors), Dodgers before joining Rays.

The dish

Today: Off

On deck

Monday: Workout at Trop, closed to public

Tuesday: season opener, vs. Orioles, 3:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price; Orioles — Jason Hammel

Wednesday: vs. Orioles, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Orioles — Wei-Yin Chen

Thursday: vs. Orioles, 3:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Roberto Hernandez; Orioles — Miguel Gonzalez

Friday: vs. Indians, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore; Indians — TBA

Saturday: vs. Indians, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb; Indians — Scott Kazmir

Who is this Ray? 1B coach George Hendrick

Follow our coverage all season on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

ALBI! ALBI!

Manager Joe Maddon has shown a fondness toward career minor-league C Craig Albernaz, keeping him with the big-league team all spring to lend a hand. On Saturday, Maddon made sure Albernaz, who played at nearby Eckerd College, got to the plate, and in a key situation with two on and no outs in the ninth of a tie game, though he grounded into a double play. "I wanted to get Albi an at-bat at the Trop," Maddon said. "I was hoping for the chants of 'Albi! Albi!' from the stands and was a little disappointed that did not occur. The obvious play there was to bunt, but I did not want his first at-bat at the Trop to be a bunt, so we let him swing away. And actually there was a potential for a triple play on that one."

Comments
Donít call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Donít call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Rays Journal: A win over ex-mate Cobb, and in a record way

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be all kinds of mixed feeling seeing longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.And they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in the fifth inning, and rolle...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:05 Wednesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:05 Wednesday

Wednesday: at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing Shin-...
Published: 04/25/18
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sundayís epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sundayís epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Published: 04/24/18
Updated: 04/25/18
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

UPDATE, 6:06: The Rays will stay in rotation, so Faria will slide back a day and pitch Wednesday, vs. Cobb, and Archer will get an extra day's rest and pitch Thursday, against RHP Dylan Bundy.Also of note, Cash said 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring str...
Published: 04/24/18
For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

The Rays are set to get their first look at an old friend tonight, as Alex Cobb will be on the mound for the Orioles, weather permitting.Heavy rain is forecast for the Baltimore area, though Orioles officials seem confident there will be a window for...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Published: 04/24/18