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
Announced attendance, larger than 27 regular-season games last season.
Word of the day
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.
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.
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."