Sunday, June 24, 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
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