Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays caught in bridge gridlock

OAKLAND, Calif. — Just getting to the stadium for Friday's game against the A's was a hassle for the Rays.

Except for the few who were wise enough to take the train.

The Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco, where the team stays, and Oakland is closed this weekend for construction reasons as a new span is set to open. So finding an alternate route is necessary, leading to massive traffic delays.

For Rays starting pitcher David Price, that meant about two hours in the back of a town car and a $202 fare.

"Safe to say I'm not in the best mood now," was among Price's more reasonable tweets.

The rest of the team and staff that rode the scheduled 2 p.m. bus didn't fare much better. The usual 30- to 45-minute ride took 1 hour, 43 minutes, not that too many were counting.

"Brutal," infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez said.

"Especially after a four-plus hour flight (on Thursday), a two-hour bus ride is not exactly ideal," infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson said.

"It wasn't the most enjoyable bus ride experience," outfielder Matt Joyce said. "Guys are aggravated. And we're ready to play tonight."

Rays officials were aware of the situation and were told the new routing would take an hour, tops, plus they had a police escort to get them from the hotel to the highway.

When the first bus took so long, the Rays canceled their second bus, with the handful of staff, TV broadcasters Brian Anderson and Dewayne Staats, and shortstop Yunel Escobar taking the BART train.

Manager Joe Maddon, naturally, said the long bus trip wasn't so bad, calling it "the Kumbaya ride." He said it was nostalgic, reminding him of his days as a minor-league manager where such trips, and longer, were routine. Plus, he said, because he had an iPad and a smartphone, he could keep busy, including plotting possible offseason trips in his new 40-foot recreational vehicle.

His only regret was not bringing his headphones, because he had Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy loaded and could have watched the whole movie.

Pitcher Alex Cobb was among players who rode the train, which goes under the bay and takes less than 30 minutes. Most of thr Rays plan to do so today,

"Thought ahead," Cobb said. "I think everyone was aware. Most everybody told us at the hotel. I just don't think they thought it would take as long as it did."

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Published: 04/21/18