Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays could make bigger deal of Ortiz farewell

BALTIMORE — The Rays may end up making a bigger deal of saying goodbye to retiring Red Sox star David Ortiz during next week's final Trop visit after all.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday the Rays would show just a short in-game tribute video. Team president Brian Auld said Friday afternoon that the plans for Ortiz's Sept. 25 final game were not set and that he wanted to get player input. And the Rays had talked internally about making a presentation to Ortiz. That could put the Rays more in line with other teams, which have presented him with unique gifts and/or made donations to his children's charity.

"We have the outline of a plan for next Sunday, and we're waiting for the players to come home so that we can get their input before finalizing the details," Auld said.

Veteran team leader Evan Longoria said the players wanted to present Ortiz with a gift — hinting they had something in mind that is "sentimental" — and were eager to talk with Auld.

"Obviously we would like to do something for (Ortiz)," Longoria said. "I have no answer if that means something monetarily as a donation to his foundation, if that means a gift, I don't know yet.

"I guess we will get together with Brian and see what makes the most sense. The players want to do something for him. We'll figure out the best way to accomplish that so we feel like we've done it the right way."

MILESTONE REACHED: Longoria hit his career-high 34th homer of the season in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Orioles. He hit 33 in 2009. He is closing in on several other career marks, needing nine hits, six extra-base hits and four total bases to match his previous bests.

MILESTONE AVERTED: RHP Chris Archer delivered a strong start, avoiding what would have been a team-record breaking 19th loss. "Arch was really good, again,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "That was nice to see.''

NICKED UP: INF/OF Nick Franklin was more sore than expected after straining his left hamstring Thursday and unsure if he would play again this season. "I'm going to see how things go from day to day, see if it gets better, see what happens," he said. Cash said that if Franklin isn't better by next week they would do further tests. With Franklin out, Alexei Ramirez and Brad Miller will share time at shortstop. Ramirez would be used as the backup at second.

ON DECK: With Franklin out, OF Jaff Decker, who finished his season with Triple-A Durham on Sept. 5, was summoned from his Arizona home to rejoin the team to provide a left-handed bat off the bench. He arrived just before game time Friday. Decker hit .138 in 10 games for the Rays, last on June 26. He hit .255 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 95 games with Durham.

MORE MEDICAL: Cash said 1B/DH Logan Morrison is slated to get a second opinion Monday on his injured left wrist, which has a torn sheath. There was a Twitter report Friday that he had decided to have surgery.

X FACTOR: With Toronto's late Thursday win, the Rays were eliminated from reaching postseason play. This is the earliest they have been out since 2007, their last year as the Devil Rays.

MISCELLANY: Baseball operations VP Chaim Bloom is among the candidates for a top job with the Twins, Fox Sports reported. … RHP Chase Whitley was slated to see action tonight for the second time in his return from Tommy John surgery, again pitching in relief of RHP Matt Andriese.

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