Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays have strict rules about kids in the clubhouse

PORT CHARLOTTE — The vitriolic clash that disrupted White Sox camp over how much time Adam LaRoche's son could spend in the clubhouse shouldn't happen to the Rays.

After taking over last year, manager Kevin Cash and team leaders worked to develop a set of clubhouse rules, including a limit that male kids are welcome in the clubhouse until the end of batting practice, leaving a window for all personnel to focus on getting ready for the game. (Also, sons, brothers and fathers can come in after wins but not losses.)

"We tried to make it so that you have that time after BP to be spent preparing for the game," said veteran 3B Evan Longoria, who has a young son, Nash, he eventually plans to bring in. "Not only for yourself if it's your kid, but allowing the other guys to get prepared."

RHP Chris Archer, who doesn't yet have kids, said he also endorses their plan. "I like that there is structure," Archer said. "And we've had no problem with people following the rules."

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, now with the Mets, had his son, Meyer, around the most last year, OF David DeJesus his son, David, at times. Some of the coaches did, too.

In previous seasons, when the Rays had a less specific policy under manager Joe Maddon, Kyle Farnsworth, Johnny Damon and Troy Percival were among the players who had their sons in the clubhouse, but none so omnipresent as in Chicago with Drake LaRoche.

Noting that the Sox blowup seemed to stem from a lack of communication, or miscommunication, Longoria said that is a prime reason the Rays make sure their rules are clear before the season, "and we've done a great job in the past year." Longoria said Cash asked him last week if because of the Sox situation they should have a team meeting to clarify, but they decided things were good.

"It's a clubhouse to clubhouse thing," Longoria said, "and it's kind of the job of the guys in the clubhouse to police that."

DRESSED DOWN: The Rays made a significant change to their minor-league rules, dropping the long-standing mandate that minor-leaguers can't have facial hair and must wear their uniform pants pulled up over their calves.

"I think it was time," farm director Mitch Lukevics said. "It's 2016."

Minor-leaguers can now have neatly trimmed facial hair ("Kevin Kiermaier-type beards, not like Grizzly Adams," Lukevics said) and wear their pants "long" like the major-leaguers.

The Rays have been one of the stricter teams with these rules in place, except for a failed 2006 slight change, since starting minor-league play in 1996. Lukevics said the change was a combination of practicality, as players sent up and down from the majors had to constantly adjust, and the overall good character of the current group.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: One question as the Rays head to Havana: How much more of a spectacle would the trip be if Maddon were still managing? A themed dress-up of fatigues? Or Guayaberas and linen pants? … Another example of how seriously Archer takes his craft: Concerned about Monday morning traffic getting to his start at Disney, he drove to Orlando the night before and got a hotel room. … What exactly was the point of starting Saturday's game with lightning and rain obvious? … With LaRoche supposedly retired, could the Sox have interest in displaced Rays 1B James Loney? … In a nod to a long-standing rumor, the Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa tweeted: "Future Tampa Bay Rays owner Derek Jeter will be joining the Tampa Bay Rays for their trip to Cuba."

Comments
Raysí Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Raysí Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Updated: 10 hours ago
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Published: 06/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Published: 06/18/18