Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Joe Maddon meets Richard Gere

An American Gigolo, and an American League Manager

Rays manager Joe Maddon's Sunday in Tampa at Steinbrenner Field got off to a cool start when he was introduced to longtime actor, and legit baseball fan, Richard Gere (in Yankees cap, of course). Maddon's favorite Gere movie? "American Gigolo," he said. "But you can't overlook Pretty Woman and An Officer and a Gentleman."

Quote of the day

"We picked up a point."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, channeling Lightning coach Jon Cooper after the 3-3 tie Sunday with the Yankees

Coffee talk

Rays manager Joe Maddon sees plenty of retiring Yankees captain Derek Jeter on the field but also during the offseason at a South Tampa Starbucks. "We never walk to the counter at the same time … because we don't call in advance," Maddon said. "He's normally sitting outside with (former Ray and Yankee) Gerald Williams, also a great guy. So I'll walk by, we'll give the quick nod, have a quick conversation and then I go over to (hang out at buddy Michael Stewart's 717 South restaurant)."

Who is this Ray?

Began pro career as an infielder. Made it to majors first with Angels, has pitched for five big-league teams. Nicknamed "El Campeon."

The dish

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 1:05 today; JetBlue Park at Fenway South, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers

TV: MLB

Tickets: $5-48, available through redsox.com, 1-888-733-7696 (RED-SOX6)

Pitchers: RH Jake Odorizzi, Erik Bedard, Cesar Ramos; Red Sox — LH Jon Lester, Drake Britton, Chris Capuano, Anthony Ranaudo, Jose Mijares

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Heads-up

3B Evan Longoria and AL rookie of the year OF Wil Myers are both scheduled to play for the Rays.

On deck

Tuesday: Twins, 1:05. Rays — LH David Price; Twins — Ricky Nolasco

Wednesday: at Jays (Dunedin), 1:05. Rays — RH Nathan Karns; Jays — TBA

Thursday: Pirates, 1:05. Rays — LH Matt Moore; Pirates — TBA

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

14 at Braves

15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 OFF

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Blue Jays

22 Orioles

23 at Red Sox

24 at Twins

25 Red Sox

26 Orioles 7:05

27 at Orioles, 7:05

28 at Tigers

29 at AA Montgomery (Ala.), 3:05

Who is this Ray: RH Joel Peralta

Spring in photos

Going to a spring training game in Florida? We want to see your photos. Post them on our Facebook wall at Tampa Bay Times Sports or tag them #springtrainingFL on Twitter and/or Instagram and we'll add them to our online gallery.

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

BALTIMORE — LHP Jonny Venters ran through some pretty good emotions Wednesday night when after battling through a series of elbow injuries, he made it back into a major-league game for the first since 2012 — with a four-pitch out and a ga...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

BALTIMORE — When the Rays last saw Boston, they were trudging out of Fenway Park after a sweep by the Red Sox that left them with a 1-8 record that marked a very low point in their young season.They'll be back at Fenway Friday night, and riding...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

UPDATE, 6:05: LHP Jonny Venters said he was touched and a bit overwhelmed by all the people the reached out to congratulate him on his return to the majors for the first time since 2012. … Cash said Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) is set to...
Updated: 4 hours ago
A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

We tried to explain on Wednesday just how big a deal it was that the Rays were bringing LHP Jonny Venters back to the majors for the first time since his Braves days in 2012. And that it was not only a credit to how hard he worked and how long he per...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

The 12 years he spent in the Rays organization, and the seven seasons he was around the big-league team, mean the world to Alex Cobb.But Wednesday he wasn't in the mood for memories.After a third straight outing for his new Orioles team ended badly, ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin's takeaways from the Rays 8-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday:* RHP Alex Cobb is going to be Alex Cobb again. But it seemed clear from watching him against his old Rays mates he's not quite ready yet, the result of signing in late March...
Published: 04/26/18
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, consider the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be mixed feelings for all parties with longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.Then they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in a messy fifth Wednesday,...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Published: 04/25/18
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Published: 04/25/18