Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Long day for manager/dad Kevin Cash

Family man

Rays manager Kevin Cash popped into the media dining room at Steinbrenner Field in uniform about 45 minutes before the start of Thursday's game. No matter that he already had a busy day, spending the afternoon in Port Charlotte watching Chris Archer pitch in a minor-league game, driving through traffic to get to Tampa, chatting with his staff and team officials, and talking with reporters. And he still had a game to manage. His family had just arrived at the stadium, and his three kids were thirsty, and grabbing three cups of water from the closest place he could find was the dad thing to do.

Quote of the day

"They knew more about us than we knew. They study, they know their baseball, know the ins and outs of the game."

— Rays 3B Evan Longoria on his impression of Cuba's baseball passion after visiting "The Hot Corner" area of Havana during the team's trip to Cuba this week

Quote of the day II

"I do remember going 0-for-3 here. That was not fun, but it was a great experience."

— Bucs QB Jameis Winston, who threw out the first pitch and played the Yankees while at Florida State in spring training in 2014, actually going 0-for-2 as a sub in leftfield

The dish

Rays vs. Twins

1:05 today, Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

Radio: raysbaseball.com (sign-up required)

Tickets: See below.

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 south to Toledo Blade Road. Go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Go right 2 miles. Stadium complex is on left.

Parking: $10, lots open at 10

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

Pitchers: Rays — Drew Smyly, relievers TBA; Twins — Ervin Santana, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May, Dan Runzler

Heads-up

Drew Smyly has been sharp all month, and today should be his last extended outing of the spring.

On deck

Saturday: at Pirates, 6:05. Rays — Jake Odorizzi; Pirates — Francisco Liriano

Sunday: vs. Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Jays — TBA

Monday: Off

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: Range from $10-24, available at raysbaseball.com, by calling toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS), and at CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa Store (400 N Tampa St.).

All games 1:05 p.m. unless noted.

March

29 at Blue Jays

30 vs. Red Sox

31 vs. Pirates

April

1 at Braves, at Tigers

Greg Auman and Marc Topkin, Times staff writers

Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17