Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays players pay tribute to Don Zimmer

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer said each of the 54 big-league opening days he has experienced has been special in its own way.

But Zimmer, 82, will likely never forget his latest Tuesday. At the urging of bench coach Dave Martinez, the entire Rays team stood behind home plate as Zimmer's son, Tom, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to third baseman Evan Longoria, making for a touching and emotional moment.

All players, coaches and staff members helped deliver the ball to Zimmer, who had tears in his eyes as he was flanked by wife, Soot, daughter-in-law, Marian, and grandsons Bo and Ron.

"I thought he really responded to us; you could tell he was a little bit emotional," second baseman Ben Zobrist said. "He really cares about us, every one of us individually. To see all of us out there, I think that was special for him and you could see that in his face."

Said manager Joe Maddon: "That was outstanding. … He absolutely deserves that. That whole moment was very, very good. The photographs are going to be outstanding with that, I'm sure."

Maddon said Zimmer, who managed four teams and served as Yankees bench coach, has become iconic. Zimmer, entering his 10th season with the Rays, has been a respected adviser to the staff and an invaluable resource to players, including Longoria, who calls him a "great mentor" and "great ambassador for baseball."

But with Zimmer having to undergo dialysis eight hours a day, he wasn't around as much this spring and admitted it's a struggle for him to walk. Zimmer, who is usually in uniform in the dugout for every home game, feels incredibly lucky to be in baseball for 65 years and said it was important his family was there for Tuesday's opener.

Said Zimmer: "You never know if it's going to be the last."

     
                           
Comments
What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

ST. PETERSBURG — When Kevin Cash called team president Matt Silverman Sunday morning to wish him happy birthday, he expected to get back some form of an "attaboy" for implementing the Rays' latest unorthodox pitching strategy in using reliever ...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Published: 05/20/18
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Published: 05/20/18
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Published: 05/20/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays badly wanted Shohei Ohtani for themselves.From execs to interns, they invested extensive time and money preparing their bid in November, touting advantages they figured would play to both his intense desire to re...
Published: 05/19/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

UPDATE, 6:57: And here is the Angels lineup, with Upton:Cozart 3bTrout cfUpton lfPujols dhSimmons ssKinsler 2bMarte 1bCalhoun rfMaldonado cHeaney pUPDATE, 6:50: Eovaldi came through his Friday rehab start will but will make one more on Wednesday for ...
Published: 05/19/18