Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays rail: Maddon sees happy ending for Albernaz

A-L-B-Y, A-L-B-Y

Manager Joe Maddon is a huge fan of C Craig Albernaz, the career minor-leaguer still in camp through the weekend. And though Albernaz, 30, has had limited playing time in Triple A, Maddon said he has the defensive skills to play in the majors and suggested there could be a happy ending. "There was a pretty good movie about a football player from Notre Dame and the name almost rhymes with it," Maddon said of Rudy. "Who knows, there might actually be another movie."

Quote of the day

"Length matters."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, explaining that potential replacements for Luke Scott depend on how long he'd be out.

Getting in his kitchen

Manager Joe Maddon hangs out a lot during spring training at Punta Gorda's River City Grill, a restaurant owned and operated by Doug Amaral. So Wednesday, Amaral got to hang out where Maddon works, dressed in uniform and in the dugout as guest manager of the day. "I was trying to be more strategic in our conversation; he was being more culinary," Maddon said. "It was a gastronomic experience."

Farewell, Port Charlotte

The Rays broke camp after Wednesday's game and shifted operations to Tropicana Field, ending an extra-long spring training. Camps opened early due to the World Baseball Classic. How long did it seem they were in Port Charlotte? LHP David Price said "three months." Manager Joe Maddon? "At least since 1998, something like that," he said. "It truly has been long."

Food for thought

Among new concession items at Tropicana Field this season will be fried dough with fruit toppings, hand-carved turkey sandwiches, beignets and an "all-natural" stand with hot dogs, chicken fingers and Blue Diamond flavored almonds.

Who is this Ray?

Grew up in Tennessee. Majored in sociology in college. Hosts a bowling event to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Has a key to the city of Tampa.

The dish Rays at Orioles

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: $8-$32, available through orioles.com, toll-free 1-800-745-3000

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

Pitchers: Rays — David Price, Jamey Wright, TBA; Orioles — TBA

Heads-up

Most of the regulars are on the travel squad, including Evan Longoria, Yunel Escobar, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

On deck

Friday: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Tigers — Max Scherzer

Saturday: vs. Tigers at Tropicana Field, 1:10. Rays — Matt Moore; Tigers — Doug Fister

Sunday: Off

Monday: Workout at Trop, closed to public

Tuesday: season opener, vs. Orioles, 3:10. Rays — David Price; Orioles — Jason Hammel

Who is this Ray: LHP David Price

Follow our Rays coverage on the Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

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