Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays rail: Red Sox rivalry heats up again; Myers assessment

Quote of the day

"It's just another good reason to want to play Boston."

INF Sean Rodriguez, after the latest episode of heated tempers

Red-hot rivalry

The Rays and Red Sox have had a few on-field skirmishes, going back to the Pedro Martinez game in 2000, a 2006 spring skirmish, the 2008 James Shields/Coco Crisp tete-a-tete, and some squaring off last May. Saturday was nearly another, Tampa Bay INF Sean Rodriguez having to be restrained after being hit by a pitch, then getting talked to by Boston RHP Alfredo Aceves and Rays players coming out of the dugout, Sox players on the top step. "I guess it just keeps things with a little fire between us, which is cool," Rodriguez said.

Remaining exhibition games

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

21: vs. Jays

22: vs. Orioles; at Pirates

23: vs. Twins

24: at Yankees

25: vs. Pirates, 7:05

26: at Phillies

27: vs. Jays

28: at Orioles, 7:05

29: at Tigers

30: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10



A helping hand

Triple-A hitting coach Dave Myers, who was filling in as the first-base coach, had a hand — actually two — in keeping Saturday's fifth-inning incident from escalating by restraining Sean Rodriguez from going after Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. And if Myers hadn't been there in place of George Hendrick, who was at third in place of Tom Foley? "Cuz (Hendrick) would've been there," Rodriguez said. "He might've gone after him."

Assessment of the day

Rays manager Joe Maddon on top prospect Wil Myers: "He truly can be a complete baseball player, we've just got to work at it and work on it. The bat can be very special, but the rest of his game can be very good, too. That's what I saw. A good kid, listens well, very coachable. All that stuff is apparent."

Number of the day

39 Players left on spring roster.

Who is this Ray?

He averaged 17 points in basketball and was recruited by a Division I school as a two-sport athlete. Played for Team USA in Taiwan at the World Youth Championships. Is the only Rays player from his native state.

The dish

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 1:35 today; JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: $5-46, available through redsox.com, 1-888-REDSOX6.

Pitchers: Rays — Alex Cobb, Cesar Ramos; Red Sox — Jon Lester, Joel Hanrahan, Anthony Carter

Heads-up

The Rays are bringing some A-listers, with 3B Evan Lon­goria, SS Yunel Escobar and INF Kelly Johnson among those scheduled to play.

On deck

Monday: Off

Tuesday: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Tigers — Doug Fister

Wednesday: at Twins (Fort Myers), 7:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Twins — TBA

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer Who is this Ray? RHP Jeremy Hellickson

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

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

The Rays signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year contract one day after trading Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona. In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud discusses reaction to the moves from players, as well as super fan Dick Vitale.Plus, the Bucs...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Here is the 2018 day-by-day Grapefruit League schedule. Check out the Tampa Bay Times’ 2018 Spring Training Guide for stadium locations, contact information, team-by-team schedules, ticket information and more.Thursday, Feb. 22U. of Tampa vs. Philade...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

PORT CHARLOTTE – Dick Vitale, the Rays' most visible and, as of late, vocal fan, took to Twitter and the 620-AM airwaves Wednesday morning and later in the day in a phone call to the Tampa Bay Times to blast his local baseball team.Vitale, ESPN...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

PORT CHARLOTTE — Going against popular opinion, here's an odd thought to ponder:What if the Rays actually know what they're doing?The deal agreed to Wednesday afternoon with veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez — one year for a hefty-for-them ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

PORT CHARLOTTE — 2B Nick Solak reported to camp Wednesday, while LHP Anthony Banda, the other player acquired in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, is on his way.Banda, whose fastball hits the mid-90s, pitched in eight games last season with the Diamo...
Published: 02/21/18
Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays moved quickly to fill the void created by Tuesday's trade of RF Steven Souza Jr., agreeing to a one-year deal Wednesday afternoon with veteran OF Carlos Gomez.The deal, pending a physical, will pay Gomez $4-million...
Published: 02/21/18
The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The Rays new rightfielder Carlos Gomez is, as the Times' Rays beat writer Marc Topkin describes him, a "somewhat emotional" player.That reputation in part comes from his role in inspiring a handful of benches-clearing brawls. Here's a look at few of ...
Published: 02/21/18
With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

The first question to ask, understandably, is who do the Rays have left?And, after they Tuesday added 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to the list of departees that had just included Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi, the next to ask is what do they ha...
Published: 02/21/18
Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Having traded 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona, Rays baseball officials are now looking for a way to replace him on the field.And now Rays marketing officials also have to decide what to do with the spot he held in their lineup, having sched...
Published: 02/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

The fire sale is on for the Rays, as they trade Steven Souza, Jr., to Arizona to trim more payroll for this season.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud says he feels bad for Rays fans, as many of their favorite players have left the team, including Ev...
Published: 02/21/18