Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Tales: Picking Olympic sports for the Tampa Bay Rays

Just like in other workplaces, the Rays are talking a lot in their clubhouse about the Olympics. But we pushed the conversation a bit by asking about putting some of the Rays in the Games and soliciting suggestions on what sports they'd play. Here are a few ideas:

Fernando Rodney Archery

Seems kind of obvious given his post-save celebration of shooting an imaginary arrow, hitting various stadium structures, taking down two Rally Monkeys in Anaheim and spawning RodneyHood T-shirts and a Rodney's Archery Club Twitter account (@RACRays). Rodney, right, said he's ready to compete, though there is one problem: He has never actually tried the real thing.

Kyle Farnsworth Tae kwon do

Farnsworth was good enough as a teenager, earning a black belt, that he actually considered heading to the U.S. Olympics center in Colorado for training to compete for a spot on the team. "When I was 16-17 my instructor wanted me to go out there, but my dad said baseball had more money in it," Farnsworth said. "I was like, 'True, okay,' but it would have been a lot of fun. I love doing that stuff and competing in tournaments."

Jose Molina Field events/Diving/Wrestling

Several Rays suggested the shot put and discus for the veteran with the catcher's body. Manager Joe Maddon brought up diving — well, kind of: "I think J-Mo could do a good cannonball." And then there was this from J.P. Howell: "Sumo's not in the Olympics, is it?"

Ben Zobrist Decathlon

It's only fitting that the guy who played eight positions (including DH) in one season would want to try the 10-event challenge. "There probably is a connection there somewhere because I want to do everything," Zobrist said. "I've always wanted to do the decathlon. When I'd watch as a kid I was like, 'Man, that's awesome. They get to do everything — pole vaulting, sprinting, long distance running, high jumping, long jumping, that's the fun stuff.' "

Luke Scott Shooting/Javelin

Scott is somewhat of an expert with guns, and his proficiency with spears when hunting makes the javelin a natural extension.

Sam Fuld, Elliot Johnson, B.J. Upton, Desmond Jennings | 4x100 relay

We asked Jennings, the fastest Ray, to put together a relay squad, and this is what he and Upton came up with, building speed in order. Also, they'd make room if Triple-A P Chris Archer were available.

Burke Badenhop Rowing/Rhythmic Gymnastics

Badenhop's quirkiness led to several interesting ideas, though Sam Fuld was pretty committed to his: "Badenhop would definitely be crew because he's tall, he's nerdy and he's weird — not to stereotype rowers, but you've got to be a little different to do that." Badenhop said he is intrigued by team handball but preferred the gymnastics route: "I could dominate with the ball and the ribbon."

And a few other suggestions

Will Rhymes, Ryan Roberts and Sam Fuld, gymnastics. … Joel Peralta, table tennis or badminton. "He's crafty," Fuld said. … David Price, javelin. … Elliot Johnson, triple jump (because despite a 42-inch vertical leap, he doesn't high jump well). … Matt Joyce ("Kind of like Michael Phelps," Joe Maddon said) and Jake McGee, swimming. … Maddon, cycling. … J.P. Howell, synchronized diving.

Rays rumblings

Sounds like hard-throwing RHP Alex Colome, promoted last week from Double to Triple A, could be on the David Price-Matt Moore track for a late-season call­up. … Maybe Evan Longoria is in a hurry to get back; he tweeted last week he got two speeding tickets in Virginia (and wasn't going faster than 80). … The online gambling site Bovada raised the Rays' odds of winning the World Series from 18-1 to 25-1 after the trade deadline. … MLB Network's Peter Gammons noted Friday's welcome-home crowd of 18,410 after the successful road trip and tweeted: "they can't draw 19,000? Can baseball work in Florida?" … Yes, that was J.P. Howell caught on camera in Oakland acting out the Call Me Maybe song.

Got a minute? Kyle Farnsworth

Something that scares you? Poisonous snakes. That's one of the scariest sounds, hearing a rattlesnake go off and you don't know where it is.

Karaoke song if you had to? The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground.

Favorite TV show? Back in the day, I watched Saved By the Bell a lot.

Late-night snack? Definitely ice cream — vanilla with Oreos and chocolate syrup.

Celebrity crush? Kate Beckinsale.

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Published: 05/23/18
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18