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Rays Tales: Where are 2008 AL champions now

The Rays pile on Grant Balfour after clinching a berth in the ALCS, where they beat the Red Sox in seven games.

Times (2008)

The Rays pile on Grant Balfour after clinching a berth in the ALCS, where they beat the Red Sox in seven games.

Last week's visit by the Dodgers brought three members of the Rays' 2008 World Series team — OF Carl Crawford, LHP J.P. Howell and LHP Scott Kazmir — back to the Trop. Which got us to thinking where the rest of the band is, awaiting what hopefully will be a well-staged 10-year reunion celebration in 2018:

Still with Rays

3B Evan Longoria

Playing 9th season, considered best player in franchise history

OF Rocco Baldelli

Left after 2008 for Red Sox, returned to Rays in 2010, retired after 2010 season, worked in front office, now 1B coach

Still playing

OF Carl Crawford

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent, signed with Red Sox

Now: Playing for Dodgers

RHP Matt Garza

Left Rays: In January 2011 trade to Cubs

Now: Pitching for Brewers

LHP J.P. Howell

Left Rays: After 2012 as a free agent, signed with Dodgers

Now: Pitching for Dodgers

RHP Edwin Jackson

Left Rays: In Dec. 2008 trade to Tigers

Now: Pitching for Marlins

LHP Scott Kazmir

Left Rays: In Aug. 2009 trade to Angels Now: Pitching for Dodgers

C Dioner Navarro

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent, signed with Dodgers

Now: Playing for White Sox

LHP David Price

Left Rays: In July 2014 trade to Tigers

Now: Pitching for Red Sox

RHP James Shields

Left Rays: In Dec. 2012 trade to Royals

Now: Pitching for Padres

OF B.J. (now Melvin) Upton

Left Rays: After 2012 as a free agent, signed with Braves

Now: Playing for Padres

INF/OF Ben Zobrist

Left Rays: In Jan. 2015 trade to A's

Now: Playing for Cubs

Still in uniform

OF Eric Hinske

Left Rays: After 2008 as a free agent, signed with Pirates

Now: Assistant hitting coach for Cubs

Hung up the spikes

INF Willy Aybar

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent

Last played: 2015 in Mexico

Now: Unknown

RHP Grant Balfour

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent; returned 2014-15

Last played: 2015 with Rays, Triple-A Durham

Now: Announced retirement last week

SS Jason Bartlett

Left Rays: In December 2010 trade to Padres

Last played: 2014 with Twins

Now: Lives in Naples, is opening workout facility with wife Kelly

RHP Chad Bradford

Left Rays: After 2009 as a free agent

Last played: 2009 with Rays

Now: Volunteer coach at Central Hinds (Miss.) Academy

OF/DH Cliff Floyd

Left Rays: After 2008 as a free agent

Last played: 2009 with Padres

Now: MLB Network, Sirius XM analyst

OF Gabe Gross

Left Rays: After 2009 as a free agent

Last played: Spring 2011 with Mariners

Now: TV analyst for SEC games, has been volunteer coach at Auburn

C Michel Hernandez

Left Rays: After 2009 as a free agent

Last played: 2012 for Indians at Triple A

Now: Minor-league coach for Yankees

INF Akinori Iwamura

Left Rays: In Nov. 2009 trade to Pirates

Last played: 2014 for Yakult in Japan

Now: Player/manager for semipro Fukushima Hopes team in Japan

LHP Trever Miller

Left Rays: After 2008 as a free agent

Last played: Spring 2012 with Cubs

Now: Runs Mittbusters Academy in Land O'Lakes, does triathlons

1B Carlos PeÑa

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent, returned in 2012, then left as free agent

Last played: 2014 for Rangers, Triple-A Round Rock

Now: Analyst for MLB, SEC networks

OF Fernando Perez

Left Rays: In Jan. 2011 trade to Cubs

Last played: 2013 in indy league

Now: Writing "Recovering Ballplayer" column for vicesports.com, working as instructor for MLB International

RHP Andy Sonnanstine

Left Rays: After 2011 as a free agent

Last played: 2011 for Rays, Triple-A Durham

Now: Does spring training radio, appearances for Rays

RHP Dan Wheeler

Left Rays: After 2010 as a free agent

Last pitched: 2013 at Triple-A Omaha (Royals)

Now: Retired in Tampa Bay area, coaches youth league teams

Also played in season: Kurt Birkins, Reid Brignac, Andy Cannizaro, Mike Difelice, Scott Dohmann, Gary Glover, Jonny Gomes, Jason Hammel, Nathan Haynes, John Jaso, Dan Johnson, Elliot Johnson, Jeff Niemann, Alberto Reyes, Shawn Riggans, Jae Kuk Ryu, Justin Ruggiano, Juan Salas, Mitch Talbot

Coaching staff

Joe Maddon, manager

Opted out of contract after 2014, now managing Cubs

Tim Bogar, EXTRA coach

Left Rays after 2008, now bench coach for Mariners

Tom Foley, 3B coach

Still with Rays, moved to bench coach in 2015

Steve Henderson, hitting coach

Left Rays after 2009, now hitting coach for Phillies

George Hendrick, 1b coach

Left Rays after 2014, now retired

Jim Hickey, pitching coach

Still with Rays

Dave Martinez, bench coach

Left Rays after 2014, now bench coach for Cubs

Bobby Ramos, bullpen coach

Left Rays after 2011, now minor-league catching coordinator for Marlins

Short stops

• The Rays front office will be focusing heavily on the June 9-11 draft, holding the No. 13 pick (the one they didn't want to give up to sign Ian Desmond) and four of the first 90. Baseball America's mock draft has them taking Alabama prep LHP Braxton Garrett.

• Only Joe Maddon, in venting about Pirates C Francisco Cervelli, could weave in two plugs for his annual Gasparilla party and his wife's Tampa business: "He's still invited to Gasparilla, and he's still invited to work out at the gym, at Epic Boxing and Fitness on Kennedy in Tampa. And also in Westchase. We have two locations."

Rays rumblings

Congrats to Tropicana Field official scorer Bill Mathews, whose No. 29 was retired by Eckerd College on Friday in salute to his long coaching career there. … Toby Hall, who would like to rejoin the Rays as an instructor, is running some kids summer camps; see lutzbaseball.leaguetoolbox.com. … Combined attendance for the two games with the Dodgers was 27,342. … Julianna Zobrist, talented singer wife of ex-Ray Ben, has a new album available for preorder on iTunes; see hyperurl.co/shatterproof.

Got a minute? Tim Beckham

Best meal you can make? Teriyaki salmon with squash, zucchini and sweet potatoes.

Band/singer you'd like to be on stage with? Jay Z, or OutKast.

Dream vacation spot? Probably an island, how about Bali.

Favorite movie? I'm a big fan of Any Given Sunday, l like Life and the one with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, Law Abiding Citizen.

Celebrity crush? For a long time, it's been Jennifer Lopez.

Rays Tales: Where are 2008 AL champions now 05/07/16 [Last modified: Sunday, May 8, 2016 12:12am]
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