Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Zobrist named AL All-Star

ST. PETERSBURG — Baseball's All-Star Game is, like it or not, played to win. And that, more than anything, explains the selection of Ben Zobrist on Saturday as the lone Ray on the American League squad for the July 16 game.

With no Rays voted in by fans or players, it was up to AL/Detroit manager Jim Leyland to pick a Tampa Bay representative. Leyland bypassed third baseman Evan Longoria and starter Matt Moore to pick Zobrist, whose versatility at the plate and on the field makes him a bench asset.

"I think Ben Zobrist is a very, very, very good player," Leyland said in Cleveland. "He happens to be able to play everywhere, and he's a switch-hitter."

Zobrist, who has had an inconsistent season (.264 with five homers and 44 RBIs) said he was confused when summoned to manager Joe Maddon's office before the game against the White Sox and then honored by his second All-Star selection.

"I'm shocked," he said. "I really didn't expect it. It feels great. It's a huge honor to be selected. … I really think of other guys before myself on this team that I feel like are more deserving, but I feel like this is probably one of those cases where my versatility is giving me an opportunity here."

Maddon said he could see why Zobrist was chosen, given the numerous ways he can help a team win, and was pleased with the pick, as much because Zobrist didn't have the obvious stats. "I really love the fact from the perspective that here's a complete ballplayer making the All-Star team; it's not about his batting average," Maddon said.

It was also interesting that Leyland chose Zobrist given last Sunday's game between the teams. Zobrist was hit by a pitch intentionally by Detroit's Rick Porcello, who was later suspended, in retaliation for close Rays pitches to Miguel Cabrera the night before.

"I find a lot of humor in the selection based on that," Zobrist said. "I can't wait to talk to Mr. Leyland and thank him for a couple different things."

Longoria seemed the likely Rays representative based on his statistics: .292 with a team-high 17 homers and 49 RBIs. But it appeared Leyland — who already had two third basemen in starter Cabrera and Manny Machado, and opted for three catchers by adding Jason Castro as the lone Astro — wanted versatility. So he added Cleveland's Jason Kipnis along with Zobrist.

Moore also seemed worthy — he got his 12th win in Saturday's 3-0 shutout of Chicago — but wasn't one of the nine starters picked. He could be added as a replacement. If not, it will be the first time since 2007 only one Ray goes.

Comments
Rays have deal to place to sign prospect Sandy Gaston

Rays have deal to place to sign prospect Sandy Gaston

UPDATE, 10:25: The sides have agreed to terms on a $2.61 million deal, pending a physical exam, which is standard, and finalization of the contract.DEVELOPING: The Rays are working to complete a deal to sign RHP Sandy Gaston, a 16-year-old from Cuba ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
World Series: Red Sox will give Dodgers early dose of lefties

World Series: Red Sox will give Dodgers early dose of lefties

BOSTON — The Red Sox feel going with two lefties to start the World Series against the Dodgers is the right move.With LHP Chris Sale over the stomach issues he still, smirkingly, says were caused by a belly button ring and set to start Tuesday ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
World Series: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remains a Red Sox hero

World Series: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remains a Red Sox hero

BOSTON — The Dodgers already had plenty to yell about, and to toast, when they gathered in the bar of Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel late Saturday to continue the celebration of their National League championship.But as a quick clip from the ALCS 14...
Published: 10/22/18
World Series: Viewing Dodgers-Red Sox through a Tampa Bay prism

World Series: Viewing Dodgers-Red Sox through a Tampa Bay prism

BOSTON — This World Series has plenty. Two iconic franchises in the Dodgers and Red Sox. Two museum-quality venues in Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park. A historic first pairing of minority managers, in Puerto Rican born Alex Cora and bi-racial Da...
Published: 10/22/18

Dodgers to get an early dose of lefties

BOSTON — The Red Sox feel going with two lefties to start the World Series against the Dodgers is the right move.With LHP Chris Sale over the stomach issues he still, smirkingly, says were caused by a belly button ring and set to start tonight’s open...
Published: 10/22/18
World Series Game 1 to be cold one for Dodgers, Red Sox

World Series Game 1 to be cold one for Dodgers, Red Sox

BOSTON — It’s looking to be cold for Game 1 of the World Series, but at least the Red Sox and Dodgers will probably avoid the rain. Forecasts for Tuesday night call for the temperature to be around 50 for the 8:09 p.m. first pitch. It will cool off ...
Published: 10/22/18
Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

(Updated Monday morning)ST. PETERSBURG — Rocco Baldelli has sure been popular this off-season.And busy.The current Rays coach and former outfielder interviewed with five of the six teams looking to hire a manager — the Angels, Blue Jays, ...
Published: 10/20/18
Updated: 10/22/18
Price helps Red Sox finish off Astros in 5 games, head to World Series

Price helps Red Sox finish off Astros in 5 games, head to World Series

Former Rays starter David Price put his postseason woes behind him, pitching the Red Sox past the defending champion Houston Astros 4-1 Thursday night in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.
Published: 10/19/18
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli is one of five finalists for the Blue Jays manager's job, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reported.Three other finalists were said to be Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Giants farm director David Bell and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

The Rays will send four trucks of donated water, food and supplies to Bay County on Wednesday morning to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.About 20 staffers are making what will be a 36-hour trip to the Florida Panhandle as they deliver and di...
Published: 10/16/18