Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: AL East championship banner Joe Maddon's answer to Yankees; Jeremy Hellickson fails to get a tan in winter in Iowa

The dish

Today's first workout for pitchers and catchers starts around 10 a.m. (subsequent days at 9:30) at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and will last 2½-3 hours. Admission and parking free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Toledo Blade Road, go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, stadium complex is on left. For more information: (941) 235-5025.

Rays tickets: $9/12-27, available via raysbaseball.com, at box office, through Ticketmaster.

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

All games 1:05 unless noted.

Key dates

Saturday: Position players report

Sunday: First full squad workout

March 1: Intrasquad game.

March 3: Exhibition opener vs. Twins in Fort Myers

April 6: Season opener vs. Yankees at Tropicana Field

Exhibition schedule

March

3: at Twins

4: Twins

5: Orioles

6: Twins

7: at Yankees

8: Tigers (ss)

at Twins (ss)

9: Orioles

10: at Red Sox (7:05)

11: Pirates

12: Twins

13: at Orioles

14: Marlins

15: Phillies

16: at Jays

17: at Pirates

18: Red Sox

19: Off

20: at Marlins

21: Yankees

22: at Pirates

23: Jays (7:05)

24: at Twins (3:05)

25: Marlins

26: at Twins

27: at Red Sox (1:35)

28: Pirates (7:05)

29: at Phillies

30: at Pirates

31: Red Sox

April

1: at Orioles

2: Twins

3: at Twins

4: vs. Future Rays, 1:40, at Tropicana Field

Who is this answer: Jake McGee

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Quote of the day

"The banner's up there — that's cool."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, on winning the 2010 AL East title given the Yankees' claims of conceding.

Tan-line quote of the day

"I worked on it a little bit more, but it went away."

RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who spent the winter in his native Iowa, on his "tan" — or lack thereof

Author of the day

Super Sam Fuld runs, hits, throws, flies through the air to make catches — and writes. Fuld typed out a guest piece for Grantland.com on his memories of the Rays' epic regular-season finale. A highlight: How when Evan Longoria hit the walkoff homer, Fuld couldn't make it up the dugout steps. To read the piece, go to tinyurl.com/77zyn5von

Big-league moment

Matt Moore spent time in the home clubhouse at Charlotte Sports Park with the Class A Stone Crabs in 2010. Monday, despite three big-league regular-season outings and a start in the ALDS opener, he walked in for his first day of spring training. "That's kinda funny," he said. Another adjustment? "It was kinda cool going into Tijuana Flats (Saturday in Tampa) and that was the first time I saw somebody wearing my jersey," he said.

Who is this Ray?

He passed on a scholarship offer from UNLV to sign with the Rays. He was married Christmas Eve 2009. He is one of eight pitchers to not allow a hit in his first six outings.

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...
Updated: 3 hours ago
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

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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 …

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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