Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Peña in Oscar-nominated "Moneyball"; Ben Zobrist makes his movie debut

Academy Award night notes of the day

Carlos Peña is featured somewhat prominently in tonight's best picture-nominated Moneyball, portrayed by actor Adrian Bellani, though he said, laughing, "I could have done it myself." The scene in which Peña is traded (for a pitcher, cash and soda!) didn't happen the way it's portrayed; he was in the minors at the time. He also shows up in game clips. "It's actually a pretty good movie," he said. "There's one point I see myself running to first base, and I'm like, 'Okay, that's me.' And there's other times I'm like, 'That's not me, that (rear is) not mine.' "

Ben Zobrist made his movie "debut" this winter, a cameo appearance in a short film, Snake, filmed in Nashville by a friend from his church. Zobrist's wife, Julianna (who is also a singer), plays a bigger role. "It was fun," Zobrist said.

Roll Tide

SS Reid Brignac and LF Desmond Jennings spent a lot of time together in the offseason, and most of it was fun, except for when the topic was college football's BCS championship game, in which Jennings' Alabama team beat Brignac's LSU squad 21-0. "It's been tough around the household," Brignac said. They had a friendly wager, and to pay it off, Brignac posed for a photo, posted to Twitter, wearing an Alabama hoodie. "Then," he said, "I went and took a shower after to wash that stuff off."

Odd coupling of the day

OF Sam Fuld has an economics degree from Stanford and interned at Stats LLC, but he didn't have to get deep to analyze being in a hitting group with sluggers Ben Zobrist, Luke Scott and Carlos Peña. "This is certainly a numbers-based theory that I will probably not hit the most homers in that group," he said.

Quote of the day

"It's the biggest buzz."

Manager Joe Maddon, on the expectations for this season compared with his previous six

Who is this Ray?

He was born in Florida, moved to Georgia and starred at the University of Georgia. He has a brother who played minor-league ball. He has been traded five times, most recently from Houston to San Francisco.

The dish

Today's first full-squad workout starts at around 9:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and lasts 31/2 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.

Heads up

Live batting practice starts at 11:30, with Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson and Alex Cobb among those scheduled to throw.

Exhibition schedule

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

Info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

All games 1:05 unless noted

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, Tropicana Field

Who is this answer: INF Jeff Keppinger.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Comments
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...
Updated: 3 hours ago

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...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17
Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — A series of tweets by former Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco about sexual misconduct and politicians could put in jeopardy his job as a studio analyst on A’s telecasts. Canseco posted several times ...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Published: 12/12/17