Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays fans facing more security checks

ST. PETERSBURG

Before entering Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays fan David Futral dug his keys and change from his pockets and set them in a red tray. He spread his arms and a security guard waved a wand that detects metal across his chest. He turned. The guard scanned his back. "They're more friendly at the airport," Futral, 58, joked with the guard as he fished his coins from the tray. "What, you're not going to leave your change?" the security guard joked back.

This brief security check is just another reminder that — in today's world — boisterous diversion sometimes requires sobering precaution.

By 2015, Major League Baseball will require fans entering all stadiums to pass through metal detectors or submit to handheld wand detectors.

To get an early jump, the Rays began random wand checks last year and expanded those checks to all fans this season. They may also experiment with metal detectors later in the year.

Baseball owners were already discussing security precautions last year with the Department of Homeland Security when the Boston Marathon bombing reiterated the importance of protecting large crowds.

"Major League Baseball is concerned about everything that might pose a danger to our fans, players and stadium workers, and everything that might cause our fans any anxiety,'' spokesman Michael Teeven said.

"It's just an after-effect of 9/11," Futral said. "Or the Boston bombing, take your pick."

He and his wife, Melanie, both thought the security was no problem, and said if it made watching the game any safer, they were glad to have it.

Judy Studnicki didn't agree. While she didn't mind a guard glancing in her purse, or quickly waving the wand over her body, she thought the extra security robbed a bit of carefree spirit from the game.

"They're turning everyone into worrywarts," she said.

Tampa Bay sports fans have ambivalent histories with stadium security. Raymond James Stadium employees patted down Bucs fans for years, prompting persistent grumbling and even a lawsuit.

Handheld metal detectors finally replaced those patdowns last season, but Raymond James also added a purse ban. Fans bringing items to the game must use transparent plastic bags, to speed up inspections.

The Rays allow purses and small bags, but inspect the contents. Unlike most sports teams, they also let fans bring food into the ballpark, which can lead to more inspections.

"We ask that the food be placed in transparent containers so we don't have to go through it,'' spokesman Rick Vaughn said.

The metal detecting wand does not target keys or cellphones, Vaughn said. Fans hold those in their hands during the wanding. People with pacemakers, hip replacements or other medical devices that might set off the wand can submit to a gentle patdown.

If the wanding or bag check turns up prohibited items, fans must return them to their cars or dispose of them. The Rays will not store those items during the game.

The Rays' website lists banned items: bags, purses or backpacks larger than 16 by 16 by 8 inches, alcohol, weapons, fireworks, cameras with lenses over 12 inches, bullhorns or air horns, lasers, coolers, brooms over 4 feet long and wrapped gifts of any kind.

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays badly wanted Shohei Ohtani for themselves.From execs to interns, they invested extensive time and money preparing their bid in November, touting advantages they figured would play to both his intense desire to re...
Published: 05/19/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

UPDATE, 6:57: And here is the Angels lineup, with Upton:Cozart 3bTrout cfUpton lfPujols dhSimmons ssKinsler 2bMarte 1bCalhoun rfMaldonado cHeaney pUPDATE, 6:50: Eovaldi came through his Friday rehab start will but will make one more on Wednesday for ...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

ANAHEIM, Calif. —  They're grown men now, making piles of money and getting treated like kings, lavished with top-shelf equipment, designer clothes and first-class accommodations. But it wasn't too long ago that some of the Rays were ...
Published: 05/19/18