Tuesday, January 23, 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
What does Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. think of Marc Topkinís Hall of Fame ballot?

What does Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. think of Marc Topkinís Hall of Fame ballot?

We've gotten plenty of reaction since posting our Hall of Fame ballots earlier today – some positive, some negative, some vulgar, some passionate, some rather, um, creative.RELATED: Getting into Hall is hard, voting is, tooAnd then there was th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Getting into baseballís Hall of Fame is hard. Voting isnít easy either.

Getting into baseballís Hall of Fame is hard. Voting isnít easy either.

First, let's make this clear:Voting for the Hall of Fame is truly a cool thing. An honor. A privilege. A labor of love, from putting an X next to names of obvious choices, such as Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, to spending hours of research and interna...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier among Rays slated to sign autographs at Fan Fest

Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier among Rays slated to sign autographs at Fan Fest

Six of the top Rays players will be signing autographs at the Feb. 10 Fan Fest for a $20 fee that goes to charity.Players slated to sign — and subject to change — are Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier, Jake Odorizzi, Wilson Ramos, M...
Published: 01/23/18
ESPNís prospect list has four Rays in top 34, led by Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames

ESPNís prospect list has four Rays in top 34, led by Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames

Four Rays ranked in the top 34 spots in prospect rankings compiled by ESPN's Keith Law.RHP Brent Honeywell, a 2014 draftee, was slated 15th and SS Willy Adames, acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade of David Price, was 20th.1B/LHP Brendan McKay, th...
Published: 01/23/18
Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

The Rays had two players in the top 20 and six overall in Baseball America's annual ranking of the game's top 100 prospects.RHP Brent Honeywell heads the Rays contingent at No. 14 with shortstop Willy Adames at No. 19.The other ranked Rays are 1B/LHP...
Published: 01/22/18
Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Longtime Rays star Evan Longoria was formally introduced in San Francisco today, adding the visual of him pulling on his new Giants jersey, switching to No. 10 since 3 is retired.Longoria said he welcomed the chance to play on a contending team stock...
Published: 01/19/18
What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

ST. PETERSBURG — Since entering an off-season planning major change and pledging to be open to "anything and everything,'' the Rays have made a few minor moves and one massive one in trading franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to San Francisco....
Published: 01/19/18
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Published: 01/19/18