04/17/14 The Heater
Rays vs. Yankees
When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)
Tickets: $18-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.
RAYS: LHP Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00)
YANKEES: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86)...
04/17/14 The Heater
ST. PETERSBURG — It was Derek Jeter's last, first appearance of the season at Tropicana Field on Thursday as the Yankees captain takes his farewell tour. He received a standing ovation from many in the crowd as he walked to the batter's box. But before reaching the plate, he already was home.
Jeter, 39, has a 38,000-square-foot mansion on Davis Islands, and playing the Rays 19 times per season in the AL East, he has many admirers among Tampa Bay coaches and players....
04/17/14 The Heater
ST. PETERSBURG — Say this for the Rays batters — and maybe for the entire ballclub at this early stage of the season — it felt like they hit something Thursday night against the Yankees.
After watching ace David Price get ambushed for four runs and three extra-base hits in the first 11 batters, the Rays then did something that crystallized their recent struggles when Sean Rodriguez hit into an around-the-horn triple play....
Say this for the Tampa Bay Rays batters – and maybe for the entire ball club at this early part of the season – they finally hit something Thursday night against the Yankees....
The Rays (7-8) host the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. It will be Rays LHP David Price (2-0, 2.91) vs. Yankees (LHP) CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63).
Manager Joe Maddon has eight right-handed batters and switch-hitter Ben Zobrist in the lineup vs. Sabathia. Desmond Jennings will DH with Brandon Guyer in CF. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give Jennings a day off his feet and keep Guyer and Rodriguez involved....
TAMPA — The uniform design is contemporary. Some players still need directions to One Buc Place, and the coaching staff is new.
But as disruptive as the changes might be, the Bucs and tackle Gerald McCoy hope a nostalgic return to the Tampa 2 will create more havoc on defense.
"It's definitely going to be different," McCoy said. "We're playing the old-school, traditional Tampa 2 defense, and all we've been watching is old Chicago tape when (new Bucs coach Lovie Smith) was there. When (the Bucs) were in their prime, from 1996 to 2002, we've been watching all that tape because that's when the Tampa 2 was really thriving and took over the league. I'm excited about it."...
Lovie Smith hit the pause button. Not just on life during his year away from football, but on the games he watched on television during fall weekends.
"I really enjoyed the time being a fan, watching our game, studying our game. Looking at different coaches," Smith said. "And then, everything I believe in, my core values and how I run a football team.
"I had a chance to analyze all of that, and the conclusion I came to is we're not going to make a lot of drastic changes on how I believe you treat people and how you win football games. But there are some things that we will do differently, and I guess you'll have to wait until we start playing games to see that."...
Bills receiver Mike Williams can begin to exact a measure of revenge against the Bucs in the third week of the preseason when Tampa Bay visits Buffalo.
That was among the highlights to the Bucs' preseason schedule, which was released Wednesday. Date and times of the games will be announced at a later time.
Williams was traded to the Bills for a sixth-round pick in next month's NFL draft....
Another day, another visit from a quarterback prospect at One Buc Place.
Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo met with coach Lovie Smith and other members of the coaching and front office staff at the club's facility Tuesday, the team confirmed.
Garoppolo, the 2013 Walter Payton Award winner and FCS Offensive Player of the Year, has emerged as a possible first round pick following impressive work at the East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine....
TAMPA — Mike Glennon said he received a call from coach Lovie Smith shortly after the Bucs signed Bears free agent QB Josh McCown last month.
"He just said, 'to start out, there's got to be a person to start that goes out with the first group first and that person is Josh,' " Glennon said.
After Glennon went 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, the Bucs signed the top available free agent quarterback. While it looks as though he might be headed back to the bench, Glennon said Tuesday he plans to compete with McCown and could win the job....
Lovie Smith hasn't coached a game for the Bucs, but it appears he already has won over his new players.
Addressing his team as a group for the first time Monday, the start of the off-season workout program, Smith said he expects to win this year, starting with the NFC South division.
The quietude and confidence in Smith's delivery was in stark contrast to that of coach Greg Schiano, a self-described disciplinarian who was fired after only two seasons and an 10-22 record....
Mike Glennon said he received a call from coach Lovie Smith shortly after the Bucs signed Bears free agent quarterback Josh McCown last month.
"He just said, 'to start out, there's got to be a person to start that goes out with the first group first and that person is Josh,'' Glennon said.
After going 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, Glennon was good but not good enough to prevent the Bucs from signing the top available free agent quarterback....
Saying he wants to prove the Bucs made a mistake by trading him to the Bills, receiver Mike Williams said Monday that he has to "grow up a little bit more."
Despite that acknowledgement at his introductory news conference, Williams insisted that he was guilty mostly of having a big heart and said two stories about his off-field problems weren't factual. He refused to specify but claimed some charges against him were unfounded....
Saying he wants to prove the Bucs made a mistake by trading him to the Buffalo Bills, receiver Mike Williams admitted he has to ‘grow up a little bit more.’’...