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Rays journal: Sergio Romo delivers serious gifts of thanks

Rays pitcher Sergio Romo, shown here during spring training, bought gifts for the team as a way of showing his gratitude. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
Rays pitcher Sergio Romo, shown here during spring training, bought gifts for the team as a way of showing his gratitude. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Jun. 10, 2018|Updated Jun. 10, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo wanted to thank his Rays teammates, coaches, trainers and clubhouse staff for making him feel so welcome, comfortable and good about himself.

So he went out and bought them all gifts.

Serious gifts.

The presents were given out Friday afternoon in something of an elaborate presentation behind closed clubhouse doors, with players drawing numbered pingpong balls that matched specific items.

At the high end, there were 15 electric scooters lined up in the hallway. Spread out on the pingpong table were drones, remote control cars, Bluetooth speakers, iTunes gift cards, laser tag sets and the like, all things, Romo said, he would buy for himself or his kids, and that for the most part he picked out at stores.

"It's just my way of saying thank you,'' he said Saturday.

As loud and silly and off-the-wall and fun-loving as he can be, and those are his descriptions, Romo, 35, is also a sensitive sort. And after coming to the Rays last year after a tough stint with the Dodgers, and being invited back this season, he wanted to show his appreciation (and spending somewhere in five figures).

"The guys that were here last year, I told them, dead honest, you helped me put some of the pieces back together, and there is no price on that in my opinion,'' Romo said. "Those guys, and the guys I played with this year, they gave me my sanctuary back. … They allowed me to be me, and I don't know how easy that is.''

Romo's reflection comes as on Monday he reaches the 10-year mark in service time in the majors.

"I don't know how much longer this game is going to allow me to play,'' he said. "I don't know how else to thank them but in a fun, silly, random way.''

Medical matters

RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) said a 20-pitch bullpen session went well and "felt good,'' with plans for a simulated game Tuesday and a return to the rotation, potentially as soon as next Sunday in New York. … CF Kevin Kiermaier (thumb) did well throwing to bases and SS Adeiny Hechavarria (hamstring) did as well fielding grounders, both aiming to start rehab assignments this week with the Stone Crabs at Dunedin and return by late June. … RHP Jake Faria (oblique strain) played catch for the first time, eyeing an August return.

Kids’ play

For the kids, OF Carlos Gomez said. That's why he switched to using the SpongeBob SquarePants song for his walkup music for the amusement of his three children. "They watch a lot of SpongeBob, and I know they're going to like it,'' he said. Since they also watch ninja turtles and the Diego/Dora shows, Gomez plans to use that music, too. Thankfully, no Barney.

Number of the day

1,255 Batters faced by Blake Snell in 57 starts over three seasons before hitting one, Jean Segura, in the second Saturday. The 56 games without hitting a batter are the most by a starter to begin a career since at least 1908.

Quote of the day

"(Seattle 1B Ryon) Healy was joking with me, asking what I'd do if he threw (the ball from the first hit) in the stands. I'm not gonna tell you guys what I told him.''
— Rays 1B Jake Bauers, after getting his first major-league hit


• Tino Martinez, 50, said he was honored to share a bobblehead and first-pitch honors with fellow Tampa native and ex-Rays teammate Fred McGriff, 54, given the mentorship he provided: "For him to do that at a young age for me, to play with him for a year, and to have a bobblehead together, it's pretty cool.''

• RHP Chaz Roe got the final four outs for his first big-league save in 132 appearances over six seasons: "It's always a different animal that ninth inning. Adrenaline's pumping a little more. But, yeah, it was good.''

• Manager Kevin Cash said he might soon drop DH C.J. Cron, their top home run hitter, from second to fourth in the order.

• Pitching coach Kyle Snyder said he is feeling better after being cleared to return to work Thursday following a scary incident that led to him being hospitalized in Seattle.

• To mark Florida State's Chop at the Trop day, former Seminoles football star Peter Warrick threw out a first pitch to current softball star and national champ Jessie Warren, a former standout at Tampa's Alonso High.


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