Saturday, November 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Sandy Dengler, Tampa Bay Rays

Sandy Dengler had no plans for a career in baseball, nor in any sport.

Unable to put her master's degree in industrial labor relations or her undergraduate expertise in American literature to any use, she took classes to learn secretary skills to better her chances to find some kind of work in or around New York City.

"One of the girls I had gone to secretarial school with was commuting on the train and said, 'One of my neighbors is looking for someone because his secretary just quit.' So I interviewed with John Gaherin, who was the head of the (MLB owners) Player Relations Committee, and he hired me," Dengler said.

That was 1975.

And — save for a let's get out of the heat, oops, we hate the snow 18-month stint with the Vermont Department of Corrections as a compliance monitor — Dengler has worked in baseball ever since, going from the Player Relations Committee to running the Pirates' Bradenton base to spending the past nearly 20 years in the Rays' front office.

"Purely accidental," Dengler said.

As administrator, baseball operations, Dengler has a hand in pretty much every move the Rays make. And have made, having worked for all three of the team's top baseball decision-makers — Chuck LaMar, Andrew Friedman and Matt Silverman.

While not giving advice on what decisions to make, Dengler is charged with making sure that everything that has to get done a specific way or by a certain deadline does, advising what rules might impact the team's plans, what other issues could surface. (And, for the past year, she has done so remotely, as the Rays allowed her to move to New York so she could help raise her 9-month-old grandson).

As a result, Dengler often knows more about what moves the Rays are making — or even contemplating, given potential waiver claims, contract negotiations and medical records she handles and processes — before anyone, the players, coaches, and certainly the media and fans.

"I do have to keep secrets, and I'm quite good at it," she said. "Nobody ever tries to get anything out of me. I think they know it was a lost cause."

Comments
Cubs/ex-Rays manager Joe Maddon again helping Tampa Bay area homeless with Thanksmas events

Cubs/ex-Rays manager Joe Maddon again helping Tampa Bay area homeless with Thanksmas events

Maddon and his Respect 90 Foundation will provide PDQ meals, backpacks and socks at several area centers.
Published: 11/15/18
Updated: 11/16/18
Rays Cy Young winner Blake Snell shares a secret to his success

Rays Cy Young winner Blake Snell shares a secret to his success

Blake Snell had special thanks for Kyle Snyder, who has been his pitching coach and confidant at several levels.
Published: 11/15/18
What they’re saying about Rays Blake Snell winning the AL Cy Young award

What they’re saying about Rays Blake Snell winning the AL Cy Young award

Here was the scene at Blake Snell's house in Seattle when they got news of his victory:The moment @snellzilla4 and his crew got the #CyYoung news. pic.twitter.com/iIukJZlHL5— MLB (@MLB) November 14, 2018Here is what some of Snell's teammates ha...
Published: 11/15/18
10 things about Rays Blake Snell’s Cy Young winning season

10 things about Rays Blake Snell’s Cy Young winning season

LHP Blake Snell accomplished a lot in his remarkable 2018 breakout season. And wining the American League Cy Young award on Wednesday added to that list:* He became the second Ray win the most prestigious pitching award, joining David Price, who did ...
Published: 11/15/18
Times baseball writer Marc Topkin talks about ‘Twenty Years of Rays Baseball’ book

Times baseball writer Marc Topkin talks about ‘Twenty Years of Rays Baseball’ book

Covering the team long before it played its first game gave him the background to become the Rays’ historian.
Published: 11/15/18
That Kate Upton tweet you’ve been waiting for on Blake Snell winning AL Cy Young award

That Kate Upton tweet you’ve been waiting for on Blake Snell winning AL Cy Young award

Model/actress Kate Upton had plenty to say in 2016 when then fiance Justin Verlander missed out on winning the AL Cy Young award due in part to the votes of the two Tampa Bay writers, posting an extraordinarily profane, and extremely memorable, tweet...
Published: 11/14/18
Updated: 11/15/18
Rays’ Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

Rays’ Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

ST. PETERSBURG – Blake Snell first started thinking about it at the end of last season, then more as spring training drew near. He shared first with teammate Chris Archer on the phone, then later with Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder over a Janu...
Published: 11/14/18
Rays coaching update: Linares may be in, Sandberg in talks

Rays coaching update: Linares may be in, Sandberg in talks

The Rays are closing in on hiring a third-base coach, with longtime Astros minor-league coach/manager Rodney Linares the leading candidate.Discussions remaining ongoing to fill the other opening on the staff for a major-league field coordinator, with...
Published: 11/14/18
What it means if Blake Snell wins Cy Young award

What it means if Blake Snell wins Cy Young award

If Rays LHP Blake Snell wins the Cy Young* He will be the second Ray to do so, matching David Price in 2012, and also join Price as second from an AL East team in the last 15 years.* He will be the youngest, at 25, since Clayton Kershaw (25) in 2013 ...
Published: 11/14/18
The interesting past of Justin Verlander, Cy Young and Tampa Bay

The interesting past of Justin Verlander, Cy Young and Tampa Bay

Rays LHP Blake Snell and Astros RHP Justin Verlander are the top candidates for the AL Cy Young award that will be announced Wednesday night.The last intersection between Verlander and Tampa Bay, in 2016, got a little, well, racy.Verlander, then with...
Published: 11/14/18