This is an odd time of year, as there's both a lot and nothing at all happening at the same time. Players are reporting to Spring Training camp, working out, and giving a ton of interviews, and beat reporters are covering the heck out of it all. Multiple stories are flying out on a daily basis, and every new quote becomes something news-worthy. J.P Howell put on 30 pounds of muscle this winter. Damon is rocking the Rays-hawk and is excited to be with the Rays. Manny is playing with a chip on his shoulder.
And you know what? Despite the fact that little to none of this news has any bearing on how the Rays will perform this year, it's awesome as heck. Baseball is back! We've been starved for any sort of morsel of baseball information this whole winter, and so now we can gorge on Spring Training optimism and excitement.
If you want to hear every quote and see every story, I highly recommend following Marc Topkin over at The Heater and J.B. Long over at the Bright House Sports Network. Both these guys have been all over the spring news stories these last few days, and they've captured interviews with many different Rays. All of the stories that we report on here will likely originate with one of them, so be sure to check them out if you want more quotes, videos, and fun stories as they break. They have the time and access that we simply don't have.
So what's DRaysBay's role going to be this spring? We'll be passing along fun quotes and content that we feel are especially noteworthy, but I envision us as a giant filter for everyone. Is this information important? What does this quote really mean, and should we attach any real significance to it? Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer is going to be "No", but every now and then some real news breaks - like the news yesterday about Jake McGee. When something like that happens, you can be sure we'll let you know and provide you with some analysis.
Also, as Spring Training goes on, we'll provide brief game recaps and, occasionally, personal observations and notes. We'll also keep up with our daily analysis articles, and slowly gear ourselves up for the regular season.
After the jump, I'll pass along a few fun tidbits from the past couple of days. There hasn't been much newsworthy things outside the Jake McGee news, so enjoy these stories for what they are: Spring Training exuberance!
- J.B. Long interviews Johnny Damon, Dirk Hayhurst, and Desmond Jennings.
- Stu Sternberg talks with the media, as captured by Marc Topkin.
- J.B Long - "Maddon reiterates when u look inside Shields' #s, he had a lot of bad luck in '10. Expects big year from him."
- David Price is a funny guy. A couple days ago he said something I thought was kinda humorous: "It's not just about the American League, I want to be the best pitcher in baseball, period,'' he said. "If you're the best pitcher in baseball, you're the best pitcher in the world. I feel like that's something you can smile about.''
And now today, Price had these words to share on his performance during a drug test: "Good location. Great aim. And good velocity, too."
- Manny Ramirez has three sons, and all of them are named Manny.
- Hellickson is sitting out today after feeling mild tightness in his hamstring yesterday. Nobody seems concerned yet, and I see no reason to freak out this early into the spring. Everyone's working on getting back in form, and minor things like this are going to crop up from time to time. Still....it did give my heart pause when I saw "Hellickson" and "hamstring" in a sentence together.
- A couple interesting notes on J.P. Howell: the word is that he's shooting for a May 1st return, and he's improved his mechanics so that he's no longer falling off the mound. That's a relatively minor detail, but that is encouraging because at the very least, it'll make it easier for him to field his position. Also, hopefully a less violent delivery will help him remain healthy.