The Rays Tank: Another Yankees player bids adieu

Al Bello

Though in reality, this just means he'll be spending more time in the Tampa Bay area.

Rays news and notes:

- The biggest topic in baseball yesterday was "The Captain," Derek Jeter, announcing that he will retire from baseball after the 2014 season via a note on his Facebook page. Jeter will enter his final year ranked 10th all-time in hits, 13th in runs scored and 29th in total bases, and HarballTalk took a look at where he could end up on those lists by October.

Marc Topkin got reactions from Zim, Longo, Price and Maddon about #2's retirement:

From senior advisor Don Zimmer, a former Yankees coach:
"You can't say enough about this guy. Wouldn't know how to put it in words. He's the best. All-around, he's the best. Running, throwing, fielding, hitting, he's the best.''

(Were you surprised?) "Yes, and no. At the age of 40, I wasn't surprised. But what happens if he hits .295, .300 this year. But if he's calling it quits, I'm sure he means it. He's had enough. Twenty years, that's pretty good. And playing every day, every inning. There were times when he shouldn't have been playing, with a sore ankle or something. But that was Jeter.''

From Rays 3B Evan Longoria:

"Derek has been the benchmark for character and class in a baseball uniform. He has inspired a generation to play baseball the way it was meant to be played. It has been an honor to play against him. On a lighter note this means two things: no more clutch hits against the Rays AND, another pooling of funds to buy a Yankee a farewell gift! Cheers to him."

From Rays LHP David Price, who in 2011 gave up Jeter's 3,00th hit:

"Happy to be part of history with a player/person of his caliber!!''

From Rays manager Joe Maddon:
"They created the Hall of Fame for players like him. Never a doubt. Totally earned. He may be the first 100 percenter."

- The Rays stadium saga continues this morning, as the Tampa City Council will convene to discuss the future use of the $100 million of Tax Incremental Financing that will be available in the near future (2016-17). Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has made his opinion clear, but the opinion of the council is divided.

For more on TIF Money, Danny discussed the use of these funds at length last month in his coverage of the potential stadium site Channelside.

- New addition to the Rays roster Ryan Hanigan isn't just a catcher, he's also the proud papa of a Westminster winner. Earlier this week we mentioned Hanigan's dog, Copperridge What's Your Dream, was picked as the best of its breed of 44 Australian shepherds entered.

Hanigan's reaction:

"It's incredible that she went from my No. 1 bed buddy to best of breed at Westminster!!!''

- ICYMI, rumors surfaced yesterday concerning Jose Lobaton, the Nationals, and the prospect ranked in their Top 10, pitcher Nate Karns. For all the (limited) details thus far, head here.

- Don't forget to play yesterday's Know Your Rays: swinging at the fastball for Wednesday, and be on the lookout for today's at noon.

LINKS:

- CC Sabathia, still shrinking. And though no one has asked CC yet, Prince Fielder is in...wait for it...in...the best shape of his life. I see you, first week of Spring Training.

- The Orioles currently have a _____ next to "fifth starter" on their depth chart, and Duquette may finally make a move to fill that void. Reports indicate that Baltimore does, in fact, have a deal lined up with KBO MVP Suk-min Yoon, which has been rumored since the player tweeted a picture of himself in an O's cap, but it's pending a physical.

- The latest Grantland 30 for 30 short covers the 36-hour period where Alex Rodriguez almost ended up at Fenway rather than in pinstripes.

- MLB owners voted last month to allow individual teams to cut back on pensions. Not a good look on you, baseball.

- In non-baseball news, the Olympic contenders are Tindering up a storm and finding adorable stray puppies to bring back to the U-S-of-A when they're not off collecting medals.

Oh, and Happy Rays-Pitchers-and-Catchers-Report-to-Port-Charlotte-tomorrow Thursday!

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