Valentine's Day was the first day for pitchers and catchers to report to Port Charlotte for the Rays' 2014 Spring Training. Here are your regularly updating highlights from the first weekend in camp.
PITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERSANDCATCHERSANDPITCHERS— Danny Russell (@d_russ) February 14, 2014
The Cousin Eddie has a good spot for the workouts. Must know someone. pic.twitter.com/pBBp9tdRYv— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) February 13, 2014
- Alex Cobb says the Rays didn't need to trade David Price, and notes last year's team lacked chemistry until mid-season, calling groups "clique-y" when players reported. This year, he says the atmosphere is already different.
- David Price showed his shoulder piece and expressed he was the "happiest guy in Port Charlotte" to be back with the team this season:
Money quote: "Oh, I could still be traded!"
- Matt Moore jumped on WDAE and noted how the pitching staff was already poking fun at Ryan Hanigan over his Australian Shepherd winning Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show in NYC. He noted Hanigan just bought a boat, and that he and Cobb were planning to take him out fishing in the near future.
- From Topkin's early notes:
RHP Alex Colome, who was shut down in late June due to elbow issues, said extensive rest helped and he is eager to compete for the opening in the rotation caused by Jeremy Hellickson's elbow surgery: "I'm ready to go.''
Happy Valentines day to everyone!! Hope everyone has a love filled day!!— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) February 14, 2014
- Chris Archer discusses the mindset necessary in Spring Training, and the example of David Price:
- Friedman on a culture of winning:
- Maddon: "I want us to 'Eat Last' this year."
- Maddon on the return of Price
There was a healthy crowd at the start of camp this morning, including out own Stephanie Katz:
- Stoney, mascot of the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs, helped Raymond throw out the first pitch for local little leaguers, but not before entering via helicopter?
Stoney is loving the view of Atwater Park from above! Hope the kids are ready for a surprise... pic.twitter.com/gMCGl4lTOy— Charlotte StoneCrabs (@StoneCrabs) February 15, 2014
It's a bird! It's a plan! Wait, it's... pic.twitter.com/2fWKCAN0Ty— Charlotte StoneCrabs (@StoneCrabs) February 15, 2014
Stoney has arrived with the official North Port Area Little League Opening Day game ball! Let's play ball, folks! pic.twitter.com/mpT4PPp3Hp— Charlotte StoneCrabs (@StoneCrabs) February 15, 2014
- The Rays started their bullpen sessions today after warmups:
Maddon said proof of pitching depth in organization was having 8 lefties on mounds at 1 time: "I don't think I've ever seen that.''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 15, 2014
- Topkin spoke with Price, he feels better than great:
#Rays Price said first bullpen session went well: "It was awesome. ... I'm in a good place mentally and physically. I'm excited."— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 15, 2014
Topkin also noted Balfour's first session "looked normal" and that Maddon was pleased with the first full day of camp's work ethic. Meanwhile, Mooney made jokes:
Ain't Spring Training the best?
#rays Myers flight Friday from Charlotte to Tampa was cancelled. He rented a Kia and made the 10 hour drive straight thru.— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) February 16, 2014
There wasn't much news to end the weekend, but one name worth your follow is TBT photographer Will Vragovic:
We will update this thread with relevant information throughout the weekend.
Sports Talk Florida videos courtesy of Matt Sardo.