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Brian Auld, Rays plan a neutral environment for Baltimore

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Due to a week long curfew put in place by the Mayor of Baltimore after riots erupted last week, the Rays will play host to the O's at Tropicana Field in a weird circumstance. Statistically, the wins and losses will be attributed as if the Rays were in fact the home team, but the Orioles will bat second, and wear white jerseys.

Moving the series was a monumental task, but one the Rays have been able to execute under the leadership of VP of Operations Rick Nage, team President Brian Auld, and VP of Sales Brian Richeson. Nafe said the air has been like post season play, with sudden mobilization to make the series happen.

Tickets are general admission for the weekend, lower-bowl only, and according to Brian Auld the Rays will not make any profit off the series. There are no fees to purchase online for this series.

All revenue for the 18,000 tickets made available per game will first pay off the 700 staff it will take to run the series, then all profits will be given to the Orioles. Special offers have also been made to season ticket holders to the O's Spring Training facility in Sarasota. Ticket prices were set by the Orioles in cooperation with Richeson.

Each team will have their mascots on hand this weekend, supposedly to create a more neutral environment, but I smell shenanigans!

"You'll see us being really respectful of the fact that these games belong to Baltimore," said Auld.

Sure, Brian.

Both teams will have walk-up music as well, but lack flashy video-board introductions. Perhaps an exception can be made when a couple thresholds are reached.

Evan Longoria is three hits shy of 1,000 and will become the third player to do so all in a Rays uniform, joining Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist. Asdrubal Cabrera is nine hits shy of 1,000 in his career.

Rays Notes

- Chris Archer was on MLB Network to discuss fighting in baseball, and what starts as a well reasoned conversation on having fun in a sport devolves into a hand puppet exchange? IDK...

- Evan Longoria discussed his career with the Rays in a more serious interview as well:

- Rays TV ratings notes per Nielsen Media Research for the first month of the season on Sun Sports:

- Rays viewership on Sun Sports (4.28 HH avg) is up 4% year-over-year compared to last April.

- Most watched month of Rays baseball on Sun Sports since July 2014.

- In April, the Rays topped a 5.0 household rating average five times on the network.

- The top three most watched games in April: April 14 vs. Toronto - 5.7 HH; April 16 vs. Toronto - 5.1 HH; April 17 vs. New York - 5.1 HH

- Since the start of the season, the Tampa Bay Rays have helped power Sun Sports to the number two spot in the Tampa DMA for primetime television viewership.

- Tuesday's game vs. the Yankees drew 1.6 HH rating in Orlando making it the most watched game in that market since Sept. 25, 2013.

- Here's the update on those 5,500 little league uniforms disseminated by Kevin Cash and the Rays earlier this Spring:

For the second consecutive year, the Rays launched an initiative with Little League Baseball. Included in the initiative were Little League teams from Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. To help support these programs, Tampa Bay provided jersey and caps to more than 5,500 T-ball players and coaches in those regions. The uniforms included 18 variations of Rays colors and styles...

The total savings from the project, as reported by the participating leagues, was estimated at more than $115,000.

Because of those savings, officials from some of the leagues noted that they were able to repair scoreboards, provide paint upgrades to dugouts, add fencing for fields, fund new equipment purchases and grounds-crew supplies, and repair concession stands and other facilities.


- R.J. Anderson truth-tests some Baseball Prospectus stats on pitchers holding down the running game.

- Also at B-Pro, a connection between fixing pitchers and PITCHf/x ($).

Grant Brisbee's lessons learned from Baltimore's empty-stadium game.

- Hitters gonna hit: Fangraphs on Hanley Ramirez, and on Jose Abreu.

- Mike Trout is good, and so was this leaping grab on Thursday.