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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Sporting world mourns the loss of Kobe Bryant

NBA legend dies in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash rocked the sporting world.

Also dying in the crash was popular juco baseball coach John Altobelli of Orange Coast College. Alotbelli’s wife and daughter, a teammate of Bryant’s daughter, also died in the crash.

Teams around the NBA took 24 second shot clock violations at the start of their games to remember Bryant.

In Rays news, John Romano of the St. Pete Times ($) writes about Brent Honeywell’s road back.

Marc Topkin of the Times ($) writes about why spring training matters this year.

Seth Carter at Rays Colored Glasses reports that Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow think the Astros got off easy in the sign stealing scandal.

Alex Coffee at the Athletic ($) says that Mike Fiers is ready to move forward.

Pinstripe Alley has the Rays and Yankees fighting it out for the AL East crown.

CBS Sports says the Dodgers and the Padres are still in on Mookie Betts.

David Schoenfield at ESPN ranks this year’s proposed blockbusters against history.

Alden Gonzalez at ESPN reports that the Dodgers don’t want a fake banner.

Dan Shaughnessy at the Boston Globe keeps tabs on the how the scandal is unfolding for the Red Sox.

Peter Gammons at the Athletic ($) writes about the rise of two-way players. Rays prospect Brendan McKay and former Rays prospect Jake Cronenworth are among those spotlighted.