Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Reyes apologizes; Longoria on alert?
Posted Apr 11, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Apr 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM
Al Reyes met with the assembled media for about 30 seconds before batting practice this afternoon but didn’t take any questions. He had a large cut on his nose and the area around his left eye was heavily bruised.
“I just want to apologize to my teammates [and] the whole organization for what happened last night. … I tried to have a good time on my birthday but I guess that was the worst one,” he said. “I just want to apologize again to my teammates, the organization, the owner, the fans for what happened last night.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he believes Reyes will be available to pitch tonight. He also said he doesn’t anticipate any organizational discipline against the 38-year-old reliever.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate isolated incidents. I don’t really believe you’re going to see that happen again with Al. We’re just going to move beyond it. It’s just unfortunate that it occurred.”
It’s been a busy day already at Tropicana Field. Beyond the Reyes fallout, the Rays also put Willy Aybar through some drills during BP, testing his sore hamstring. If they determine he still isn’t where they want him to be, there’s a possibility Evan Longoria may be called up from Durham to take his spot.
Scott Kazmir successfully navigated another live batting practice session that featured an interesting supporting cast. Dioner Navarro, still unable to throw because of the cuts on his fingers, served as the catcher and dropped the pitches he received in a nearby bucket. And Rocco Baldelli was one of the hitters taking swings against Kazmir. He looked fine, roping a line-drive single to the outfield at one point, but Maddon said there are no new developments regarding Baldelli’s overall health or availability.
Kazmir will move on to pitch in an extended spring training game, probably Tuesday at the Naimoli Complex.
The Rays also finally confirmed that Jeff Niemann will start Sunday. He is expected to arrive in town tonight or early tomorrow.