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.
Most Recent Entries
- Rays @ Yankees: Notes and lineups
- Update on Peralta’s neck
- Rays v Pirates: Moore on the bump, McClung on the bus
- Plant coach Roy Harrison elected to FHSAA Hall of Fame
- Volleyball: Freedom’s Schaller signs with Eckerd
- Five athletes at Strawberry Crest to play at next level
- Sunlake F Remi Pimm named Florida Dairy Farmers State 3A Player of the Year
- Anclote volleyball coach Chris Vergnaud steps down to join PHSC staff
- Hillsborough County’s top seniors take court tonight in TBBCA All-Star game
- Gregory, Corbett, Sanders, Childs, Channer to play in FABC state all-star basketball game
- Rays prepare for raining day - Price now pitching sim game in Port Charlotte
- A year-by-year look at Wrigley Field
- Leaf previews classic designs in Originals football
- All-Western Conference Cheerleading
- Rays v NYY: Ramos makes his pitch
- Bucs Report -Tribune staff
- Rays Report - Roger Mooney
- Bolts Report - Erik Erlendsson
- Bulls Report
- Prep Report - Hillsborough
- Prep Report - Pasco
- Prep Report - Region
- Prep Report - Recruiting Updates
- Prep Report - Football
- Go Fishing: On The Waterfront
- The Sports Bookie - Bob D'Angelo
- Gators Report - Tribune staff
- Youth Sports Report
- NFL Draft Report
- Go Ask: Frank's Tacklebox
- Bucified Bert Blog
- BUK Power - Bucs Fan Blog
- Pigskin Preacher - NFL Fan Blog
- Breakfast Bonus - Tom McEwen
- Highlands Sports
Rays lineup for this afternoon’s game @ Pirates
Posted Mar 1, 2014 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 1, 2014 at 09:33 AM
BRADENTON – The Rays are at historic McKechnie Field this afternoon to play the Pirates in the first of four meetings this spring between the two clubs.
David Price makes his spring debut and is scheduled to pitch one inning. He will be followed by RHP Mark Lowe, LHP Jake McGee, RHP Brad Boxberger, RHP Matt Andriese, LHP Mike Montgomery, LHP Enny Romero, LHP Jeff Beliveau and RHP Alex Colome.
Catcher Ryan Hanigan makes his Rays debut.
Wandy Rodriguez is pitching for the Pirates.
Here is the Rays lineup:
Rays v O’s: The Grapefruit League lidlifter
Posted Feb 28, 2014 by Roger Mooney
Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM
PORT CHARLOTTE – The Tampa Bay Rays open their Grapefruit League scheduled at 1:05 p.m. today at Charlotte Sports Park against their AL East rival Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays lineup includes all the regular position players with the exception of second baseman Ben Zobrist, whose start to the spring has been delayed by a sore lower back.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said this morning to not read too much into the batting order. James Loney, Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Wil Myers are batting three through six, but Maddon said bench coach Dave Martinez put together the order to get them as many at-bats as possible. That’s why Yunel Escobar is batting second today.
Erik Bedard, vying with Jake Odorizzi for the final spot in the rotation, will get the start.
Also scheduled to pitch are Cesar Ramos, Heath Bell, Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke, Odorizzi, Nathan Karns, C.J. Riefenhauser and Kirby Yates.
Army Sgt. First Class Kyle Margelofsky, the officer in charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team that will deliver the American flag and the first ball this afternoon, will throw out the first pitch. Margelofsky has been deployed 10 times — six tours in Iraq and four in Afghanistan. He has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.
Here are the lineups:
MLB’s new rule on collisions at home plate
Posted Feb 24, 2014 by Roger Mooney
Updated Feb 24, 2014 at 03:32 PM
MLB released the new collision at home plate rule. Here is the release:
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have officially negotiated the addition of Rule 7.13, covering collisions at home plate, on an experimental basis for the 2014 season, the parties jointly announced today.
In 2014, the rule being implemented by MLB and the MLBPA (set out below) will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate. The new experimental rule sets forth that:
A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).
Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.
In determining whether a runner deviated from his pathway in order to initiate a collision, the Umpire will consider whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate, and whether he lowered his shoulders or pushed through with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher. The rule that will be in effect in 2014 does not mandate that the runner always slide or that the catcher can never block the plate. However, runners who slide, and catchers who provide the runner with a lane to reach the plate, will never be found to be in violation of the new rule. Beginning immediately, Clubs will be required to train their runners to slide and their catchers to provide the runner with a pathway to reach the plate at all levels in their organizations.
MLB will distribute training materials throughout Spring Training and discussions on the new rule, including the retraining of catchers and base runners, will be held during MLB’s meetings with managers in the weeks ahead. Additionally, MLB and the MLBPA will form a committee of players and managers to review developments as the season progresses and to discuss the possible application of the new rule in 2015.
Finally, instant replay will be available to review potential violations of Rule 7.13. The Umpire Crew Chief will have discretion to invoke instant replay in order to determine whether Rule 7.13 was violated.
OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULE 7.13
COLLISIONS AT HOME PLATE
A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the Umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision.
Rule 7.13 Comment: The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 7.13. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 7.13. A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner’s buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. In the case of a head first slide, a runner shall be deemed to have slid appropriately if his body should hit the ground before contact with the catcher.
Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 7.13 if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the Umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable.
Details on Saturday’s Fan Fest
Posted Feb 17, 2014 by Roger Mooney
Updated Feb 17, 2014 at 06:15 PM
The Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Tropicana Field. Admission and parking are free.
Fan Fest will feature a number of activities for kids including “Reading with the Rays,” the Coaches Clinic with Rays coaches, the Kids Interactive Zone, Kids Run the Bases, photos with Rays mascot Raymond and DJ Kitty, baseball activities for all ages and appearances by Rays players and coaches at various stations throughout the day.
Fans are encouraged to stop by the Phone-A-Friend stage to have a Rays player call a friend or family member. This year, Chris Archer, Grant Balfour, Alex Cobb and Ben Zobrist are scheduled to participate in T-Mobile Phone-A-Friend.
The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans even more opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes throughout Fan Fest. The team’s main Twitter account—@RaysBaseball—will serve as a communication hub where fans can get up-to-date information on events happening throughout the day and answers to questions about Fan Fest. Twitter users can also have their messages posted on the RaysVision video board at Tropicana Field by using the #RaysFanFest hashtag for all messages related to the event. New at this year’s Fan Fest is Club Social, a social media hub for fans. Prior to the event, fans should look out for a special #Tweet2MeetMoore contest this week with Rays lefthander Matt Moore (@MattyMoe55.
Rays manager Joe Maddon will hold a Thanksmas event, though this year’s event offers a unique atmosphere. A very limited number of fans will have the opportunity to sample a variety of wines, enjoy hors d’oeuvres based on Maddon’s Thanksmas meal, and talk with Rays coaches, broadcasters and MLB Alumni inside the Ted Williams Museum. Maddon has served his traditional Thanksmas meal at area homeless shelters over the last eight winters as a part of his Thanksmas initiative. All proceeds from this event benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and Joe’s Thankmas efforts throughout Tampa Bay. To purchase tickets or for more information on this intimate wine tasting, visit raysbaseball.com/fanfest.
Additionally, this year’s autograph process will allow fans the opportunity to receive an autograph from the specific player(s) they want, which will allow fans to enjoy more of the sights and sounds of Fan Fest.
Passes for autographs from Wil Myers and David Price are $125. Passes for Evan Longoria are sold out.
Fans must go online to purchase a pass that will provide access to that player at a specific time frame during Fan Fest. A limited number of passes will be sold for each signing player and all sales must be completed online. The passes for a number of Rays players have already sold out and there will be no passes for sale on the day of Fan Fest.
Proceeds from autograph sales will benefit the ALS Association Florida Chapter and the Rays Baseball Foundation. Additionally, one autograph table will be free for kids 14 and under and those who have purchased any autograph pass. More than 25 former major league players will also sign autographs for free throughout the day.
Representatives from the Rays Ticket Sales Department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of ticket plans, group tickets, party area and suite rentals as well as three-, six- and nine-game Flex Packs. Rays Season Ticket Holders and Flex Pack buyers will receive their Rays Card in the mail this week. By using their Rays Cards at Fan Fest, Rays Members will receive special benefits at the event.
When presenting their Rays Card upon entry at Gate 1 at Fan Fest, Rays Season Ticket Holders and Flex Pack buyers will receive a $5 coupon that can be used toward the purchase of an item(s) at the Rays Charity Yard Sale, with all proceeds benefiting the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Rays Season Ticket Holders (who will be able to scan their Rays Cards for early entry to Tropicana Field starting at 10 a.m.) and Flex Pack buyers will also have the chance to take photos with select Rays players throughout the day in their respective photo stations.
Fans can purchase a 2014 ticket plan or Flex Pack through raysbaseball.com to receive these benefits. Rays Flex Packs offer savings of over 50 percent off single game pricing with introductory pricing starting at $49. Fans can choose from three-, six- and nine-game packs to enjoy savings, flexibility and rewards.
The Rays Charity Yard Sale also returns for a fourth year, giving fans the chance to purchase unique game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the inaugural season. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Between the Rays Charity Yard Sale, Thanksmas and autograph sales at the 2013 Rays Fan Fest, $100,000 was raised to benefit local Salvation Army chapters, the ALS Association Florida Chapter and the Rays Baseball Foundation.
To promote “Reading with the Rays,” the club’s summer reading program, Rays players will read select stories to kids throughout the day.
In the Kids’ Interactive Zone, kids can take cuts in a big league batting cage, try out their fastball in the speed pitch booth and swing for the fences in the Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby. In addition, at the Coaches Clinic station, Rays coaches and staff will conduct free clinics for kids of all ages and clubhouse tours will be offered throughout the day.
The 2014 Players & Pooches calendar will also be available for purchase at Fan Fest. All proceeds from the sales will go to Pet Pal Animal Shelter.
Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or log on to raysbaseball.com/fanfest for more information about 2014 Rays Fan Fest.
David Price Bowl For Kids’ Sake returns for 3rd year
Posted Feb 11, 2014 by Roger Mooney
Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 03:09 PM
For the third straight year, Rays pitcher David Price will help raise money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters through bowling.
Funds raised during the David Price Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser will help pay for the background checks and training of volunteers, as well as the support and supervision of each Big/Little ‘match’. Last year, Price’s efforts brought in more than $30,000.
“I’ve had a chance to meet some of the Bigs and Littles, and it’s amazing to hear about their relationships. Kids who may have been struggling in school, end up having better grades and staying out of trouble, thanks to the support of their Big Brother or Big Sister. Now, these same kids will have a chance to pursue their dreams, whether it’s being a baseball player or whatever the future holds.”
Here’s how you can join Price and help kids in the community:
• Join David’s online fundraising team at http://www.bbbsfl.org by clicking on the bowling logo or contact Amy Hollington, 813.769.3636.
• Top 30 fundraisers (who raise a minimum of $1,000) in paid donations received by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay by March 21 will be eligible for the VIP Party, which includes an autographed David Price baseball, free bowling games, food, drinks, t-shirts and prizes.
• The David Price VIP Bowling party on Saturday, March 29, 2014 is by invitation only—details will be sent to guests.
• For updates and a chance to win more prizes, follow David Price on Twitter @Davidprice14 or @BBBS_TampaBay.