St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Schedule
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Parking
Interactive
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Links
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum



Print storySubscribe to the Times

Piniella eager for bonding to begin

By MARC TOPKIN
Published February 20, 2004

ST. PETERSBURG - Five days of workouts for pitchers and catchers were fine, but manager Lou Piniella is excited about having his entire Devil Rays team together today.

"When you have everybody in camp it really gives you the feel of spring training," Piniella said.

"I look forward to it. You see the pitchers and catchers for a week or so and you look forward with anticipation to getting the rest of the team in here.

"We've got work to do. We've got some bonding to do as a team. We've had quite a few changes. It's a pretty good group of men we've brought in here. We have to get this thing to jell and we can have some fun with it."

Most of the 21 position players had checked in by Thursday, and Piniella expects all to be present for this morning's first full-squad workout.

"Get them on the field and get them started," Piniella said. "We didn't bring in any unknown quantities to camp. Basically, we have a pretty good idea what these players are capable of doing. It's just a question of getting them in shape and letting them come together as a team."

DOLLARS AND SENSE: Seven of the rostered players remain unsigned: Rocco Baldelli, Carl Crawford, Toby Hall, Travis Harper, Seth McClung, Bobby Seay and Victor Zambrano.

Players with less than three years of big-league service who are not eligible for arbitration have little negotiating power, and the Rays have a salary scale in place. If they don't agree to terms by March 2, the Rays will renew their contracts and eliminate a $20,000 incentive-bonus package.

PITCHING IN: Zambrano and Jeremi Gonzalez seem like sure bets for the rotation, and Mark Hendrickson and Doug Waechter are going to get long looks.

But Piniella is hoping for some serious competition from new additions such as Paul Abbott and Damian Moss.

"We need one or two of the guys we brought in to step up and pitch like No.3 starters," he said.

Of Abbott, he said: "We're hoping Paul comes in here and takes one of the starting spots. When he's healthy he can pitch. We have to keep him healthy, get him out there and let him compete."

Of Moss, he said: "We like the guy. We like the guy that pitched in San Francisco (with a 9-7 record) as opposed to the guy that (was 1-5) in Baltimore. We like that first guy better."

ALMOST READY: Pitcher Jason Standridge is working his way back into shape after September surgery to repair two partial tears in his shoulder and expects to be ready by the start of the season.

"I'm doing what everybody else is doing, just not at full speed," Standridge said. "I'm getting pretty close to being ready."

MISCELLANY: GM Chuck LaMar, hitting coach Lee Elia and senior adviser Don Zimmer will attend Saturday's Clearwater for Youth dinner at the Sheraton Sand Key. ... The Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens group will make its annual visit Wednesday. ... The locker for Josh Hamilton, who was suspended until March 19 for violating baseball's drug program, was cleaned out.

[Last modified February 20, 2004, 01:31:57]

Today's lineup
>
MARC TOPKINNow batting ...
MARC TOPKINPiniella eager for bonding to begin


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
>
DAMIAN CRISTODEROReasons to feel blue
DAMIAN CRISTODEROAndreychuk involved in power struggle


Other sports

Baseball
  • Steroid link irks Sheffield

  • Black History Month
  • Tony Dungy

  • College basketball
  • Bonnies hit with probation, '04 postseason ban
  • FSU star senior honored
  • Jackets snap Maryland hex
  • Stanford labors past Trojans to remain perfect
  • Women: Duke still the class of ACC
  • Women: Vols fend off UF

  • College football
  • Another assault allegation at CU

  • Golf
  • Pros hope to avoid the cons of pro-am
  • 2 share lead; Woods' cut streak in danger
  • A happy return for Fleisher

  • In brief
  • Ruling may cost U.S. gold medal

  • MLS
  • 14-year-old phenom Adu packs stadium

  • Motorsports
  • Junior hopes to crack struggles at the Rock

  • NBA
  • Wallace winds up in Detroit
  • Wolves overthrow rival Kings

  • NFL
  • Bear, Colt coaches speak up about the Bucs' denials
  • Clarett is not in the running yet

  • NHL
  • Atlanta spoils debut by Bondra in Ottawa

  • Obituary
  • 'Chris Thomas touched us all'

  • Outdoors
  • Capable sailors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • Family takes relationship all the way to the mat
  • Gators unable to hang on to lead
  • Group effort gives SPC needed lift vs. Arcadia
  • Lessons learned give lift to Tornadoes
  • Nature Coast Tech rebounds for first playoff victory
  • Panthers battle illness and Ravens to advance
  • Ridgewood survives another close call
  • Tarpon Springs savors a season to remember
  • Third time proves the charm for Durant
  • Yellow Jackets overcome sluggish start

  • Sports on the Air
  • Creek rises, memories never fade for the best
  • Remote Patrol
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     


     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week