Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pitchers and Catchers report with new agenda in mind, WINNING!

The Rays offically opened the 2008 season today when 34 of the expected 35 players reported to camp. Juan Salas was the lone no-show due to visa issues in the Dominican Republic. Most of the reportees showed up early, some as many as weeks ago, and have already been working out.

There is a different attitude this year compared to years past. This attiude is about winning, not in three or five years, but now and in the next few years to come. The Rays made significant upgrades to the Starting rotation, Bullpen and infield defense. There are no players picked off the scrap heap like Hideo Nomo, Brian Meadows or Charles Johnson. The majority of the positions in the field are set and 8 out of the 12 Pitching staff spots are pretty much locked in. The focus of this camp is gaining team chemistry and spread the winning attitude. For once I agree with Joe Maddon's optimism:

"Looking around in this room right now, the people involved in this room, all the excitement in the entire organization right now -- it's just a different feeling," Maddon said. "And it's well beyond trying to develop and look at players right now. We're getting to the point where it's more about winning on a daily basis rather than finding out what you have."

Check back with us as we will be attending a few Rays practices. We will have first hand accounts and pictures also.