Rays Spring Training Day 6: Evan Longoria

Associated Press
CUST IN CAMP—The Rays signed OF/DH Jack Cust to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training…the 34-year-old has spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors with Arizona (2001), Colorado (2002), Baltimore (2003-04), San Diego (2006), Oakland (2007-10) and Seattle (2011)…the left-handed hitter is a career .242/.374/.439 hitter with 105 HR and 323 RBI in 670 games played…he spent the 2012 season in Triple-A with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) and Las Vegas (Blue Jays), batting a combined .243/.400/.442 (94-for-387) with 20 HR, 72 RBI, 97 BB.

DAY SIX—All 66 players have reported to camp and participated in today’s first full-squad workout…four players arrived to camp today: DH Luke Scott, SS Yunel Escobar, SS Hak-Ju Lee and OF/DH Jack Cust.

Manager Joe Maddon
On whether there is a team slogan after the full-squad morning meeting: “A soft slogan … It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being present—and if they can understand that, it really matters, because you’re going to make mistakes. When you make a mistake, to not make other mistakes based on that one where you’re constantly thinking about it, rehashing it, obsessively thinking about it, that’s where bad things happen. If you’re able to file it—because you’re going to do it, you’re going to screw up—if you’re able to file that rather quickly and move on to the next moment, we have a better chance of winning that night.”

On Wil Myers: “Listen, I’ve been around the hype machine a lot for a lot of good young players, and for me it’s about making it simple and real for him here and not applying any extra thoughts or pressures. I want him to be himself, I want him to play hard, and from what I understand and I’m certain I’m going to see is that his natural abilities play here. For me as a manager, one of the most important things I need to do is stay out of the way, don’t get into his head too deeply, and let him develop into a Ray.”

Third baseman Evan Longoria
On not being perfect and staying in the present: “That’s kind of been my motto for the majority of my career. You can’t really change the past anyway. Every time I’ve talked to the media or anybody my message is always (that) it doesn’t really matter what’s happened already, you’ve got to keep looking forward. It’s more pertinent to us as a ball club, if that makes sense.”

On relating to Wil Myers: “It seems like it was yesterday that I was probably answering some of the same questions that he’s answering now. Really the one true test is how he is as an individual, how he’s going to handle these things and … he has a great work ethic, from what I see. He’s in the cage as early as everybody else. … I’m sure he’s going to have a lot of people pulling him in a lot of different directions, but as long as he handles everything in stride he’s going to be a great player.”

Outfielder Desmond Jennings
On whether he prefers left field or center field: “I’m going to play wherever I’m told to play. I love center field; I love playing the game. I’d rather play center field, but if not, as long as I’m playing I’m happy. … I played center field throughout the minor leagues, so it’s a comfortable position for me.”

Source: Tampa Bay Rays Media