Manager Joe Maddon
On camp so far: “The primary thing I always want to accomplish right now is to get the message out there. That everybody understands what we do and how we do things, especially the guys that are coming in, and we really rely on the guys that have been here to carry the message, which they’ve done a tremendous job with, I’m so pleased. Primarily, it’s just been message time. You could talk about, you know, physically, guys have to take swings to get their hands stronger. They have to be on the field all day to get rid of the soreness. Pitchers have to throw just because they’re supposed to, and get rid of that dead arm stuff. That stuff, everybody is doing that. For me, the most important thing is to get the message out there, your methods, how you play the game and what’s important. I’m here to tell you, attitudinally speaking, (this is) one of the best groups I’ve been around. I can’t be happier. I think a lot of it has to do with, like I said, a combination of the guys that have been here carrying the torch well, new guys coming in, being wide open and wanting to be here. It’s really been outstanding to watch. I kind of enjoy it a lot.”
On the start of the exhibition season: “Keeping an eye on everybody and making sure we don’t grind anybody into the ground. There’s a couple of guys like [Ben] Zobrist, going to the WBC, wants a little bit more early on, I’m okay because he’s ready for it. J-Mo [Jose Molina] is going to possibly catch four innings tomorrow because he’s ready to do that. The other guys are primarily pitchers. Otherwise, I really want to keep it slow. This is the perfect time—if guys need specific work done—this is a great camp for that. There’s time to do it. I was just talking to the coaches about that. We do a good job of this, but to organize our early work. I’m not really big on late work as much because I don’t like a tired body trying to learn new tricks, I’d prefer it be fresh in the morning. So, the early work component of it, we do a great job of organizing that. We have time to do it, so the teaching potential here is exciting.”
On Alex Colome starting in Fort Myers: “Yeah, we just made that last minute—that’s my fault. I thought it was that way, then it was Enny [Romero], and then we moved Enny back up here [in Port Charlotte]. It’s just nothing. It was my fault. … I’ll get to see everybody [throughout spring]. First times through, let them play, let’s just go out there and not get hurt, hopefully, and get your feet underneath you. I am so not into making any kind of evaluations right now. Even for me, just getting rhythm with my signs, seeing the game again, seeing the speed of the game … A little selfishly, I want to see that for myself, so it’s really not evaluation time.
Source: Tampa Bay Rays Media