Rays Spring Training Day 6: Evan Longoria
CUST IN CAMPThe Rays signed OF/DH Jack Cust to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring trainingthe 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 playedhe 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 SIXAll 66 players have reported to camp and participated in todays first full-squad workoutfour 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 Its not about being perfect, its about being presentand if they can understand that, it really matters, because youre going to make mistakes. When you make a mistake, to not make other mistakes based on that one where youre constantly thinking about it, rehashing it, obsessively thinking about it, thats where bad things happen. If youre able to file itbecause youre going to do it, youre going to screw upif youre 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, Ive been around the hype machine a lot for a lot of good young players, and for me its 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 Im certain Im 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, dont 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: Thats kind of been my motto for the majority of my career. You cant really change the past anyway. Every time Ive talked to the media or anybody my message is always (that) it doesnt really matter whats happened already, youve got to keep looking forward. Its 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 hes answering now. Really the one true test is how he is as an individual, how hes going to handle these things and he has a great work ethic, from what I see. Hes in the cage as early as everybody else. Im sure hes going to have a lot of people pulling him in a lot of different directions, but as long as he handles everything in stride hes going to be a great player.
Outfielder Desmond Jennings
On whether he prefers left field or center field: Im going to play wherever Im told to play. I love center field; I love playing the game. Id rather play center field, but if not, as long as Im playing Im happy. I played center field throughout the minor leagues, so its a comfortable position for me.
Source: Tampa Bay Rays Media