Rays Notes: David Price Talks Future, Don Zimmer, Tino Martinez
By Robbie Knopf
It’s the issue that no Rays fan wants to talk about but won’t go away: the future of David Price in Tampa Bay. Price discussed the issue with Tim Brown of Yahoo yesterday. Based on what you think is going to happen with Price, there was probably a quote from the article that you could spin in your favor. If you think he’s going to be traded over the next year, there’s this quote.
"Going through that at the time, maybe toward the All-Star break or at this time next year, it probably will be a pretty tough time,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to have to put it aside and let everything pan out for itself. Because I really have nothing to do with it. It’s not my decision. I don’t get to pick if I’m traded or where I’m traded to, stuff like that. It’s out of my hands. So I’m going to try and continue to play this game the same way I have. Go out there and have fun, keep a smile on my face and try to be a good teammate.”"
If you think he’s going to stay, you take solace in this.
"“I have never closed my eyes and envisioned myself in another uniform,” Price said. “I’ve never put much thought to that, I really haven’t. It’s something I haven’t done."
What’s going to happen? It’s not really not something we can be sure of. We heard reason for optimism a couple of weeks ago, but other well-known writers have made it sound like a Price trade is only a matter of time. The best thing to do is probably to just appreciate what the Rays have here and Price as long as it lasts and understand that the Rays are going to do anything they have to do to keep their in contention moving forward whether that happens with or without Price. Even as we try to avoid the whole matter, though, we have to ask the question: what do you think will happen between the Rays and Price?
Moving from the uncertain future to a figure who has figured prominently in baseball’s past, Don Zimmer, who will spend his 65th season in baseball in 2012. Zimmer told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s going to be limited this coming spring training and will make only a couple appearances a week as opposed to appearing every game as issues with his dialysis treatment has made it harder for him to relocate to Port Charlotte for the spring and he will instead commute there from his Seminole, FL home a few times a week. Zimmer has to be disappointed that he won’t figure as heavily in the Rays’ spring efforts this season, but he told Topkin that he has no complaints.
"“(I’m) as ready as I can get. Everything’s all right. I can’t complain. Nobody wants to hear it anyhow.”"
It always a joy to see Zimmer at Charlotte Sports Park every spring and his unbelievable knowledge of the game has been an invaluable resource to every player in the spring clubhouse since the moment he arrived. Best of luck to Zimmer keeping up on what will be a more limited spring training schedule but still an incredible experience for everyone involved.
Finally, Tampa native and ex-Yankees and Rays first baseman Tino Martinez talked at Derek Jeter‘s Turn Two Foundation event about the challenge of being a first-year hitting coach with the Miami Marlins next season.
"“The whole idea coming in beforehand, he was going to go young, get rid of everybody and go young and totally rebuild, and wanted us to help rebuild the team,” Martinez said. “And I thought, for me, as a first-year coach, it was a great situation to come into, to work with young players.”"
Even though he’ll technically be on the Rays’ rivals (not sure that it will be much of a rivalry in the Citrus Series this year, though), Martinez has always been a great guy and good luck to him with the Marlins. Obviously Martinez will always be remembered as Yankee great, but he was really good in his one season with the Rays in 2004, managing a .262/.362/.461 (117 OPS+) with 23 homers and 76 RBI as the Rays managed a record over .500 as late as June for the first time in franchise history.