Tampa Bay Rays set to unveil 2020 AL Championship Banner
By Kasey Kuhrts
It’s been 182 days since Mike Brosseau hit one of the most memorable home runs in Tampa Bay Rays history, sending the Rays to the American League Championship, and the Yankees packing.
Now, for the first time since October 2019 the Tampa Bay Rays will return to the Trop, in front of fans, and unveil their 2020 AL Championship banner.
And to make it that much more special, the Yankees will watch them do it.
Although there will only be about 9,000 fans inside Tropicana Field today, every single one of those tickets is accounted for. This will be the 15th straight home opener sellout for the Tampa Bay Rays, not counting last season when no fans were allowed inside the stadium.
The 2020 AL East Champion and 2020 American League Champion banners will be the seventh and eighth banners to hang from the rafters in Tropicana Field. They join the 2008 AL East, 2008 AL Champion, 2010 AL East, and 2011, 2013, and 2019 Wild Card Banners.
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After the ceremony the Tampa Bay Rays will get some help on the field as outfielder, and World Series hero, Brett Phillips was activated from the IL this morning. Phillips is in the lineup, batting eighth, and playing center field.
However, as an important member of the team is activated, another leaves. Pete Fairbanks is headed to the IL with a right rotator cuff strain. Fairbanks joins a long list of Tampa Bay Rays pitchers currently on the IL including Nick Anderson, Oliver Drake, and Chaz Roe.
Other roster moves before the Rays home opener today include designating catcher Joseph Odom for assignment, and selecting the contract of relief pitcher Hunter Strickland from the alternate site.
Strickland, who might be most well-known for being the guy Bryce Harper tried to throw his helmet at, is a seven-year MLB veteran who spent most of his time with the San Francisco Giants. He comes to the Rays with 21 career MLB saves, and a 3.23 career ERA.