As expected, the Rays have activated Evan Longoria from the disabled list and he’s in the starting lineup for tonight’s game, playing third base and batting third.
Longoria has been sidelined since injuring his oblique muscle in the second game of the season and Tampa Bay got off to a 1-8 start, but the Rays bounced back extremely well without him and are now 15-13 overall.
Longoria has talked about possibly being not quite 100 percent healthy yet, but he homered in three of four rehab games at Double-A.
Sean Rodriguez and Felipe Lopez split playing time pretty evenly in Longoria’s absence, but combined to hit just .197 with three homers in 26 games. Lopez was designated for assignment to make roster room for Longoria’s return, meaning he’s probably done with the Rays.
The World Series is often played in near winter-like conditions. The 2008 Series was interrupted by a snowy, wintry mix. The 2012 World Series games in Detroit dipped into the 20s. It’s not uncommon to see players wearing balaclavas and other winter gear during the so-called “Fall Classic.”
Not this year, though. Indeed, this year we’re likely to see record high temperatures for Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.
As of this moment, WeatherUnderground.com forecasts a high in Los Angeles of 101 degrees for today’s World Series Media Day and highs of 102 and 98 for Games 1 and 2, respectively. First pitch for both games is just after 5PM Pacific time, when the sun will still be blazing. The sun will set about an hour or so in to the game which should cool things off somewhat, but the heat will definitely impact pregame workouts and the early innings. Fans showing up three or more hours before first pitch will do well to prepare themselves for the elements.
The hottest World Series game on record came in Phoenix for Game 1 in 2001 when the mercury stood at 94 degrees at game time. That year Major League Baseball unwisely demanded that the Chase Field roof be left open for the Diamondbacks-Yankees tilt. If there is a Game 6 and/or 7 things will be nicer as the long range forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s by then.
Hydrate well, Dodgers and Astros. Those of us watching from cooler temperatures and/or the comfort of our air conditioned homes will feel really bad for you.