Mitt Romney, Red Sox fan, didn’t know the Rays have a dome

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Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is hosting a fund raiser in downtown Tampa, Florida on Thursday and decided to kill some time by taking in the Red Sox vs. Rays game Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

The former Massachusetts governor and self-proclaimed Red Sox fan told reporters that he didn’t want any political questions for the evening, but that he’d be happy to “talk some baseball.”

So the reporters and Romney did talk baseball, and while doing so revealed that the 64-year-old Republican knows next to nothing about the current state of the sport. At least, he never watches it.

Romney was asked for his thoughts about Tropicana Field, an indoor stadium in St. Petersburg that the Rays have called home since 1998, over 12 years. His response, via Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times:

“It’s cool – I had no idea,” Romney said. “I thought I was going to be in sweltering heat, but instead it’s cool, and a responsive and warm crowd.”

Romney “had no idea” that the Rays, who share a division with his beloved Red Sox, played in a dome.

Now, he’s a busy guy. Running a whole state is surely a demanding job and a presidential campaign must require a torturous schedule. But the Red Sox and Rays will meet 19 times this season and nine of those meetings will take place at The Trop. The Red Sox, in fact, have played over 100 games at Tropicana Field since its opening. And yet Romney didn’t know that the Rays have a dome.

Could it be that a politician is telling people that he’s one thing (an avid Red Sox supporter) and actually is not? What an outrage. What an uncommon occurrence. Be kind to each other in the comments.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.