Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays release renderings of desired new ballpark

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I say “desired” new ballpark because there is no deal in place to build this or any other ballpark yet. The Rays want it and, like any other baseball team, want someone else to pay for it, and the release of these artist’s renderings are a carefully-orchestrated part of the overall sales pitch to outsource their overhead to taxpayers and local business.

An entire webpage has been devoted to it called “Ballpark Reimagined,” which plays up the community’s suggestions for the park and talks about how closely the Rays are listening to the public throughout that process. Admirable, but — pardon my cynicism — clearly part of a campaign to get public buy-in in an effort to get public underwriting. “Hey, this is just as much your park as it is ours,” the Rays seem to be saying. That way, when the bill for it comes down, people will have less of a basis for objecting to paying it.

With that caveat noted — and no, I will not drop the matter of public financing of ballparks until multi-billion dollar businesses stop asking the public to finance ballparks — let us look at what the Rays hope to have someone build for them:

That’s a lot of glass which, hopefully, either does not face the southern/western sun or at least works like your dad’s transitions lenses. It’s also said to have only a 30,000 seat capacity, which (a) is pretty on-brand for the Rays; but (b) probably pretty nice from the perspective of fan experience. It’s also in keeping with Major League Baseball’s positioning of itself as a brand that would rather charge a ton for a small number of people to see the product than charge little for a large number of people to see it.

All in all, though: looks cool. The bar it has to hurdle in order to be an improvement over what they currently have is so low that it makes criticism seem rather beside the point right now. Either way, artist’s renderings at this stage are often very different than what ultimately gets built so we’ll reserve judgment. I mean, there aren’t any ads displayed in that park. Folks, there will be a lot of ads.

And, as I said before: understand that these are sales documents, not design documents, and judge on that basis.

UPDATE: But of course:

 

Scooter Gennett to undergo MRI after injury

Scooter Gennett
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The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.

Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.

The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.