Tampa Bay Rays 2013 Spring Training Swings into Action

Batter Up! The Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., is Ready for the 2013 Spring Training Season
Batter Up! The Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., is Ready for the 2013 Spring Training Season

Batter up! Spring training baseball is about to swing into action and as part of my “day job” I was able to attend the Tampa Bay Rays spring training press conference today in Port Charlotte, Fla. Honestly, I’m not a big baseball fan but I really enjoy spring training for the energy and bit of intimacy it offers compared to major league sports.

General Manager Andrew Friedman and Manager Joe Maddon answer questions from the media during the Tampa Bay Rays press conference at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013
General Manager Andrew Friedman and Manager Joe Maddon answer questions from the media during the Tampa Bay Rays press conference at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013

General Manager Andrew Friedman and Manager Joe Maddon fielded questions by members of the media during the 30-minute press conference. So what’s on tap for the Rays during spring training? Um, well, unlike last year, there were no questions about Maddon’s hair.

Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013
Adam Friedman and Joe Maddon Field Questions during the Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013

Instead, much of the discussion was about the transition the team is going through, trading so-and-so and acquiring so-and-so. Sorry, I’m not into baseball and really don’t know who got traded where but do know change is hard but can be very exciting.

Adam Friedman and Joe Maddon Talk About the Upcoming Season during the Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013
Adam Friedman and Joe Maddon Talk About the Upcoming Season during the Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013

I can share what Joe Maddon said about the coming and going of players, “The guys who are gone we’re going to miss. We appreciate what they’ve done for our organization. But moving forward I feel good.”

Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013
Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Press Conference, Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 12, 2013

It just wasn’t my imagination. The Grapefruit League is starting earlier this year. Maddon said of the extended training season, “I like the length for the fact that you can really take your time getting people ready, which I think prevents injury …get people ready and further more we always like to nail down what we do well.”

Maddon is such a cool, nice guy.

So tell me, are you a baseball fan? Who’s your team? And do you catch a game or two during spring training?

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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