ST. PETERSUBRG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays are making their first road trip since packing for the American League Divisional Series in Houston at the end of last season.
And oh, how things have changed.
The Miami Marlins have put their season on hold after a COVID-19 outbreak while the team was on the road, and it has raised concern among the Rays.
“It’s very eye-opening to see how quick this can really spread once you open it up to travel," said Rays catcher Mike Zunino. "Once you open it up to playing other teams you leave that little safety bubble we created.”
Rays manager Kevin Cash has a more optimistic perspective on this trip.
"I think you could make a case in theory that on the road it should be a safer environment," said Cash. "You're being asked to basically stay put at the ballpark or the hotel. All your food is readily available, where you don't have that here [at home] at the field. You have to fend for yourself with breakfast options and stuff like that."
"We are very impressed with how our players have handled the situation, this far," Cash added, but admits this is a new challenge and the Rays players understand sacrifices have to be made.
"In the grand scheme of things, when you have 60 games you just have to do it," said Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow. "What I understand our team, stay in the hotel. You can't leave and I think that's the understanding of most teams in the league. We have a really tight-knit group. So I'm not concerned with anyone breaking the rules at all. Everyone's, like, married, so what are you going to do? Go to a night club? There's not much to do. So I think we are good to go."