TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays off season of change gives way to the crack of the bat and the bright Florida sunshine this Friday night on the premiere of “Inside the Rays: Spring Training.” FOX Sports Sun, the statewide television home of the Rays, proudly presents an all-new episode of “Inside the Rays” on Friday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. with the aim of bringing fans all the sight and sounds from camp, as well as the happenings off the field.
The upcoming season will be highlighted by 20th anniversary celebrations and promotions that were announced during a press conference led by Principal Owner Stu Sternberg. Later that week, the stadium location announcement took place in Tampa’s Ybor City historic district with local business leaders and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn speaking in support of the area’s commitment to the team.
Our cameras were rolling at the annual Fan Fest at Tropicana Field, which included a 20th anniversary panel featuring players from the 1998 Devil Rays and 2008 Rays teams. “A Night at the Ballpark,” hosted by outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and presented by the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame and Museum, brought some of the game’s biggest names together, including Tony Perez, Dick Allen, Ron Guidry, J.R. Richard and Charlie Manuel.
Player workouts leading up to the start of camp took place at Tropicana Field and the University of Tampa, where Kiermaier trained with the Spartans team for the fourth consecutive year. Kevin brought the FOX Sports Sun crew along for a day working out with the team and 11-time Sunshine State Coach of the Year Joe Urso, who has led the University of Tampa to four Division II National Championships.
Rays coaches Kyle Snyder and Ozzie Timmons were on hand for a free coaches clinic that included cap and jersey distribution for 15,000 kids playing in 80 leagues across 14 counties, while FOX Sports Sun analyst and Rays Director of Baseball and Community Outreach Orestes Destrade joined alumni and current players to team up with Positive Coaching Alliance for a series of hands on skill training sessions and life skills discussion with Tampa Bay area high schools. Join host Dewayne Staats on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports GO this Friday night for the debut “Inside the Rays: Spring Training.”
About FOX Sports Florida / FOX SPORTS SUN
FOX Sports Florida & FOX Sports Sun are the regional television homes of the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. The regional sports networks have been fixtures in the homes of sports fans throughout the Sunshine State for over 20 years. Today, the networks combine to produce more than 700 live sporting events and over 300 studio based and original programs year round. FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Sun are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve by engaging our audiences and providing award winning TV and web coverage of Florida’s hometown sports teams. For more information, channel listings and how you can get involved with FOX Sports Florida / FOX Sports Sun, visit www.foxsportsflorida.com.