NEW YORK -- Ryan Hanigan has brought the aura of a hard-nosed player to the Rays. When asked to characterize the Rays catcher, hitting coach Derek Shelton smiled and called him a "dirtbag" -- the ultimate compliment for a ballplayer, since it describes the manner in which he plays the game.
Evan Longoria, who played college baseball for Long Beach State, a.k.a., the "Dirtbags" was asked if Hanigan indeed was a dirtbag.
"He could have played at Long Beach, if he would have been there he would have fit in perfectly," Longoria said. "He's the definition of a gamer. A guy that's ready to play on a daily basis. A guy who prepares himself the best way he can. And really cares about, first, winning and how he can impact the pitchers.
"Obviously being a catcher, he's that guy that's kind of always in the video room looking for ways to help the pitchers. Looking for ways to better himself and he's been a welcome addition. He's been a great addition."
Freaky Friday includes weird 13th, then ice cream
NEW YORK -- Dissecting the Rays' 10-5 win Friday night, what happened in the bottom of the 13th gets top billing among the bizarre events that took place.
With the score tied at 5, Brian McCann singled through the middle against Heath Bell to open the Yankees' 13th. Brian Roberts followed with a single to right before Yangervis Solarte grounded out to first, moving the runners to second and third.
Prior to pinch-hitter Brett Gardner stepping to the plate, the Rays drew in the infield and expanded its numbers to five by bringing in Wil Myers to play first.
Myers, who had never played first base during his professional career, tried on Sean Rodriguez's first-base mitt as Rodriguez grabbed an infield glove before moving over from first to accommodate Myers. Myers ended up using his outfield glove rather than Rodriguez's glove, which he said was too tight.
Before any action took place, Myers asked Bell what he should to do if Gardner bunted, and Bell told him. Fortunately for Myers and the Rays, Gardner did not bunt, a decision that likely had more to do with McCann being on third and less about Gardner bunting.
Gardner grounded out to Rodriguez, stationed to the right of Myers. Since technically, Rodriguez was the first baseman and Myers the right fielder, the official scoring on the play after Rodriguez threw to Myers for the 3-9 putout. Once the out was recorded, Myers returned to right field.
Bell then intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury to bring Derek Jeter to the plate. The Yankees captain then grounded out to Bell to end the threat.
In the top of the 14th inning, the Rays scored five runs to put the game away. Not to be forgotten during that frame was David DeJesus' heroic effort with the ice cream.
During the first game of Thursday's doubleheader sweep against the Red Sox, DeJesus ate soft serve ice cream then went out and drove in both runs of a 2-1 Rays win with a home run and a bases-loaded walk. So what do you think DeJesus was doing when the Rays got busy in the 14th? That's right, he was eating ice cream.
"I was looking for a strawberry shortcake [flavor], and they didn't have strawberry shortcake," DeJesus said. "So I went with a chocolate éclair. It was Good Humor [ice cream]."
DeJesus said having his ice cream eating attached to wins is leading him "down a slippery slope" where his diet is concerned. But he said if he must eat ice cream for the Rays to win, "it's about the team, it's not about me." So if his eating the ice cream affects his waist and the Rays win 95 games or so, "I'll be that guy."
Nailed it: Odorizzi takes preventative measure
NEW YORK -- Saturday's starter Jake Odorizzi doesn't go for the full manicure, but lately he's been seen around the clubhouse taking care of business where the nail on his middle finger is concerned.
It's an odd sight to see the right-hander applying what appears to be nail polish to the nail then, once applied, blowing on the nail to hasten the drying process.
Turns out Odorizzi is using a nail hardener that Brandon Gomes gave him to combat splitting his fingernail, a problem that Odorizzi has experienced in the past.
"A split nail is much worse than a blister," Odorizzi said. "This hardener stuff actually works pretty well."
Of course, the question had to be asked of Odorizzi: Do you have a future as a Mary Kay salesperson? To wit, Odorizzi deadpanned: "If they'll give me free hardener."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.