The Rays are hosting a few of their minor-league players next week for an inaugural "winter development program." They'll have workouts Monday through Thursday, make appearances around town and see a hockey game.
Most importantly, they'll undergo media training. Let's hope that doesn't strip Desmond Jennings of his boastful support of the Alabama Crimson Tide, make Jake McGee become unfriendly or leave Jeremy Hellickson less relaxed when he's being grilled. All three are part of the program.
The others who will partake ...
Right-handed pitcher -- Nick Barnese, Alex Colome, Joseph Cruz, Devin Fuller, Scott Shuman, Albert Suarez
Left-handed pitcher -- Kevin James, Kyle Lobstein, Matt Moore, David Newmann, Alex Torres
Catcher -- Luke Bailey, Jake Jefferies
First baseman -- Jeff Malm
Third base -- Matt Sweeney
Shortstop -- Tim Beckham, Juniel Querecuto
Outfielder -- Todd Glaesmann, Cody Rogers
I've talked to a few of the others. I'll say that Newmann is a friendly fellow, perhaps having learned that at Texas A&M. He said last spring that he would forgive me if I ever messed up his name and called him a curse word ("Niemann").
Having just finished my GMAC Bowl coverage, here's hoping they all learn to show the humor and openness of Troy quarterback Levi Brown and linebacker Bear Woods.