We call him The Dirtbag because of how he plays and because he played college ball at Long Beach State whose baseball team has the coolest mascot in sports…The Dirtbags.
The biggest question mark for the Tampa Bay Ray in Spring Training is whether or not Evan Longoria will be named the opening day third baseman. Manager Joe Maddon has repeatedly stated that the decision will be based less on his stats, and more on how the 22-year old handles himself on a day-to-day basis and how well The Dirtbag adjusts to everyday life as a major leaguer. From now until the Rays announce a decision on Longoria’s fate, we will track The Dirtbag’s progress through his numbers, our own observations and quotes from Maddon and Andrew Friedman…
Yesterday at the plate: 1-2 with an RBI double off the left-center field wall. He also walked.
Quotes: none reported.
Summary: You could just hear the grins of both Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman after Longoria mashed the double in the Rays spring opener. With all the talk about “will they or won’t they” I would have forgiven Longoria if he opened the spring with a goose egg and an error at third right through the wickets. Now I get a sense very early on that pressure is not something that is going to bother The Dirtbag. Not even a little bit.