IRMA: Rays players thankful Irma didn't do more damage

By Rishi Barran, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017, 9:46 PM EDT
With a catastrophic storm approaching their backyard, Tampa Bay Rays players have dealt with intense anxiety for days.
 
"We were just brainstorming on what was going to happen - if our cars were going to make it, if houses were going to be in the ocean," Rays outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. said.  "When those kinds of situations happen, crazy thoughts start running through your head."
 
As Evan Longoria puts it, that tension has finally been relieved.
 
The uneasiness is settled.
 
"I live right on the water, so I was really expecting to come home to a flooded house," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said.  "So we got lucky.  I had a boat out back that survived.  Nothing fell on the house."
 
Fortunately, most of the Rays have their families with them for what's turned into a longer-than-planned road trip.
 
They're thankful the Mets have opened Citi Field to them to play on, but they wish they could be back in the community helping with relief efforts.
 
"This was way bigger than the game of baseball," Souza said. "I think everyone in here realized that really quick.  When families and lives are at stake, it's a little more important than winning a ballgame."
 
"And so for that, we were thinking about Tampa," he continued. "Our prayers were with Tampa.  And when we go home, we'll still be thinking about them and doing what we can to help that community."
 
Team officials said that Tropicana Field was spared of any wind or water damage during Irma.
 
Ironically, the Rays will be the home team in New York for three straight games against the Yankees.
 
But that twist is just a minor inconvenience.
 
"I don't know that there is a neutral site when you're playing the Yankees," said Longoria. "It is what it is."
 
What the players are thankful for: having a home to come back to - literall y- when they return to Florida.