MIAMI -- Chris Archer and Corey Dickerson were excited to represent the Rays in the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, but they took very different routes to get to Miami after Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field.After taking Archer deep on the third pitch of
MIAMI -- Chris Archer and Corey Dickerson were excited to represent the Rays in the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, but they took very different routes to get to Miami after Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
After taking Archer deep on the third pitch of Sunday's game, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts co-piloted a five-seat, single-engine jet with Archer sitting in the back seat.
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"[Betts] was responsible for the takeoff. We kind of bobbed and weaved through some clouds, too. He said he was good at video games, so I trusted him," Archer said. "You know what? Mookie Betts can do just about anything. Like, he can do a Rubik's cube in about two minutes. He's a 300 bowler. He's an MVP baseball player. The other day, he told me he can sing, and then he flew me on a jet. He hit a home run off me, and then he flew me to Miami on a jet. I mean, like he does everything. I was extremely nervous, but he was great."
Dickerson was not willing to trust Betts' skill in video games to get him off the ground, while also fighting the risk of Florida thunderstorms. Dickerson decided to drive.
Dickerson, who is hitting .312 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs this season, is just the fourth Ray to ever be voted as a starter in the All-Star Game, along with some pretty great company in Evan Longoria, David Price and Carl Crawford in past years.
"It's what you work for," Dickerson said. "You have goals. You set high goals for yourself, and when you accomplish those goals, it feels very good. But you also understand all the work you put in during the offseason and during the season, and you have to think you are as good as these guys to get here. I have to continue to have that mindset."
Dickerson and Archer were joined by Rays manager Kevin Cash, who served as a coach for the AL squad.
"It's awesome [to have Cash and Archer here]," Dickerson said. "We are having a good season as a team and Archer's a big part of it, and you know, Cash leading the way. Them being here makes all of us more comfortable. We are able to feel at ease as we are going through this whole process."
Archer, who has the fourth-most strikeouts in the Majors with 147, pitched on Sunday and was not available to throw in his second All-Star Game. He was still excited to have the experience.
"First of all, this is a great city. But, just being a part of the group, being considered an All-Star, being considered the elite of the elite, that's never going to be old to me, and I'm enjoying every moment,' Archer said. "I love that stage. I love the moment. I love the bright lights. I love the high-level competition."
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.