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Rays pack for Spring Training on Truck Day

Clubhouse manager prepares gear for transport to Port Charlotte
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Under the watchful eye of home clubhouse manager Jose Fernandez, the Rays' clubhouse staff executed "Truck Day" Tuesday morning at Tropicana Field. That translates to Spring Training being just around the corner.

"We're ready to get to Port Charlotte to get started," Fernandez said.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Under the watchful eye of home clubhouse manager Jose Fernandez, the Rays' clubhouse staff executed "Truck Day" Tuesday morning at Tropicana Field. That translates to Spring Training being just around the corner.

"We're ready to get to Port Charlotte to get started," Fernandez said.

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The Rays' first workout for pitchers and catchers will take place on Feb. 21 at the Charlotte Sports Complex.

Included in the haul loaded on two moving trucks were 12 cases of baseballs, 300 pairs of pants and 100 jerseys. Rays mascot Raymond could be counted among those helping Fernandez supervise the move.

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: Truck Day MVPs: the #Rays clubhouse staff. pic.twitter.com/dIOxrcSXpA

More items were involved in this year's move since the Rays will have new pants and uniforms, including new Spring Training jerseys. The old uniforms will remain in Port Charlotte to be used by Class A Advanced Charlotte.

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Fernandez allowed that the Rays have a nice situation. Unlike most Major League clubs, they are located just two hours south of where they conduct Spring Training, providing a much more convenient move and fewer hassles in the event something is forgotten.

After the trucks were loaded, they were parked and will sit overnight before the staff makes the drive to Port Charlotte on Wednesday morning. Once they reach the complex, Fernandez estimated it would take at least eight hours to get unpacked and settled.

Fernandez, who has worked for the Rays for 14 years, said they begin preparing for the move in November.

"It gets easier every year," he said. "There's a good energy around here this year. Some new players and a lot of excitement. Everybody is ready to go."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tampa Bay Rays