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Rich Hill Chose Rays In Order To “Win Now”

Rays pitcher Rich Hill

The Tampa Bay Rays want another shot at the World Series, and Rich Hill wants to be a big part of it.

The almost 41-year-old, who signed with the Rays Wednesday, said it’s a large reason for why he decided to come to Tampa Bay for 2021: “The chance to win, and win now.”

“I don’t think it’s any secret trying to win a World Series and somewhat I guess if you want to say ‘chase it,'” Hill said Thursday after the team’s first workout.  “I think really once you’ve been there a couple of times and fallen short, it’s kind of become an obsession.  You want to get back there and finish it.”

While many of his Rays teammates are new, he does have some familiar faces to work with, especially manager Kevin Cash, who was his teammate in Boston, and coached him in Cleveland.

“Kevin, obviously, he’s had that if you want to call it catcher’s mindset,” Hill said.  “We’ve shared a lot of things about preparation and slowing things down.  At the time, I think I was 33 years old, but still bef0re I made this third act at the Major League level of starting, we had some really good talks in the bullpen.”

And while fans of the Rays may have been upset in the moves concerning Blake Snell and Charlie Morton during the offseason, Hill saw them as an opportunity for himself to get a chance to be a piece on a competitive club.

“I think if you look at the way the rotation has come together, obviously the success from the front office in what they’ve been able to put together and get guys in the locker room who are committed to each other and the group as a whole, and focused in on the team goal, which is winning a World Series.”

But he understands that the only way to get to that goal is one step at a time.

“Today was day one,” Hill said.  “Tomorrow is day two.”

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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