ST. PETERSBURG At one end of the long hallway, the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse was a strange shell of itself by late Thursday morning. Lockers had already been cleared out and scrubbed down, and only a handful of remaining players sorted through belongings to pack up and ship home.
The two toddler sons of shortstop Ben Zobrist and outfielder Sam Fuld tagged along after their dads through the quiet room. Pitcher Jeff Niemann, whose season ended with the disappointment of a broken leg and then a back strain, said his goodbyes to reliever Wade Davis and others.
And the shiny Gold Glove trophy of Evan Longoria the Rays star whose 85-game absence with a hamstring tear undermined the offense and season sat alone atop a stack of boxes, ready to be carted out by the busy clubhouse staff.
Meanwhile, another housekeeping scene unfolded on the far end of the corridor, inside the auxiliary locker room of Tropicana Field. Rays manager Joe Maddon and vice president of baseball operations Andre...