4/16/2014 12:09 P.M. ET
Jackie's courage celebrated as Rays don No. 42
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Because Tuesday night's game was postponed due to rain, the Rays and Orioles did not have a chance to wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on the day honoring him.
However, both teams wore No. 42 for Wednesday afternoon's game, and memories of Robinson accompanied the tribute.
"It's a great day to be able to wear that number one day of the year to kind of signify what Jackie means to the game of baseball and people in general," David Price said. "He definitely meant a lot, the way he carried himself in that time period -- not only on the field, but off the field. It's just a testament to his character. And I think that's pretty special."
Already drawn to the story and the courage Robinson displayed while breaking Major League baseball's color barrier, Rays manager Joe Maddon grew even more connected to those events in recent years after reading "Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman" by Lee Lowenfish.
"Every year, you're reminded on Jackie Robinson Day about who he was and what he did," Maddon said. "And it's kind of like a holiday within the baseball season. It's kind of like a Christmas, an Easter, whatever -- for me, Thanksgiving. It's a baseball holiday that you get to remember this particular moment and how significant it is to this game and to our society as a whole.
"I'm just hoping that it's never lost on anybody. I know it's not lost on me. I know the recent movie ["42"] helped to get the message out there a little bit more. But that's one of those things that needs to be revisited, and we do that on an annual basis."
Mostly, Maddon said that Jackie Robinson Day reminds him of the word courage.
"If you have a little fear in your body at all, just think about what this guy did," Maddon said. "And sometimes that can help get rid of those fears. Because it was pretty tough what he did. A lot of the things we do on a daily basis don't come close to that."
Surgery to put Moore in rare Rays company
BALTIMORE -- Matt Moore will have season-ending Tommy John surgery next Tuesday to repair the ulnar-collateral ligament in his left elbow.
According to data from the Hardball Times website, of the 293 Tommy John surgeries performed on Major League players, only six have been on Rays: Moore, right-hander Jason Isringhausen (2009), right-hander Tyler Walker ('06), right-hander Seth McClung ('03) and right-hander Dave Eiland (2001 and '02).
Moore and McClung are the only homegrown Rays Major Leaguers to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Given Tampa Bay's success at avoiding pitching injuries, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was asked if he was surprised by the recent rash of injuries incurred by the club's starters.
"No, I think if you look over the history of the game, pitcher injuries are something that in a lot of ways are inevitable," Friedman said. "It's an unnatural motion. And I think we've been more fortunate than the industry because of, A, how hard our pitchers work, and B, the tremendous training staff we have and how much they care and how deligent they are.
"... You look around the game over the last 50, 100 years. Pitching injuries happen. And we do all we can to put our guys in the best position to stay as healthy as they can for as long as they can."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.