Protests possible with RNC coming to Tampa

Protests possible with RNC coming to Tampa

Protests possible with RNC coming to Tampa
ST. PETERSBURG -- The starting time for Saturday's Rays-Athletics contest at Tropicana Field was 1:10 p.m. ET due to the urgency to clear the facility in advance of hosting Sunday's Republican National Convention welcome party.

The Republican National Convention will be held this week in Tampa Bay. The Rays had a meeting with a member of the Secret Service this week to discuss the handling of a potential protest during the game.

"I've heard about it," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They've discussed the potential with us. ... I guess you have to respect their preparedness. But I'm not concerned and I think everything is being prepared and they're ready for any kind of potential demonstration.

"He informed us about what they were doing in preparing for this day and for the event in general," Maddon said. "And also the potential concern for an attempted demonstration on the field during the course of the game, but they're definitely aware that it may occur, so everybody will be in the right position."

Maddon said the meeting had been out of mind until one reporter broached the subject.

"Until you brought it up to me, I forgot all about it," Maddon said. "So, I'd like to believe that all of our players did the same thing."

So what's the plan in the event of a disturbance?

"Depends if it's more than one person ... then you'd just come off the field," Maddon said. "If it's a typical attempt like a streak across the field, they send out their best defensive back and just tackle him."