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Zimmer to keep a lower profile at Rays' spring camp

Tampa Bay senior baseball advisor plans to commute a few times per week

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Rays senior baseball advisor Don Zimmer says he is "as ready as I can get" for his 65th season in the game.

But Zimmer won't be quite as visible at Tampa Bay's Spring Training this year. A day before his 82nd birthday, Zimmer said he won't be renting an apartment in Port Charlotte, Fla., but rather making a few trips per week from his condo in Seminole, Fla.

"I can go down once in a while and come back the same day," said Zimmer, making an appearance Wednesday night on the red carpet at a party for Derek Jeter's annual charity event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Zimmer explained it would be too difficult on him and his wife, Jean, to move all of his home dialysis equipment south for Spring Training. He also said his leg issues require him to be "very careful" walking up and down stairs, and the tubes in his stomach may prevent him from putting on a Rays uniform -- No. 65, for his 65th year in baseball.

"I've got tubes all in me. But everything's all right," Zimmer said. "I can't complain. Nobody wants to hear it, anyhow. No complaining."

Zimmer has served in his current role with the Rays since 2004, working as a coach during Spring Training and pregame workouts at Tropicana Field.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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