Players test new batter's eye at The Trop

Players test new batter's eye at The Trop

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Due to the offseason construction to make Tropicana Field's center-field area more fan friendly, a new batter's eye has been installed. Several Rays players took time to go to Tropicana Field to check out the new hitting background on Friday.

"Just more curiosity that it would be sufficient," said manager Joe Maddon of the pursuit. "That they saw the ball well. I'm not expecting a whole lot.

"It's one of those things that sounds really good. But I don't know exactly how important it is, other than from a construction perspective. It's high enough, it's wide enough, there's no obstructions."

David DeJesus, Ben Zobrist, James Loney, Ryan Hanigan and Evan Longoria were accompanied to Tropicana Field by Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton for the assessment. As usual, Maddon conveyed a sense of humor about the mission.

"If they don't like it, they'll have to scrap it, re-do the whole backdrop," said Maddon with a smile. "If there's anything interfering with the hitter's perspective, they're going to have to start the whole thing over and get the thing done by Opening Day. So they should have done this months ago."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.