NEW YORK -- Ryan Hanigan has brought the aura of a hard-nosed player to the Rays. When asked to characterize the Rays catcher, hitting coach Derek Shelton smiled and called him a "dirtbag" -- the ultimate compliment for a ballplayer, since it describes the manner in which he plays the game.
Evan Longoria, who played college baseball for Long Beach State, a.k.a., the "Dirtbags" was asked if Hanigan indeed was a dirtbag.
"He could have played at Long Beach, if he would have been there he would have fit in perfectly," Longoria said. "He's the definition of a gamer. A guy that's ready to play on a daily basis. A guy who prepares himself the best way he can. And really cares about, first, winning and how he can impact the pitchers.
"Obviously being a catcher, he's that guy that's kind of always in the video room looking for ways to help the pitchers. Looking for ways to better himself and he's been a welcome addition. He's been a great addition."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.