ST. PETERSBURG — Ben Zobist of the Tampa Bay Rays slept right through Thursday’s rumor that he had been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I was napping, to be honest,” Zobrist said today of a fake tweet that had briefly turned into television news the previous day. “I didn’t see any of it. My wife texted me. She said: ‘Hey, I’m getting texts from people saying that we got traded.’ So I started looking around the internet to see if I could find anything, and at that point everything had already been taken off.”
Zobrist had taken his son, Zion, to an early dentist appointment on an off-day for the Rays.
“Then I went home and started watching everything (in the final hours before the trade deadline) and then I crashed,” he said. “When I woke up, it was all said and done. I saw that (David) Price got traded, and then my wife started texting me.”
Julianna Zobrist, returning from a trip to Los Angeles, was concerned about reports that turned out to be bogus.
“I called my dad and said: ‘Hey, have you seen anything on TV? Because Jules is getting texts from friends,’” Zobrist said. “We were getting emails from people asking for tickets in Pittsburgh. She didn’t know if anything was true and I was trying to find out if it was. So eventually I was like: ‘It’s not true, it’s a false report.’”
With Price having been traded to the Detroit Tigers, Zobrist and Evan Longoria are the only Rays remaining from the 2008 AL pennant winning team. Pitcher Grant Balfour was also on that team, but he pitched most of the intervening years in Oakland.
The 33-year-old Zobrist has learned to live with trade rumors.
“I’ve thought about it for sure, but it hasn’t weighed on me,” he said. “Being part of this environment, everybody just accepts that those things could happen. It’s a reality for all of us at any point. You kind of roll with it.”