Beat the heat: Rays adjust to temps in NY

Beat the heat: Rays adjust to temps in NY

NEW YORK -- Dealing with the sweltering heat has been a critical element for the Rays in their weekend series at Yankee Stadium.

Saturday's heat index in New York exceeded 100 degrees, which is difficult to deal with, especially for a team that plays in climate-controlled Tropicana Field, where it's always 72 degrees.

Bobby Wilson, who caught for the Rays during Friday night's loss, cramped up at one point during the game.

"It just is what it is," said Luke Maile, who started at catcher for the Rays on Saturday. "Sometimes you can't do anything about it. Sometimes it just happens. Especially if you have a long inning."

Maile began hydrating for the weekend series on Thursday's off-day.

"Every half hour or so, drink a little water," said Maile of his preparation. "I don't like doing it all at once. It doesn't really do me any good doing it that way, at least in my experience with it. You just have to be smart about it. Be prepared."

Maile respects the heat, but isn't intimidated by it.

"I grew up around hot weather [in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area] for the summer ball where I was playing," Maile said. "The biggest thing was drinking enough water leading up to the game."

Outfielder Mikie Mahtook noted that in addition to staying hydrated before the game, players must "manage it during the game."

"Make sure that you're constantly drinking fluids," Mahtook said. "Because you're probably going to lose as much as you put in. You can't play catch-up ball. Once you dehydrate and start cramping, it's hard to get that back."

Mahtook said the Rays' trainers do a good job of preparing the players for the heat, but ultimately "it's up to us to hydrate and take it all in."

As for a team from Florida having to deal with the heat being an issue, Mahtook smiled.

"I guess it's a little bit ironic," Mahtook said. "I don't have much of an issue with it. I grew up in Louisiana playing ball in weather just like this."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.