PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Shelley Duncan is in camp after signing a Minor League deal with the team.
Duncan, who hits right-handed, batted .203 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 81 games for Cleveland last season. He said the opportunity with Tampa Bay was his prime motivation for signing with the team.
"Opportunity, that's the most important thing," Duncan said. "... Good manager. Good team chemistry. Good quality guys in the clubhouse. I've always admired how they played."
Duncan, 32, played a distinct role in Rays history, as he is the player who slid with spikes high into Akinori Iwamura during a 2008 Spring Training game between the Rays and Yankees at Al Lang Stadium. The ensuing fracas has long been cited as a bonding moment for the 2008 American League champion Rays. Duncan didn't have much to say when asked if he could appreciate the irony of joining the Rays after that episode.
"I didn't know what anybody thought," Duncan said. "I went about my business."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.