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Dewayne Staats Reducing Tampa Bay Rays Schedule

Tampa Bay Rays television play-by-play announcer Dewayne Staats will be taking between 20-30 games off during the 2023 season, in what was described as a mutual decision between he and Bally Sports Sun.

“There comes a point where — I obviously still want to do it and enjoy doing it and all that, but if I could get off the road once in a while, I think I’ll do that,” Staats told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m still going to do a pretty full load of stuff. So it’s not anything really that different; almost everybody in the business is doing something like this now.”

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The 70-year-old has served as the team’s television voice since its debut season in 1998. He has called more than 7,000 games during his career that started with the Astros in 1977. He says there are no retirement plans on the horizon.

“We get together generally from time to time and chat about what you’re thinking and what you want to do,” Staats said. “So it just kind of grew out of one of those conversations.”

Bally Sports Sun said the plans for Staats are similar to the how they have operated since the 2019 season when Kevin Burkhardt was hired to announced 20 games in Staats’ stead.

Additionally, Bally Sports Sun is making altering its pregame and postgame lineup. Denard Span and Matt Joyce will each work between 25-30 games on the network as analysts, while Doug Waechter will return as the lead analyst. In the restructuring, Orestes Destrade won’t return to the broadcasts after 11 seasons with the club.

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