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Rays tales

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002


HOT-RODDER: When Dick Bosman isn't reconstructing a pitcher's mechanics, he often can be found rebuilding old cars into hot rods.

A former big-league pitching coach with Baltimore and Texas, the longtime Pinellas County resident is happily spending his summers coaching Rays minor-leaguers and his winters working with partner Dan McKown at Sanders Paint & Body shop in Oldsmar.

Bosman's daily ride is a fire red 1936 Chevy two-door sedan that they nearly completely restored. "It's got a 330-horsepower Corvette engine, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows," he said. "It's totally redone. The body and the backseat are the only things '36 on that car."

Bosman, who has also done drag racing, has rebuilt about a dozen cars, including a 1946 Chevy he sold to former Rays pitcher Bobby Witt. Bosman is looking for a 1933 Ford two-door sedan to restore for David Wells.

"I like making them better than they were," Bosman said. "It's kind of like teaching pitchers, and making them better than they were."

ONE-NIGHT STAND: Nonroster catcher Yamid Haad made it to the major leagues in July 1999 and got one at-bat, a groundout to third. He's still waiting for another.

The Pirates called Haad up from Double-A after starter Jason Kendall was hurt, kept him for three days, and sent him back. He got called up again later, but didn't get in a game and was sent down four days later because he couldn't accompany the team to Montreal because of visa complications.

Haas, 24, is confident he'll get another big-league at-bat. "I will," he said. "I will."

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

From the 2002 edition of Baseball Prospectus: "The Devil Rays experienced the best thing that could have happened to them last year: Failure. Complete and utter failure, the likes of which sometimes is the only thing that can force an organization to face up to the fact that it's been going full speed in the wrong direction."

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Before you can score runs, you have to get on base. The Rays ranked 24th in the majors with a .320 on-base percentage. Here are the career percentages of their key returning players:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I wish I could get younger."

-- RYAN RUPE, Rays 26-year-old pitcher, after hearing teammate Esteban Yan was 26 instead of 27

ROSTER REPORT

The second of our weekly guesses on the composition of the opening day 25-man roster:

PITCHERS (11): Tanyon Sturtze, Paul Wilson, Joe Kennedy, Nick Bierbrodt, Wilson Alvarez, Esteban Yan, Victor Zambrano, Travis Phelps, Jesus Colome, Doug Creek, Steve Kent.

CATCHERS (2): Toby Hall, John Flaherty.

INFIELDERS (7): Steve Cox, Brent Abernathy, Chris Gomez, Jared Sandberg, Russ Johnson, Felix Martinez, Aubrey Huff.

OUTFIELDERS (5): Greg Vaughn, Jason Tyner, Ben Grieve, Randy Winn, Troy O'Leary.

DL (1): Kevin McGlinchy.

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