By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2002
STYLIN': It was a big deal when Hal McRae made the Reds opening-day roster for the first time in 1970, and it meant big changes to his wardrobe. "I remember being told, and I went shopping when I got home," McRae said. "I had to buy some suits."
Styles were a little on the odd side then, and McRae thought he was doing a good job just fitting in. At least until Pete Rose stepped in. "He didn't like what I was wearing, so I said, "Give me some suits to wear,' and he did," McRae said.
But while today's veterans occasionally will take out a rookie and buy him a suit, as Greg Vaughn did last year for Joe Kennedy, Rose wasn't nearly as generous. "Pete didn't take me shopping," McRae said. "He gave me the stuff he no longer was going to wear."
FOUR OUT OF 10: David Letterman had the Rays on his Late Show hit list again last week, picking on them in his Top 10 list for at least the fourth time in the past couple of years.
Of the Top 10 Signs Your Baseball Team Isn't Ready For The Regular Season, No. 2 was "Team name contains the words "Devil" and "Rays."
Of the Top 10 Questions Most often Asked At A 99-Cent Store, No. 8 was "Do these Tampa Bay Devil Rays sweatshirts come in medium?"
Of the Top 10 Signs You're Talking To A Bad Phone Psychic, No. 7 was "Insists you put all of your money on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays."
And of the Top 10 Good Things About Being the Mother of Someone Famous, No. 5 came from Derek Jeter's mom, Dot: "Sometimes when they're playing the Devil Rays, Derek lets me come in for a few innings."
SISKEL AND NAIMOLI: Managing general partner Vince Naimoli attended the New York premiere of The Rookie, the new movie about Jim Morris' journey to join the Rays. "I think Disney's got a real hit on their hands," Naimoli said. "It was uplifting, it was emotional, it had something for every family. I'd give it two thumbs up."
A quick look back at the Rays 2001 leaders:
From ESPN analyst Tom Candiotti's preseason analysis: "The Devil Rays are finally on their way to getting it right. They found out the hard way that a lineup of power hitters with low on-base percentages will not get the job done. Now the focus is back on building with youth and catcher Toby Hall is a great start."
ONLINE ITEM OF THE WEEK
A mesh 1998 Rays "prototype" jersey, featuring the rainbow colored logo, a multicolored band on the right sleeve and NAIMOLI 98 on the back, sold on eBay Friday night for $58.
"The time has come, ready or not."
-- McRAE, on starting the season
BY THE NUMBERS
Rays games included on national TV schedule
1: Rays players on MLB list of potential 2002 milestones
12: Rays on an opening-day roster for the first time
Back to the Rays
RaysEverything needs to improve this year
Rule 5 helps Rays' Rule 1: proficiency
Rays pre-season special
10 hot dates at the dome
What's new -- and not so new -- at and around the ballpark
Yet again, the Yankees are too good to be true
Which team holds the best hand?
From Little League to Major League
Rays still are on schedule to succeed
Should we buy into this?
Joe Buck's considerable talent runs in the family
Major League Baseball on TV
BucsComella visits as Alstott waits
LightningNot enough offense to bother Ottawa
Ylonen takes Ottawa trade in stride
Indiana 73, Oklahoma 64:
Maryland 97, Kansas 88:
Sooners want respect; Huskies want history
Good friends face off in today's final
Audette ready to go after frightening skate injury
Fans upset with Rays' seat policy
2001 champion wins again
Lacy gets challenge, still wins
Around the camps
A new season, but not different
Serena completes world sweep
Current star faces rising star in Nasdaq final
Defense, QB praised in USF scrimmage
Antarctic explorer a hero for all ages
Daily fishing report
Duo does it for Bulls
Terriers' Wood captures long jump title
Pitching, defense frustrate Pirates
It's time to notice Tornado
Cougars better together
Four named to all-state first team
Duo leads Bloomingdale to title
Gryphon deja vu