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Rays tales

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002


HERE COMES THE BRIDE: While some Rays went sightseeing and others went to visit family during Monday's off day in San Francisco, Randy Winn had more important matters to attend to.

Winn spent the day with fiance Blessings Robertson finalizing plans and making arrangements for their November wedding. Before Winn left to start the season, they'd settled on a date, a site (the campus of Santa Clara University, where they met) and a traditional theme. "The big stuff," Winn said.

Robertson since has decided on a color scheme (black and white) and, from how it sounds, most other details. "I'm trying to help," Winn claims. "But being so far away it's nearly impossible. There's not too much I can do."

Monday they went over specifics regarding the DJ, the flowers and the cake.

One of the items to be worked out is how they'll make their getaway.

"Uh, that's my part," Winn said. "It's not done yet. Probably a traditional stretch limo."

And as for the honeymoon?

"That's also mine," Winn said. "Not sure yet. But I've made some calls."

THANKS FOR THE TIP: Greg Vaughn went into play Saturday with 352 career home runs, two behind first-base coach Lee May, who ranks 60th all-time with 354. May was the most prolific slugger of the Rays coaches. Manager Hal McRae hit 191, hitting coach Milt May 77, bench coach Billy Hatcher 54 and third-base coach Tom Foley 32.

WELCOMED VISITORS: Coors Field was the 22nd stadium the Rays have played in, and they are 4-18 in their inaugural appearances. The wins came at Edison Field, Kingdome and Camden Yards in 1998, and in PacBell Park last week. In their first meetings with opponents, the Rays are also 4-18, beating Anaheim, Minnesota and Seattle in 1998 and the Giants last week.

SHARE THE WEALTH: By going deep at PacBell Park last week, Vaughn has homered in 35 stadiums, matching the seventh most all-time. The other equal opportunity sluggers are Ellis Burks and Fred McGriff (40 parks), Sammy Sosa (37), Rafael Palmeiro and Devon White (36), and Robin Ventura (35).

EXCERPTED

From Joe Sheehan's ESPN.com column on the potential makeup of the AL All-Star team: I'm stubbornly calling (Paul) Wilson a candidate, because he's pitched pretty well, but been killed by the Rays' bullpen. Realistically, this is Randy Winn's slot. He'll continue the tradition of the Devil Rays having the least-qualified All-Star at the game, and be the lightning rod for this year's "Why does every team need to be represented?" hullaballoo, sponsored by the United Friends of John Olerud.

ONLINE ITEM OF THE WEEK

What is said to be an Orlando Rays batting practice jersey -- No. 42, since retired by all teams in honor of Jackie Robinson -- had a high bid of $69.95 on eBay Saturday morning.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"We've lost a lot of games this year so we're used to bouncing back."

-- BEN GRIEVE, Rays OF when asked how the Rays would bounce back from Thursday's loss


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