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Rays tales

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 30, 2002


ALL-STAR REVIEW: Randy Winn tonight likely will be chosen Tampa Bay's sixth All-Star. If so, wish him luck. Not unlike their overall past performance, the Rays haven't had a stellar All-Star history. Two of their three All-Star position players were injured and didn't play. Their two All-Star pitchers did fine but slumped the next season and were traded.

1998: Rolando Arrojo went to Denver as their first All-Star, was introduced as a member of the Tampa Devil Rays, threw a scoreless sixth and got cheated out of the win, which was awarded to Bartolo Colon. After his 10-5 debut first half, Arrojo went 4-7 in the second, 7-12 the next season and was traded to Colorado.

1999: Jose Canseco was elected the starting DH after hitting a league-leading 31 first-half homers, but he injured his back the Friday before the game and had surgery. He hit three homers in the second half, missed time with injuries in 2000 and was claimed on waivers by the Yankees. The Rays had two All-Stars that year. Roberto Hernandez pitched a scoreless inning in Boston in the midst of a career-best 43-save season, then dropped to 32 the next and was traded.

2000: Fred McGriff represented the Rays in Atlanta, going 0-for-2 in three innings at first base. He slipped from 18 homers to nine in the second half and was traded in 2001.

2001: The Rays didn't have an active All-Star. Greg Vaughn was selected but strained his right hamstring the Sunday before the game and ended up an honorary representative. After hitting .244 with 21 homers and 60 RBIs in the first half, Vaughn hit .213-3-22 in the second. This season he is hitting .163-8-29 and is on the disabled list again.

IN TOTALITY: Ben Grieve ranked 11th in the last All-Star balloting update with 231,738 votes, the most of any Ray. We'll assume he must be getting support from somewhere else. For the 22 games the Rays were home during the voting, the total announced attendance was 273,742.

* * *

WHAT GOES UP ...

... doesn't always come down. Not at domed stadiums anyway. Kevin Millar's Friday-night flyball that stuck in a Tropicana Field catwalk is believed to be the sixth fair ball to defy gravity in a big-league ballpark. The list:

When Who Where What hit

8/4/79 Rupert Jones Kingdome speaker

5/20/83 Ricky Nelson Kingdome speaker

5/4/84 Dave Kingman Metrodome drainage hole

7/14/96 Alvaro Espinoza Metrodome speaker

5/2/99 Jose Canseco Trop catwalk

6/28/02 Kevin Millar Trop catwalk

EXCERPTED ...

From Jayson Stark's ESPN.com column on the Rays' willingness to make trades: "The hitch is, there's zero interest in Greg Vaughn or Wilson Alvarez. One club official said of Ben Grieve, "The question we keep asking is, where did all his tools go?' And John Flaherty has been on the market for two years, with no takers. Players who appear to have some value: Steve Cox, Ryan Rupe, Paul Wilson, Esteban Yan and, if they'll move him, the best player on the field every night -- Randy Winn. There's no doubt the most coveted Devil Ray is Joe Kennedy, but inquiring clubs have been told he's staying."

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Arena ball."

-- CHRIS GOMEZ, Rays shortstop, describing what it's like trying to play balls off the Tropicana Field catwalks

ON-LINE ITEM OF THE WEEK ...

Pins given away for free at Pac Bell Park last week commemorating the first meeting between the Rays and Giants were being offered on eBay with high bids Saturday of $2.75, $4.99 and a special Buy It Now price of $7.


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  • Kennedy can't win it alone
  • Winn to find out if he's Star material
  • Rays tales
  • Individual gain may be the Rays' biggest loss

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  • All-Star Game likely Yankees fest

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  • Strike a pose for inner well-being
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  • Darrell Fry
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