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Rays tales

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published July 14, 2002

LARGER THAN LIFE: Who says a Rays jersey isn't a hot commodity? A woman filed suit in Orange County Court against singer A.J. McLean and the other Backstreet Boys claiming she suffered serious injuries when McLean took off his Rays jersey and tossed it into the crowd during a February 2000 concert at Tropicana Field. Helene Bahn claims she was mobbed by other concertgoers after catching the jersey, that it became wrapped around her neck during the ensuing tussle and that, among other injuries, she suffered a herniated disc that required surgery. Bahn seeks damages in excess of $15,000. In the lawsuit, scheduled for a hearing next month, Bahn claims McLean and the rest of the Boys "knew or should have known that the throwing of an object such as a jersey would result in a melee breaking out over the jersey and injuries to occur."

RELATIVELY SPEAKING: Randy Winn on Friday became the Rays' all-time stolen-base leader with his 70th. A big deal? Sure. But Winn's career total is 60 fewer than Rickey Henderson swiped during the 1982 season. Similarly, Ryan Rupe's franchise-record 348 strikeouts are fewer than Nolan Ryan's single-season record 383 for the '73 Angels. And Albie Lopez's record 26 wins? Jack Chesbro's 1904 single-season record is 41.

PANACHE: Say this about the Rays, at least they lose with style. And a sense of history. By losing the five games before the All-Star break in their opponent's last at-bat, they became the first team to accomplish that quintuple trouble since the 1982 Braves. In May, the Rays became the first team since the 1990 Cardinals, and the first American League team since the 1929 White Sox, to lose three straight games after taking leads into the ninth inning.


From Kevin Kernan's column in the New York Post: There is no sympathy for this Devil Ray or any other struggling team. ... If Tampa closed shop tomorrow no one would miss them. This is a bad team, a bad logo, a bad idea from the start. Why should fans in Tampa Bay pay major-league prices for a minor-league product? The Devil Rays know nothing but last place. Good riddance.

Online item of the week

A ball signed by Dick Vitale at a Rays game was being offered on eBay Saturday for a minimum bid of $9.99. A ball signed by Rays top prospect Carl Crawford had a low bid of $3.99.

Quote of the Week

"I'll be like the guy in college everyone pays for their notes."

-- JOE KENNEDY, pitcher on representing the team at a key union meeting

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