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Rays tales

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002

BOBBLING ALONG: Following in the footsteps of Fred McGriff and the even larger ones of mascot Raymond, Steve Cox today becomes the third Ray to have his own bobblehead doll. (Unless you count Jason Tyner, whose bobbleheads were left in a warehouse after he was sent to the minors, or Toby Hall, who originally was to be today's subject).

To Cox, the bobbleheads are more than a novelty. He collects the popular promotions, acquiring about 40 different ones that he displays at home.

"When they gave out the Fred McGriff ones I just thought it was neat," Cox said. "I asked (public relations vice president) Rick Vaughn if he could get me any other ones, and he got me around 20. Then in the last year I've bought some on eBay and gotten some when we've gone to other stadiums."

His most prized bobbleheads? "I've got both Ichiros."

So will he add the Steve Cox bobblehead to his collection?


* * *

SHE WRITES THE SONGS, HE THROWS THE PITCHES: If nothing else, Amanda Carter should have good material for some heartfelt country verse. As her husband, pitcher Lance Carter, worked his way back to the majors after a second major elbow operation, Amanda stood by her man, putting on hold a move to Nashville to boost her aspiring country music career.

Lately, she has been singing at a few restaurants in and around Bradenton, including the Bridge Tender Inn, compiling material for a demo cd, writing songs and working on the guitar, banjo and piano.

So, we wondered, whom does she sound like?

Wynonna? Faith Hill? Reba McEntire?

"Not a fair question," Lance Carter responded. "I don't really know enough about music to say who she sounds like. I really don't know."

* * *

STAR QUALITY: Jim Morris has been breathlessly traveling the country promoting the home video and DVD release of The Rookie, the movie that documented his amazing rise at age 35 from high school science teacher to Rays pitcher. "People love the story and they love the extra stuff at the end of the DVD (such as documentary style interviews and baseball tips)," he said.

Morris' time in the spotlight would seem to be shrinking rapidly, but he says that isn't the case. "I'm booked for the next few years with motivational speeches," he said. "And I want to get back to the classroom."

* * *

EXCERPTED: From Baseball America editor Allan Simpson's recent online chat: "There isn't another organization that can touch the Devil Rays group of young outfielders. If only (Josh) Hamilton could get healthy and stay healthy. He could still be the best of the lot. The challenge now is for the Devil Rays to round out their system with pitchers and infielders, and signing (top draft pick B.J.) Upton would go a long way to accomplishing that. They've made a very fair offer in relation to this year's bonus scale."

* * *

ONLINE ITEM OF THE WEEK: What is billed as Rocco Baldelli's first-ever baseball card -- showing him as a high school All-American -- had a high bid of $3 (to a buyer named Rocko 125) on eBay Friday night.

* * *

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I went to college for three years but I really don't like to think too much." -- DEWON BRAZELTON, Durham pitcher, complimenting catcher Paul Hoover for making his job easy in Friday's playoff win.

Back to the Rays
Today's lineup

  • Johnson grateful to be back
  • 'About as bad as you can get'
  • Rays tales
  • Deal's impact a year or two off

  • Bucs
  • He's still the one
  • OL trades papers for pigskins
  • Sapp's goals, Gruden's thoughts? You pick 'em
  • Bucs side line
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk vs. the Saints
  • High Profile: Michael Pittman
  • It's a woman's world for McCardell
  • Anticipation is brewing for unpredictable Bucs

  • Letters
  • Letters: Don't kick a Buc when he's jobless

  • Lightning
  • 10 Lightning questions entering camp
  • Lightning camp
  • A simple plan: score more

  • Other sports

    College football
  • Unrivaled
  • Late power steers Bulls to win
  • College football notebook
  • Rubin hopes to sustain start
  • NIU's top tailback Hammock sits out
  • C-USA: Nix fights way back in win for S. Miss
  • ACC: Gamecock turnovers lift Cavs
  • Big 12: Colorado scores win without QB
  • Pac-10: FSU transfer Darling has 3 TDs for Wash. St.
  • Around the state
  • Big Ten: Coach wakes Spartans in time
  • Big East: Texas A&M converts on Pitt's PAT woes
  • Irish win despite offense
  • SEC: Bama's bid bobbled: Sooners avoid upset
  • Miami AD would like to play UF regularly
  • Miami quotebook
  • Florida quotebook
  • UM runner seems here to stay
  • At right time, DBs emerge for Miami

  • Tennis
  • Serena wins 3rd straight in sister slam
  • Men's final a flashback for two 'old-timers'
  • Davenport surprising even herself

  • Baseball
  • Wells loses two teeth in attack at diner
  • AL: Mulder stops A's skid at one
  • NL: Giants win on final swing again
  • A-Rod: Let's begin promoting the good

  • Sports Etc.
  • Highs and lows
  • Spurrier's struggles should be short-lived
  • A Heisman primary yields no early leader
  • Winners over U.S. compete for gold
  • Junior still dominant force in Busch series
  • Stewart denies assaulting woman after Bristol race
  • Kenseth survives Richmond
  • Mustangs boys, girlsmake strong showings
  • CCC girls, Largo boys run strong
  • Wharton crashes the party
  • Patriots gain little respect
  • NFL previews
  • Activated receiver Smith will start for Jaguars

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Sampras: role model for fans and Roddick
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