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All-Star OF Winn named team MVP

By KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 22, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- Outfielder Randy Winn, the Rays' All-Star, was named team Most Valuable Player by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"I wasn't too focused on the award; maybe a little ways down the line I'll look back on it," Winn said. "Definitely the win was bigger."

The Champion Award went to catcher John Flaherty for best exemplifying the spirit of true professionalism. Flaherty, one of three players left from inaugural team, received the award for the third time in five years.

Outfielder Carl Crawford earned the Outstanding Rookie award. The 21-year-old began the season at Triple-A Durham and joined the Rays in late July.

"It's always nice to win something like that," Crawford said. "I'm happy they picked me even though I was here such a short period of time."

LAST CALL: Paul Wilson will start the Rays' final home game of the season. And with a 9.86 ERA in his past four starts, the right-hander said he'd like to finish on a positive note.

"I'm going to go out there and do the same thing I've always been doing, throw the sinker and be aggressive," Wilson said. "I find when you put a lot of pressure on yourself, it really doesn't help a whole lot."

Wilson will concentrate on keeping the ball down, which he said has been the problem the past three or four starts. Sept. 17, he allowed a season-high seven earned runs on 10 hits in six innings.

"I've just got to concentrate on keeping that thing down so I don't get whacked around," he said.

WELCOME: Former Kansas City pitcher Dan Reichert, claimed off waivers Friday, joined the Rays before the game.

When asked what he thought of the Tampa Bay area, Reichert said, "It's hot," but added he is glad to be here.

"This was always one of my favorite places to come, with a nice stadium and artificial turf," he said. "Hopefully it's going to be a good long career for me."

The right-hander did not get into the game but threw in the bullpen. He is wearing No. 34, as the No. 41 he donned with the Royals is taken by Wilson.

FINGER ALMOST FINE: Flaherty was wearing a bandage on the tip of the middle finger on his catching hand, which was slightly fractured Tuesday. Flaherty said the finger felt better Saturday, and he would like to be back by the middle of the road trip. He has not yet caught for a pitcher.

"I can bend it; it's more the pounding of the ball hitting the glove right now, that's the problem," he said. "I haven't even tried to grip a bat or hit; that's probably going to be another level, with actually making contact and the vibrations of the bat."

HOME RUN RECORDS: Three records were set when Toronto's Vernon Wells belted a three-run homer in the third. The blast was the 208th allowed by the Rays this season and the 16th consecutive game in which they have given up a homer, both franchise records. It also was the 4,000th home run in Blue Jays history.


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  • Fans get in their gripes while Rays just keep winning
  • All-Star OF Winn named team MVP
  • Rays cut Nash loose
  • Blame falling on McRae
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