St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Schedule
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Parking
Interactive
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Links
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum



Print storySubscribe to the Times

Home-run pop by Cruz may be pop's present

By MARC TOPKIN
Published June 20, 2004

PHOENIX - Jose Cruz Jr. could have quite the Father's Day present for his dad.

With his next home run, the Devil Rays rightfielder will match his father's career total of 165.

"That's nice for bragging rights at the house," Cruz said. "But he already told me I have to catch him in RBIs and hits. That will be tough."

Jose Cruz played in the big leagues from 1970-88, mostly with Houston, and was a two-time All-Star and finished in the top 10 of the NL MVP voting three times.

He retired with a .284 average, 2,251 hits, 1,077 RBIs and the 165 homers.

"I followed his career as much as I could. He retired when I was like 14 years old," Cruz said. "He was very influential in me getting to the big leagues."

Cruz went into play Saturday with a .251 career average, 875 hits, 490 RBIs and 164 homers.

The senior Cruz is the first-base coach for the Astros, and Cruz said it would be fun to someday be on the same team with his dad. They were on the same team once during the Puerto Rico winter league.

"I think it would be a fun thing," Cruz said. "He wouldn't have to call to ask me how I did."

WAECHTER WOES: Doug Waechter's return to the rotation will be delayed since the strained tendon in his right middle finger isn't getting much better.

"He really isn't coming along as well as we had hoped," Piniella said. "It's starting to be a little bit of a concern. Not that it's not going to get any better, but that it might be a little bit longer than we had hoped for. He's doing all he can, but he still feels discomfort, and as long as he feels discomfort he can't do much."

Waechter hasn't pitched since June 8; the Rays hoped he would be back by the end of this week.

CARTER UPDATE: Reliever Lance Carter rested his inflamed right shoulder again Saturday but plans to play catch today and hopes to be available to pitch Tuesday when the Rays open a three-game series in Toronto.

"I didn't think it was a big deal," Carter said. "It was one of those things were it was just irritated and needed a little bit of time to calms down."

To bolster the thin bullpen, the Rays shuffled their rotation. By moving Victor Zambrano 's start back from Tuesday to Wednesday, they will have him available for middle relief work today. Chad Gaudin will pitch Tuesday and John Halama on Thursday.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY: Geoff Blum got a surprise for his first Father's Day - his wife and 6-month-old daughter drove out from California to spend the weekend with him.

For Blum, it was a significant occasion because Mia Lea spent three weeks in the hospital with bacterial meningitis.

"As soon as we got to Florida (for spring training) we found out she was sick," Blum said. "We made it through that, and she's a strong little kid."

MARCHING ON: Passing Al Lopez on the all-time wins list was a significant event because Piniella considered Lopez an inspiration. With Saturday's win Piniella tied former Cardinals and Yankees manager Miller Huggins at 1,413.

"I don't know anything at all about Miller Huggins except that you've got Miller Huggins Field (now Huggins-Stengel), in St. Pete and when I was a kid we'd go over there and watch some games once in a while," Piniella said.

MISCELLANY: Piniella said if top minor-league prospects B.J. Upton and Joey Gathright are going to be promoted this season they will likely come up shortly after the mid-July All-Star break. ... Fred McGriff , who has 493 homers but none at Bank One Ballpark, is scheduled to start at first base today. ... The Rays were 21-34 (a .382 winning percentage) when they started their winning streak;

the most recent team to start a winning streak of at least 10 games with a percentage that low was the 1985 Twins, who were 2-9. [Last modified June 20, 2004, 01:21:05]

Today's lineup
Rays
Rays run streak to 10 wins
McGriff tries for 500 the hard way
Got a minute, Dewon Brazelton?
Rays tales
Sternberg adds new direction
Home-run pop by Cruz may be pop's present

Bucs
Nece, Quarles honor Top Dad


Other sports

Baseball
  • Trade not so one-sided after all
  • Cubs' winning hit? Grinning Barrett
  • Group bids on Expos for Puerto Rico
  • Yankee wins debut

  • Colleges
  • Miami overcomes rough start to win

  • Golf
  • Shinnecock bites back
  • 19th hole
  • No. 7 certainly wasn't heaven
  • Woods says Harmon out of line
  • Killeen's clean round has drought on ropes

  • In brief
  • Montgomery mocks doping 'evidence'

  • Motorsports
  • Carefully chosen words requirement for Gaughan
  • Hamilton on top after late pass

  • NBA
  • How quickly paradise vanished

  • Olympics
  • Gymnasts to watch

  • Opinion
  • Rant: Duval picked the wrong time and place for return

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Pair paddles for environment

  • Parimutuels
  • Cayman Went finishes third in final Derby Lane race

  • Preps
  • Dedication
  • Right Call
  • Suncoast Softball coach of year

  • Soccer
  • U.S. heavily favored in Grenada

  • Sports in print
  • Outdoors awards for Times, Tomalin

  • Tennis
  • From Russia with love and plenty of game
  • Broadcaster, writer, fashion guru
  • Wimbledon five to watch

  • Track and field
  • Jones stumbles, recovers

  • Your turn
  • Letters to the Editor: Devil Rays have earned more fans at the Trop
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     


     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week