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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Minnesota mess out of McClung's mind
By MARC TOPKIN
Published July 2, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS - Seth McClung will take the mound at the Metrodome tonight acting as if he has never been there before.
That's because his previous outing there was one he'd rather forget.
McClung's second major-league start was April 30, 2003, against the Twins, and it didn't last long as he gave up six runs on six hits and two hit batters and failed to get out of the second inning.
"All I remember about it is where the clubhouse is," McClung said.
Instead, he'll try to dwell on a fresher memory, the solid seven innings he pitched against the Marlins on Sunday in his first start since coming back from the minors.
"He really threw the ball well," manager Lou Piniella said. "And he looked so much more comfortable starting (than pitching out of the bullpen)."
McClung, who made three starts for Triple-A Durham after a mid May demotion, allowed just two hits and three walks over seven innings but took the loss when he walked in the only run of the game.
"Regardless of anybody saying how well I did, I obviously didn't pitch well enough because we lost," he said. "I just want to go out each time and prove to myself and prove to the organization that I can pitch here. I've got a chance. But just because I had one good start doesn't mean I'll be here forever."
STARRY-EYED: All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday, and it is not clear which Ray will be chosen. Assuming no Rays are elected on the players' ballot, AL manager Terry Francona and league officials will pick the obligatory representative.
Leftfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Jorge Cantu are the most likely choices, though because of the way the system is set up, with Francona getting to add four pitchers and only one position player, closer Danys Baez could be picked.
"To me, it's either Crawford or Cantu; I don't know what they need," Piniella said. "If it's a pitcher it obviously will be Baez."
RIGHT, LEFT, LEFT: The Rays are shuffling their rotation to avoid starting left-handers in three straight games next week against the White Sox and to give Scott Kazmir a more favorable matchup Sunday against the Twins.
Originally, right-hander Hideo Nomo was to pitch Sunday against the Twins and Kazmir on Monday in Chicago, followed by Mark Hendrickson and Casey Fossum . Now Kazmir will pitch Sunday and Nomo will be pushed back to Monday.
NO NECKING: Alex Gonzalez was scheduled to make his third start of the season at shortstop but was scratched with a stiff neck. Julio Lugo , who was to DH, returned to his regular position at shortstop.
PLAYING TO WIN: Bobby Borchering , of the Lee County town of Alva, will represent the Rays in the national finals, 13/14-year-old division of the Pitch, Hit & Run competition July 11 as part of the All-Star Game festivities.
MINOR MATTERS: Outfielder John Matulia , the Rays' 10th-round pick from Eustis High, has hits in nine of his first 10 pro games and a .364 average for rookie-level Princeton (W. Va.). ... With GM Chuck LaMar watching Thursday, Montgomery's Delmon Young hit his Southern League-leading 19th homer and ran his league-best RBI total to 68. ... Chad Gaudin got some revenge at the Rays for trading him in December, holding Triple-A Durham to one run on four hits in Syracuse's 2-1 win Thursday. ... Durham catcher Pete LaForest is on the disabled list with a foot injury.
MISCELLANY: Crawford didn't start for the first time this season but was an eighth-inning defensive replacement. ... Damon Hollins snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a second-inning single. ... Fossum said the key to recovering from his rough first inning "was slowing myself down and starting to throw strikes." ... Eric Munson is still limited by soreness in his ribcage area stemming from his unsuccessful slide into home Tuesday. ... Ex-Ray Paul Abbott signed to pitch for Fullerton (Calif.) in the independent Golden Baseball League. ... Todd Kalas is filling in on the TV broadcasts as Dewayne Staats attends to a personal matter. ... According to the Star-Tribune , Piniella apologized to Minnesota's Jacque Jones for words they had during a series at the Trop in May.