tampabay.com

Louisiana native can only hope

By MARC TOPKIN
Published August 31, 2005


BOSTON - Tim Corcoran has faith that everything will turn out to be all right.

But as the Rays rookie reliever waits to get some word that his girlfriend, Dana Jackson, survived Hurricane Katrina, and as he watches TV clips of the devastation throughout his native Louisiana, he has a sense of worry and dread, too.

"The lines of communication are all out," Corcoran said. "I've tried e-mailing her, I've tried text-messaging her, I've tried to call her. I just can't get in touch with her."

Corcoran last talked to Jackson on Sunday night, as she and her parents prepared for the storm to hit at their home near the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, an area that according to TV reports sustained heavy damage.

"Every once in a while I'll see a place that's close (to her home). I'm just worried, you know," he said.

"I hope she is all right. I think she is all right. It's just not knowing that's the frustrating thing about it."

Corcoran and Jackson have been dating for about two years. He last saw her last week when she visited St. Petersburg.

Overall, the news reports have been tough to watch as he sees familiar sites in disrepair.

"They said it was bad, then they said it wasn't as bad as they thought, and it is as bad as they thought," Corcoran said.

CANTU CAN DO: With a first-inning single and a second-inning double, Jorge Cantu ran his August RBI total to 28, breaking the team record shared by Gerald Williams (July 2000), Greg Vaughn (June 2001) and Aubrey Huff (August 2003). With 93 RBIs overall, Cantu has the sixth most in team history, 14 shy of Huff's 2003 team record.

NOT-SO-SPECIAL K: Rookie Scott Kazmir's previous success against the Red Sox was one of the themes going into Tuesday's game, but he wasn't as overpowering as he has been, allowing four runs in 52/3 innings. That's what he had allowed total in 271/3 innings over his first five starts against them. "He wasn't as sharp as he's been in the past," Rays manager Lou Piniella said.

BISCUITS SHELVED: Because of effects of the storm, Double-A Montgomery's games tonight and Thursday at Mobile, Ala., were canceled. The Biscuits, who last played Sunday, are scheduled to finish with a four-game series starting Friday at Tennessee.

MINOR MATTERS: B.J. Upton, who does not appear likely to be called up at the end of Durham's season, was named shortstop on the International League All-Star team. ... Rob Bell, who began the season in the Rays rotation before being sidelined with anxiety problems, extended his scoreless streak at Triple-A Durham to 12 innings over five appearances. ... The Bulls finished their home schedule with record attendance of 520,371; Class-A Visalia pitcher Andrew Sonnanstine ranks seventh in all of minor-league baseball with 172 strikeouts.

DEALMAKERS: Players who got through waivers can be traded up until today and be eligible for postseason play with their new teams. Catcher Toby Hall and reliever Travis Harper are among the Rays who could be traded, but no deals are expected.

MISCELLANY: Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch for the 13th time, tying Jose Guillen's 2000 team record. ... Manny Ramirez snapped a career 0-for-13 streak against Kazmir with a fifth-inning single. ... There was some talk of putting pitcher Seth McClung on the bereavement list so the Rays could call up a replacement while he attended his grandmother's funeral in West Virginia, but the move was not made. McClung is scheduled to return Thursday. ... In their first 21 trips to Boston, the Rays have won only two series and are now 19-45 at Fenway Park. ... The Rays hit 30-plus homers in back-to-back months for the first time.