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Rays: News and notes
By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
Published February 15, 2008
Quote of the day
"I'm excited. I'm optimistic. I'm good with all this. It's almost like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Joe Maddon, Rays manager, on the team's positive outlook
Number of the day
3 Members of the 1998 original Rays expected to be on hand today -Mike Difelice (catcher), Dave Martinez (bench coach), Fred McGriff (adviser)
Did you know?
New bench coach (and former outfielder) Dave Martinez got the first hit in franchise history, a third-inning single off the first-base bag in the March 31, 1998, inaugural game. He also was the first Ray to steal two bases in a game, and the first to hit an inside-the-park homer (though 11 days later went on the DL with a season-ending hamstring injury).
Who's on third?
A daily look at the Rays' biggest positional issue:
For now, it has to be Longoria, none of the others (Joel Guzman, top left, and Willy Aybar) have arrived yet.
The dish ...
Today's first workout for pitchers and catchers will start around 10 a.m., after physical exams, and continue until around noon at the Naimoli complex, 7901 30th Ave. N. All pitchers will throw brief bullpen sessions starting around 11. Some position players are also expected to work out. Admission and parking are free.
Info: 1-888-FAN-RAYS (326-7297)
List of the day
The Rays open spring training today as the third-youngest team in the majors based on average age of their 40-man roster:
Team Average age
As part of their physical exams, players will undergo MLB-mandated Impact Concussion Assessments, a 20-minute computerized collection of data on their recall and reaction to stimuli. Results will be maintained by the training staff and used as a baseline in determining if a player who sustains a concussion should return to action. "This gives us some hard data on every player," Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield said.
Rays exhibition schedule
Games at Progress Energy Park, St. Petersburg
Tickets: Field box ($20), loge box ($17), grandstand ($15), general admission berm ($7). Available at RaysBaseball.com, through Ticketmaster and at Tropicana Field box office. All games 1:05 p.m. unless noted.