Rays: News and notes

By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
Published February 16, 2008

Quote of the day

"I told him, 'Don't ever call me that again.'"

Bench coach Dave Martinez, 41, on being referred to as "Coach" by his former teammate and longtime friend, catcher Mike Difelice, 38

Number of the day

60 Years in professional baseball for senior adviser Don Zimmer, who started playing in 1949 and last month turned 77.

Did you know?

Pitching prospect Wade Davis, a Lake Wales native, is second cousin to former catcher Jody Davis, a two-time All-Star with the Cubs and Braves.

Who's on third?

A daily look at the Rays' biggest positional issue:

It's got to be Longoria's job for now - at least until Joel Guzman, or Willy Aybar report to camp.


The dish ...

Today's workout starts around 10 a.m. and continues until about 12:30 p.m. at the Naimoli complex, 7901 30th Ave. N. Pitchers scheduled for bullpen sessions, starting around 10:55, include ace Scott Kazmir, closer Troy Percival and top draft pick David Price. Admission and parking are free.

Info: 1-888-FAN-RAYS (326-7297)

List of the day

Over the past three seasons, Scott Kazmir has built quite a fan club, ranking first in strikeouts per nine innings:

Pitcher, team K/9

Scott Kazmir, Rays 9.65

Jake Peavy, Padres 9.61

Johan Santana, Twins 9.44

Erik Bedard, Orioles 8.95

A.J. Burnett, Jays 8.68

Random note

The annual team Fanfest is Feb. 23 at Tropicana Field and will feature more than just the current Rays. Nineteen former major-leaguers will sign autographs. Former big-leaguer Harold Reynolds, now an MLB.com analyst, will hold a question-and-answer session. Admission and parking are free.

New Ray Dept.

Infielder Akinori Iwamura has a new interpreter, Tateki "Bori" Uchibori, 35, who spent 10 seasons working with English-speaking players in Japan. Uchibori, who attended Quincy College and Western Kentucky, also interpreted for the band Little Feat.

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.


29 - at Reds


1 - Blue Jays

2 - at Pirates

3 - at Tigers

4 - Twins

5 - Astros

6 - at Phillies

7 - Phillies

8 - at Yankees, 1:15

9 - Reds

10 - Indians

11 - at Twins

12 - Yankees

13 - at Red Sox

14 - Blue Jays

15 - at Braves (ss)

15 - at Yankees (ss), 1:15

16 - Tigers

18 - at Phillies

19 - Phillies

20 - at Indians

21 - at Yankees, 7:15

22 - Pirates

23 - at Reds

24 - Pirates

25 - at Blue Jays

26 - at Twins

27 - at Indians

28 - Reds

29 - at Reds