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Team to remember slain Tampa officer

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 14, 2001


MONTREAL -- The Rays are planning to make a sizable donation in memory of slain Tampa police officer Lois Marrero as part of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on July 21.

The Rays will donate $2 to the Gold Shield Foundation from each regularly priced ticket sold for game, with about $17,000 already committed from season ticket sales. The foundation provides college scholarships for children and spouses of officers killed in the line of duty.

Also, every law enforcement officer in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Sarasota and Manatee counties can get four free tickets to the 4:15 p.m. game against Texas.

FAMILIAR FACE: Ozzie Guillen spent spring training with the Rays. He spent the past two nights on the Montreal bench.

Guillen, released after the final exhibition, was hired as a coach when Jeff Torborg took over as manager of the Expos.

Guillen spoke with Rays general manager Chuck LaMar about a front-office job as a special assistant, similar to what Wade Boggs did in 2000. But Guillen said the two never worked out the details, and he went home to Venezuela to spend time with his family.

"I'd call him but he was busy and I told him to take care of what he had to do, like the stuff with (Vinny) Castilla, that it was more important that giving me a job," Guillen said. "Plus, I wanted to be on the field."

Guillen, to the surprise of no one who has met him, is having a great time, working with Montreal's young players and regaling them with stories.

Ultimately, he wants very much to be a manager.

"I will be," he said. "Hopefully, someone will give me a chance."

BIG SWINGER: Through the first 12 days of July, Jason Tyner is tied with Minnesota's Matt Lawton as the top hitter in the game, each with 18 hits. Tyner's 11-game hitting streak, which matched the longest run by a Ray this season, ended Friday. Tyner has played well enough that manager Hal McRae plans to keep him in centerfield, though he said Randy Winn also will get time. ... Ben Grieve, in a 10-for-52 slump, batted seventh for the second game in a row. "Hopefully he'll relax more down there," McRae said.

REHAB REPORT: Juan Guzman came through Thursday's seven-inning Triple-A outing Thursday night with no health problems, but needs further work in the minors. "His velocity was not where it needs to be," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "He started out at 83-85 (mph) and worked his way up to 90, but he needs to be more consistent." ... Wilson Alvarez, whose shoulder rehab assignment was stopped because of forearm tightness, is ready to throw batting practice, but probably is a week from pitching in a minor-league game, trainer Jamie Reed said. ... Outfielder Jose Guillen, out since May 17 with a knee sprain, will start a rehab assignment at Durham tonight.

RAYS BITS: Outfielder Terrell Lowery was released from Triple-A Durham when Chris Hatcher was activated from the disabled list. ... McRae said Damian Rolls will make his first outfield start today. He also said he doesn't plan to use Steve Cox in the outfield again.

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