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Rays tales

By Compiled by MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 3, 2000


FAME GAME: Pitchers Paul Wilson and Doug Creek are about to become famous. Wilson is being inducted this month into the Florida State Sports Hall of Fame, and Creek is receiving the same honor at Georgia Tech.

Creek, a top starter for the Yellow Jackets from 1988-91, will be inducted with football player Ken Swilling and NBA player Dennis Scott. Other baseball players in the Tech Hall include Dodgers ace Kevin Brown, Tampa's Ty Griffin and Pirates general manager Cam Bonifay.

"It's kind of neat," Creek said. "It's a big honor."

Wilson starred at FSU from 1992-94, leading the Seminoles to the 1994 College World Series with a 13-5 record and 2.08 ERA, striking out 161 and walking just 32 in 143 innings. The Mets made him the first pick in that June's draft.

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks and former NFL player Marvin Jones are being inducted with him.

"It's a real nice honor. I have a lot of great memories from Florida State and to be remembered in some way is nice," Wilson said. "And hopefully I can get some free football tickets."

Since the Rays still are playing, Wilson and Creek will be represented at the ceremonies by their parents.

Creek, a seventh-round pick in the 1991 draft, came up a couple hours shy of a degree in building construction and hopes to go back one day. Wilson, who knew he was headed to pro ball after his junior year, didn't come that close. His major? "Eligibility."

WHO, ME?: A shrug and a poker face apparently kept Billy Hatcher from being ejected in Tuesday's wild game. With Larry Rothschild, Bill Russell and Jose Cardenal ejected (after a team is warned about throwing at hitters, the acting manager is automatically tossed along with the pitcher if it happens again), Hatcher was in charge when Tony Fiore came in and hit Brian Daubach with his second pitch. But when umpire Tim McClelland approached the Rays bench and asked who was managing, Hatcher said he didn't know. McClelland was either convinced -- or amused enough -- that he smiled and walked away, leaving what was left of the coaching staff intact.

"I was going to say (Orlando Gomez) was in charge, but I didn't want to do that to him," Hatcher said. "I just didn't want to go out of the game."

What they're saying

Jayson Stark, writing on ESPN.com about Tuesday's wild game: "But even a no-hit bid -- by a fairly visible gentleman named Pedro Martinez -- turned into a sideshow in the wildest, craziest baseball game of the year. And what would you have figured beforehand it would take to obscure a Pedro no-no? An earthquake? A tidal wave? A strike by the local grouper fishermen?"

Quote of the week

"We have to be."

-- Larry Rothschild, manager, asked if he expects the Rays to be a better offensive team than they showed in August

By the numbers

9: Consecutive games played by the Rays that took less than three hours.

35: Home runs allowed by Dan Wheeler in 25 starts for Triple-A Durham.

50: Players used by the Rays this season, four shy of modern-day record held by the 1996 Phillies.

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