Spring Training Preview
Rays pitcher Wilson Alvarez hopes to bounce back from an injury-plagued 1998. The Rays have made strong pitching their foundation for 1999.
[Times photo: Jonathan Newton ]
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Spring Training Preview

Cover story
Ahead in pitch count

To be a pitching team or a hitting team? That was the question for the Rays. The answer: start with strong pitching.

Baseball in Tampa Bay
Al Lang’s face lift will cost $4.5-million

The spring training home of the Devil Rays has a new look for the second season and will be fan-friendly.

Here are some games you really don’t want to miss
Once again, the boss has dismissed your proposal to shut down the office for a week-long spring break.

Fan guide to downtown dining
There are almost 100 restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg between Tropicana Field and the bayfront to give fans a variety of choices for food and drink before or after a game.

Devil Rays
Ranking the Rays

With the exhibition season starting, Rays officials say few jobs are secure and many decisions remain to be made.

The new Devil Rays
A look at the 23 players new to the organization.

Minor changes for minor teams
The minor-league system that began with a Gulf Coast Rookie League team at Al Lang in the summer of 1996 reaches full strength this season.

Russell back where he belongs
If he ever had any doubts about returning to the minors to manage, they dissipated the first time Bill Russell stepped onto the field this spring.

What they're saying about the Rays
The one thing nearly every preseason magazine agrees on is the Devil Rays will finish last in the American League East.

Around the league
The good and bad of 1999

Managers on the bubble ... worst signings ... teams on the rise

Other local Grapefruit League teams
Blue Jays try to stay focused

Toronto using spring to recapture chemistry lost after an off-season of turmoil. [Team at a glance]

Busy off-season encourages Phils
The team did everything it could in the off-season to make staying attractive to ace pitcher Curt Schilling. But was it enough? [Team at a glance]

Yankees’ encore awaited
New York returns 21 of 25 members of last year’s world championship team, and it adds five-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens. [Team at a glance]


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