Of Crawford overload, Damon's "big" day, and Maddon's mad world
Carl Crawford overload of the day
Players were impressed by the size and excitement of the crowd at Saturday's FanFest, but LHP J.P. Howell did have one complaint: too many fans wearing jerseys and shirts for former Ray Carl Crawford, now with Boston. "I'm getting a little sick of that," Howell said. "We need to do something about that, have a sale on some others or something. Get over it — he's out of here."
Quote of the day
"Big day today."
OF Johnny Damon, on afternoon plans to hit Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and other stores to get settled into his spring training rental
In Maddon's mad world …
• After driving his 1972 "candy apple blue" Chevelle convertible down from Tampa on Sunday morning, manager Joe Maddon noticed there was a car show (Keels & Wheels) at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds across from the training complex. He had one of the staff drive his car over and enter it in the competition. "I'm hoping it wins best of show," he joked.
• Maddon has plenty of spring reading planned. He's finishing up My Reading Life by favorite author Pat Conroy, with Peachtree Corvette Club by raysbaseball.com writer Bill Chastain, and The Bullpen Gospels by new reliever Dirk Hayhurst lined up. But he joked that if Hayhurst showed he could be the Rays closer, "He can go ahead of Pat."
• After the workout, Maddon met and held Maddon Barkley, a 7-week-old named in his honor who was among triplets born to Charlotte Ford Barkley, who worked for the team the previous two springs, and husband Nick, assistant GM of the Class A Stone Crabs.
Who is this Ray?
He played at Stanford alongside new teammate Sam Fuld. He has played for the Red Sox and Mets and made his big-league debut vs. the Rays in 2008. He is nicknamed "The Animal" for his relentless work ethic.
Who is this Ray answer: OF Chris Carter