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Crowded house ....

The Rays reported that attendance is up 60 percent through the first 10 games of the season - with a total of 197,165 compared to 118,261 at the same point last season. Some of that can be attributed to the excitement over the change in ownership and the more fan-friendly attitude, though some also has to be due to having the Red Sox in for what turned out to be a big weekend and a couple of promotions during the first homestand. Last season's first 10 home games were against the Blue Jays, A's, Orioles and Rangers. Small crowds are likely for the Rangers, but it will interesting to see how the Yankee-lovers turn out on Wednesday and Thursday, and if those bridges from Tampa are not nearly as much of a hassle as they are other days.

SS Julio Lugo and 3B Aubrey Huff took the next steps toward rejoining the Rays this weekend by playing in extended spring training games on Monday. Both hope to be in the Rays lineup in Oakland this weekend.

Manager Joe Maddon continues to insist that the bullpen will improve as the season goes on. ""Even though it's a little crazy right now, if we could work through this and stay solvent, as the season is in progress, I think they should be better in a month or two,'' Maddon said.

No word yet on the length of Delmon Young's suspension.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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