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Extra work

About a dozen players were on the field at 3 p.m. for a voluntary extra batting session, which manager Joe Maddon said was a sign of how much the players care. The team has been immersed in a lengthy offensive slump, but Maddon has refrained from doing too much about it except stressing patience and confidence that they will return to form.

There are a number of hitters struggling, though the performance - or lack of performance - by Aubrey Huff has been most glaring. Huff went into play Tuesday with a .132 average overall and just 3-for-31 since coming off the disabled list on May 5. 1B Travis Lee is hitting .204 and Joey Gathright .192.

Maddon announced that he will miss the Friday and Saturday games against the Marlins so he can attend girlfriend Jaye Sousoures' graduation from law school in California.

The world champion White Sox were in town for their only visit of the season, but their presence didn't create much buzz around the Trop. Manager Ozzie Guillen - who played briefly for the Rays in 2000 - was entertaining as always, and was complimentary about the way the Rays are doing things now.

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


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