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Live from New York ... All-Star edition



After spending the afternoon riding in cars for a parade from midtown Manhattan to Central Park, the three Rays, and the other All-Stars, were eager for Tuesday's game.

Rookie 3B Evan Longoria is likely to be used as a pinch-hitter sometime in the middle of the game. LHP Scott Kazmir probably won't pitch unless the game goes into extra innings. It wasn't clear how C Dioner Navarro, one of three catchers on the AL roster, would be used.

The parade turned out to be quite entertaining for Kazmir, who said he was especially popular among fans of the Mets, the team which traded him to the Rays in July 2004 (for Victor Zambrano) and still hears regularly about it.

"They were really passionate, put it that way,'' Kazmir said. "It was crazy. There were guys tossing there Mets caps to me saying "Just try it on, see what it feels like, we know you'll come back.' A couple made it (to the truck) and they were like, "Just keep it, you'll be wearing it soon." And they were all asking me when I'll become a free agent.

Navarro said the heavily attended parade was quite the experience for him and his family. "It was great,'' Navarro said. "I was surprised how many people were cheering for me. A lot of people cheering for Tampa Bay, it was fun. I saw a lot of people in Rays shirts.''

Longoria will stay in New York on Wednesday to be a guest on the HBO Costas Live show, and to get some rest, then return to Florida for Thursday's workout at Tropicana Field. "I need to relax one of these days,'' he said.

He also had a different look about him Tuesday - a cleanshaven look.

Longoria had been wearing a beard, but last week in Cleveland trimmed it back to a goatee, but with the Rays extending their losing to seven decided it was time for further action. "That didn't work so I figured I might as well go all the way."

The players were invited to a number of parties on Monday night; Kazmir was among those stopping by the Jay Z / Alex Rodriguez party at the 40-40 club. There was some star power on the field Tuesday, with singer Sheryl Crow - who will perform the national anthem - getting autographs for his nephews.

Here are the starting lineups:

Hanley Ramirez, ss
Chase Utley, 2b
Lance Berkman, 1b
Albert Pujols, dh
Chipper Jones, 3b
Matt Holliday, rf
Ryan Braun, lf
Kosuke Fukudome, cf
Geovany Soto, c
Ben Sheets, rhp

Ichiro Suzuki, rf
Derek Jeter, ss
Josh Hamilton, cf
Alex Rodriguez, 3b
Manny Ramirez, lf
Milton Bradley, dh
Kevin Youkilis, 1b
Joe Mauer, c
Dustin Pedroia, 2b
Cliff Lee, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:37am]


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