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THEY'RE BACK

How much will the Rays really get out of Aubrey Huff and Julio Lugo? Manager Joe Maddon said he knows he will get something. Whether it is tonight, tomorrow or the third day remains to be seen. That's a good attitude to have and practical considering neither player has done anything on a major league level in a while. Huff has been out since April 12 with a sprained knee and Lugo hasn't played since the opener against the Orioles because of a strained intercostal muscle. Those are the muscles that fill in the gaps between your ribs. Think of when you eat ribs. The meat is the intercostal muscle. That is why such an injury takes so long to heal. The muscles are always in motion. Lugo said he will not hold back. "If it happens, it happens,'' he said of a new injury. "But I'm not going to hold back.''

It might be hard to believe, but McAfee Coliseum in Oakland might be a worse venue to watch baseball than Tropicana Field. The stands seem miles away from the stands. It was cold Friday night (Somewhere in the 50s with a breeze). In short, you had to be committed to your team to come out and watch on a night like this. EVen Maddon good naturedly complained the wooden dugout benches no longer had any padding. So the next time you want to complain about the sterile atmosphere in the Trop, remember it is a heck of a lot better than bundling up on a cold, windy night.

Jonny Gomes is getting bigger and bigger. The designated hitter who entered Friday tied for the AL lead with 11 home runs, is being shadowed by a Sports Illustrated reporter for an upcoming story.

Greg Norton grew up in Oakland and said former A's pitcher Dave Stewart sponsored his Babe Ruth team.

How about this for ridiculous scheduling. Not only do the Rays have to play tonight but then a day game Saturday. That after not getting into the Bay Area until after 4 a.m. Friday morning after Thursday night's game with the Yankees in St. Pete. "It's just something they threw at us,'' Maddon said of the schedule. "You do it and don't cry about it.''

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

    

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