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Tired and unhappy Rays preparing for clincher



After a 3 a.m. arrival at their Dearborn, Mich., hotel and a short night, the Rays are preparing for their unusual early game at Comerica Park with a chance to clinch the American League East division championship with a win.

And they aren't particularly happy about the situation, having to play at 1:05 today after a night game in Baltimore on Wednesday.

"Just pretty poor planning,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "You can't slice it any other way. I'm not going to sit here and agree with what was done. I'm sure it was planned in advance, or based on the previous reputation of the (Tampa Bay) organization. That's what I got.

"Because there's no way the Yankees would be sitting here right now. ... Or anybody. It's just inappropriate.''

The game is being played during the day as part of a Seniors Day promotion.

Maddon, who estimated most players got 3-5 hours of sleep, gave 2B Akinori Iwamura and DH Cliff Floyd the day off. Ben Zobrist is at second and Willy Aybar at DH. C Dioner Navarro would have gotten the day off if the Rays weren't in position to clinch.

The Rays lineup:
Upton, cf
Zobrist, 2b
Pena, 1b
Longoria, 3b
Aybar, dh
Navarro, c
Gross, rf
Hinske, lf
Bartlett, ss
Kazmir, p

Santiago, ss
Thames, dh
Ordonez, rf
Cabrera, 1b
Hessman, 3b
Raburn, 2b
Inge, cf
Joyce, lf
Ryan, c
Galarraga, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:39am]


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