For starters, Rays vs. Yankees
Update 5:28 p.m. Though LHP David Price appeared disappointed he was pulled in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees, manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't aware of those sentiments, but understood.
Maddon stood by his decision, saying Price would have stayed in if he had retired Robinson Cano (who got a single), but with a runner on, he liked RHP Fernando Rodney.
Both Price and Rodney have not had the type of starts they expected, but Maddon predicted both will have a very good seasons, they're just going through a little tough moment right now. Maddon pointed out Rodney's velocity, around 98 mph, and stuff were good, he just got beat.
It was unique that Rodney was brought in during the middle of an inning, but Maddon said they've done that a few times before and said anyone would have liked the matchup of the All-Star closer on Overbay and Stewart.
*Maddon said the Rays, 4-1 on the homestand, are starting to look like the team they envisioned, coming together nicely after a rough start to the year. But Maddon still labeled the month "medicore," with a chance to still be a good April.
*DH Luke Scott (calf strain) was back at the Trop working out, hitting on the field, after feeling good in the first game of his minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Charlotte, going 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the eighth inning. Scott said his timing was a little off, but otherwise it went well. He'll play for Charlotte Friday and likely through Sunday before re-evaluating.
Update 5:22 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon's surprise from the animal kingdom today were a couple penguins - named Cliff and Shelly - from the Florida Acquarium.
The two penguins strutted around the clubhouse, with several Rays players taking photos. Ben Zobrist filmed a video for his kids. "Nothing surprises me anymore," Zobrist said, smiling.
Maddon heard Cliff was one of the most friendly penguins around, and joked he re-named Shelley "Dunc" after DH Shelley Duncan. "So Dunc's going to have a good game today," he said.
Maddon, who had a DJ, magician and then a cockatoo in the clubhouse throughout the homestand, said he may have a few more ideas planned for later home games, with the idea it loosens the players up.
Update 5:15 p.m. The Rays lineup will be stacked with righties against Yankees veteran LHP Andy Pettitte.
Developing: The Rays will finish off a six-game homestand with a series finale against the Yankees tonight at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay has won four of its last five, but fell Tuesday night 4-3 on a ninth-inning New York rally. After tonight, the Rays will open a 10-game road trip to Chicago, Kansas City and Colorado.
RHP Alex Cobb, who has been strong to start the season, will be on the mound, and the Yankees will throw veteran LHP Andy Pettitte.
With manager Joe Maddon promising another pre-game surprise - hinting only that it's a member of the animal kingdom - it should be another interesting afternoon.
Lineups, and more, to come.