Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Actor George Wendt to throw out first pitch at Rays opener

How's it hanging, Norm?

The Rays announced that the ceremonial first pitch at Sunday's season opener will be … actor George Wendt, best known for playing Norm on Cheers from 1982-93. He's the first actor to get opening day honors for the Rays, who will also have commissioner Rob Manfred in the building, the first time a commissioner has attended a Rays home opener at Tropicana Field.

Quote of the day

"He's actually swung the bat really well, too, on the back fields. … A lot of his at-bats came on the back fields, but he's looked good at the plate here as of late."

Manager Kevin Cash on C Hank Conger, who is 4-for-26 (.154) in spring training.

Leading off

The Rays announced that saxophonist BK Jackson, a Tampa native, will play the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before Sunday's season opener against Toronto.

The dish Rays vs. Pirates

When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte.

Radio: raysbaseball.com (signup required)

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-29, berm/boardwalk $10. Available via raysbaseball.com, by calling toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS), and at CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa Store (400 N Tampa St.).

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road. Go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Go right 2 miles. Stadium complex is on left.

Parking: $10, lots open at 10.

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — Jake Odorizzi, Xavier Cedeno, Alex Colome, Ryan Webb, Danny Farquhar, Enny Romero, Steve Geltz, Dana Eveland. Pirates — TBA

Heads-up

Odorizzi gets his final tuneup before his season debut next week, and relievers battling for the last spots in the bullpen get their last chance to impress the Rays.

On deck

Friday: at Braves (Disney), 1:05. Rays — TBA; Braves — TBA; at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays —Matt Moore; Tigers — TBA

Saturday: Off

Start of regular season

Sunday: Season opener vs. Blue Jays, Tropicana Field, 4:05. Rays — Chris Archer; Jays — Marcus Stroman

Monday: vs. Jays, 7:10. Rays — Drew Smyly; Jays — R.A. Dickey

Tuesday: vs. Jays, 7:10. Rays — Jake Odorizzi; Jays — Aaron Sanchez

Wednesday: vs. Jays, 1:10. Rays — Matt Moore; Jays — J.A. Happ

Actor George Wendt to throw out first pitch at Rays opener 03/30/16 [Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494