ST. PETERSBURG — When 1B Eric Hinske was summoned by visiting clubhouse manager Guy Gallagher to the Tropicana Field weight room Friday, he thought it was simply to catch up with some former teammates.
Turns out, he was given a gaudy gift.
Hinske was elated when a huge group of Red Sox surprised him with his 2007 World Series ring. Hinske, who appeared in 84 games in a reserve role for the defending champions, was expecting to receive it in a ceremony at Fenway Park next week.
"It's really cool; I had no idea," Hinske said. "It was pretty neat; they were all in there giving me hugs and stuff. I still have a lot of close friends over there."
The white gold ring, which includes 42 diamonds and is 2.33 carats, features a pair of Red Sox, each containing four specially cut rubies. Hinske's had his name engraved with his old number (12).
"I'll probably wear it for a while," Hinske said with a grin. "It's heavy, though. I can't even hold my finger straight when I put it on."
FLOYD ON WAY: DH Cliff Floyd was all smiles Friday, exactly two weeks removed from knee surgery (torn meniscus), sounding optimistic he could return to the Rays' lineup after the next road trip (May 9). Manager Joe Maddon said that time line is "possible," depending on how the 35-year-old veteran responds to at-bats in extended spring training games. Floyd has missed 18 games since his strong start, hitting .333 with two homers and five RBI in his first four games.
"Two weeks today, and I'm hitting, running and riding a bike," Floyd said. "If I'm not back really, really soon, then I must have had a setback at some point."
JOHNSON BACK: 1B/DH Dan Johnson cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Durham, a week after getting claimed off waivers by the Rays. It was a short and somewhat awkward stay for Johnson, who was cut loose one day after meeting the Rays on Tuesday in Disney; with Tuesday's trade for OF Gabe Gross and Carlos Pena's hamstring improving, Johnson's playing time would be limited.
REYES RUMBLINGS: RHP Al Reyes (shoulder impingement) won't be eligible to come off the disabled list until Thursday; the Rays had hoped he'd be eligible Wednesday, by backdating the move to April 15. But MLB rules prevented them from doing that because they had to wait a day to call up LHP Kurt Birkins, who had already been optioned. Reyes will throw a rehab inning today and Monday and likely join the team Thursday.
PENA appears: Pena was not in the starting lineup Friday, with Maddon saying it was mostly because of Pena's 4-for-26 career mark against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. But Pena had a pinch-hit single in the ninth against Bryan Corey. Maddon said Pena will likely play today. "I didn't want him to see a knuckleball," Maddon said.
MEDICAL MATTERS: Top pick LHP David Price (left elbow strain) threw a successful live batting practice session. … Maddon said he's still not sure if ace LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow strain) will make his first start May 3 or May 4 in Boston.
MISCELLANY: LF Carl Crawford extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a triple Friday.
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