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RAYS

Spring training

Rays: Hoop dreams; last man standing

Quote of the day

"A breath of fresh air."

Erik Bedard, veteran LHP describing his first camp with the Rays

Last man standing

With the Rays making another big round of cuts Thursday night, C Mayo Acosta is the only player remaining on the left wall of the clubhouse, surrounded by 17 empty stalls. "I've got a lot of lockers now," he said, joking.

Hoop dreams

The Rays already had a mini basketball hoop inside their clubhouse — with tape on the carpet to outline the key and 3-point line. They recently took the next step: putting up a regulation hoop outside with players often battling in games of H-O-R-S-E during breaks.

Conclusion of the day

After meeting with umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford and MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr., manager Joe Maddon said the new catcher collision rule is simpler than people make it out to be. "It's been in that washing machine way too long," he said. "Just put it in the dryer, and let's go."

Who is this Ray?

He was acquired from Miami before last year, then was a Gold Glove finalist. He does an imaginary jump shot after great defensive plays.

The dish

Rays vs. Orioles

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

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$29, berm/boardwalk $10. Via raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), go west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left.

Parking: $10, lots open at 10

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

Pitchers: Rays — RH Alex Cobb, RH Joel Peralta, LH Jake McGee, RH Brandon Gomes, RH Josh Lueke. Orioles — RH Ubaldo Jimenez.

Heads-up

The Rays are expected to choose a No. 5 starter today among LHP Erik Bedard, LHP Cesar Ramos and RHP Jake Odorizzi.

On deck

Sunday: at Red Sox, 1:05, Rays — LH Matt Moore; Red Sox — LH Felix Doubront

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

24 at Twins

25 Red Sox

26 Orioles 7:05

27 at Orioles, 7:05

28 at Tigers

29 at AA Montgomery (Ala.), 3:05

Who is this Ray: SS Yunel Escobar

Spring in photos

Going to a spring training game in Florida? We want to see your photos. Post them on our Facebook wall at Tampa Bay Times Sports or tag them #springtrainingFL on Twitter and/or Instagram and we'll add them to our online gallery.

Rays: Hoop dreams; last man standing 03/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2014 10:24pm]
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