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Spring training

Rays: Joe Maddon's RV cookout; hosting veterans

Hanging out at the RV park

Rays manager Joe Maddon has spent the spring living in his 40-foot recreational vehicle at a park near the complex. He had the coaches, video coordinator Chris "Chico" Fernandez and the clubhouse staff over for a cookout Wednesday. "Highly successful. The guys came over and were impressed," Maddon said. "Including Chico, who is a much better cook than you would think." Maddon said he has reserved his RV spot for next spring.

Welcome veterans

The Rays hosted 10 members of the Wounded Warriors, who took part in workouts. "Veterans, to me, should be taken care of at all costs," manager Joe Maddon said. "Somebody that permits you to play baseball under the lights … because they went and fought for you — to not take care of these guys when they get back, to me it's appalling. … It doesn't make any sense. So we're really proud to have them out here."

Book, autograph

Rays 2B Ben Zobrist and wife Julianna will sell and sign copies of their autobiography, Double Play, outside the team store at the Charlotte Sports Park after Saturday's game (no ticket required). The book will be available at the store starting Friday for $24.99.

Who is this Ray?

This Canadian left-hander pitched at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut after joining a buddy in a walk-on tryout. He started his career in Baltimore but is on his fifth team in the last four years.

The dish

Rays vs. Blue Jays

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

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$29, berm/boardwalk $10. Available through 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 — LH Erik Bedard, RHP Heath Bell, RHP Brandon Gomes, RHP Joel Peralta. Blue Jays — RH Aaron Sanchez, RH Jeremy Jeffress

Heads-up

LHP Erik Bedard, a candidate for the fifth starter's spot, will be making his final start before the Rays make their decision.

On deck

Saturday: vs. Orioles, 1:05, Rays — Alex Cobb; Orioles — TBA

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

23 at Red Sox

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: LHP Erik Bedard

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: Joe Maddon's RV cookout; hosting veterans 03/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:57pm]

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