Rays manager Kevin Cash popped into the media dining room at Steinbrenner Field in uniform about 45 minutes before the start of Thursday's game. No matter that he already had a busy day, spending the afternoon in Port Charlotte watching Chris Archer pitch in a minor-league game, driving through traffic to get to Tampa, chatting with his staff and team officials, and talking with reporters. And he still had a game to manage. His family had just arrived at the stadium, and his three kids were thirsty, and grabbing three cups of water from the closest place he could find was the dad thing to do.
Quote of the day
"They knew more about us than we knew. They study, they know their baseball, know the ins and outs of the game."
— Rays 3B Evan Longoria on his impression of Cuba's baseball passion after visiting "The Hot Corner" area of Havana during the team's trip to Cuba this week
Quote of the day II
"I do remember going 0-for-3 here. That was not fun, but it was a great experience."
— Bucs QB Jameis Winston, who threw out the first pitch and played the Yankees while at Florida State in spring training in 2014, actually going 0-for-2 as a sub in leftfield
Rays vs. Twins
1:05 today, Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Radio: raysbaseball.com (sign-up required)
Tickets: See below.
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 — Drew Smyly, relievers TBA; Twins — Ervin Santana, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May, Dan Runzler
Drew Smyly has been sharp all month, and today should be his last extended outing of the spring.
Saturday: at Pirates, 6:05. Rays — Jake Odorizzi; Pirates — Francisco Liriano
Sunday: vs. Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Jays — TBA
Rays tickets: Range from $10-24, available at 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.).
All games 1:05 p.m. unless noted.
29 at Blue Jays
30 vs. Red Sox
31 vs. Pirates
1 at Braves, at Tigers
Greg Auman and Marc Topkin, Times staff writers