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RAYS

Spring training

Rays love all around for Don Zimmer, David Price

Hair today ...

OF Wil Myers said there was no deep thinking or master plan, he just decided to get his famously shaggy hair trimmed. And he laughed and shook his head when a reporter asked Thursday about the cut. "Two days ago (it happened)," he said. "You guys are off your game."

Quote of the day

"I never thought I'd be this excited for PFPs."

RHP Jeremy Hellickson, recovering from elbow surgery, on taking part in the typically mundane pitchers fielding practice (PFP) drill.

Talk about a support staff

Knowing his opening address would stretch to nearly 15 minutes, manager Joe Maddon wanted to liven up the scene and keep the players interested. So he set it up that when he got to 10 minutes, coaches Stan Boroski, Tom Foley and Dave Martinez would fall over as if they fainted. "(Boroski) hit the ground so hard I could hear it," Maddon said.

Veteran moves

As part of Saturday's Fan Fest, a group from the Major League Players Alumni Association will sign autographs for free and play wiffle ball with fans. Among the bigger names: Glenn Beckert, Dave Cash, Ron LeFlore and Jim Perry; plus former Rays Toby Hall, Travis Phelps and Jason Romano; and Sun Sports pre- and postgame analyst Orestes Destrade. Schedule at tampabay.com/blogs/rays.

Who is this Ray?

Native New Yorker played at University of Buffalo. Made major-league debut vs. Rays in 2012. Acquired in trade last spring.

The dish

Today's first full-squad workout starts at 9 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and will last about 2½ hours. Admission and parking free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-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. Information: (941) 235-5025.

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: Single-game range from $10-$29, available at raysbaseball.com, via phone (toll-free 1-800-745-3000), CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa store (400 N Tampa St.), all Ticketmaster outlets.

All games 1:05 unless noted.

February

28 Orioles

March

1 at Pirates

2 Twins

3 Phillies

4 at Red Sox

5 Yankees

6 at Orioles

7 at Blue Jays

8 Pirates

9 at Yankees

10 at Red Sox

11 Twins

12 at Blue Jays

13 Pirates

14 at Braves

15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 OFF

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Blue Jays

22 Orioles

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: Steve Geltz

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Route 66

Senior adviser Don Zimmer, right center, was at Thursday's workout, officially launching his 66th year in pro baseball. "He's starting to look as good as he did on that old Brooklyn Dodgers baseball card," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's lost all that weight, he's got that look on his face, he's got a bounce about him. It's great to have him down here, and the players really dig having him here."

Practice makes ...

With David Price on the mound for the last popup in Thursday's drill, the other Rays — at the urging of bench coach Dave Martinez — started chanting "No-hitter! No-hitter!" then mobbed Price when James Loney made the catch. "Loved it," Price said. "It felt good."

Rays love all around for Don Zimmer, David Price 02/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 20, 2014 10:16pm]

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