Friends since their days as Royals prospects, LHP Mike Montgomery and RF Wil Myers always like to compete. That included Monday's live batting practice showdown, which ended with Montgomery getting Myers to swing and miss on a changeup, both laughing a little as they finished. "He put one down the line on me earlier," Montgomery said. "And I got him to swing out of his shoes. It was just fun."
Salute the troops
The Rays will honor the military in Friday's spring opener at Charlotte Sports Park, with 300 area veterans invited as special guests. There will also be a special military ticket discount, with active or retired personnel who show a military ID able to buy up to four half-priced general admission seats the day of the game. The U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team will deliver the American flag and game ball.
Who is this Ray?
Making his first appearance in major-league camp. Was a 2011 first-round pick. Member of the 2009 College World Series-winning team at LSU. His father and an uncle played football there.
Today's full-squad workout starts at 9:30 a.m. at Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and will last 3 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. For more information: (941) 235-5025.
LHPs Matt Moore and Enny Romero, RHPs Joel Peralta and Alex Colome are among 16 pitchers throwing live BP starting around 11. The daily fundamental is pickoffs and rundowns.
Friday: vs. Orioles, 1:05. Rays — LHP Cesar Ramos; Orioles — RHP Chris Tillman
Saturday: at Pirates (Bradenton), 1:05. Rays — LHP David Price; Pirates — TBA
Sunday: vs. Twins, 1:05. Rays — RHP Alex Cobb; Twins — TBA
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.
4 at Red Sox
6 at Orioles
7 at Blue Jays
9 at Yankees
10 at Red Sox
12 at Blue Jays
14 at Braves
15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates
16 Red Sox
18 at Twins, 7:05
19 at Orioles
20 Twins, 7:05
21 Blue Jays
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: OF Mikie Mahtook
Follow coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.
Manager Joe Maddon was the lucky "winner" in what for now is a daily drawing among the Rays to wear a GoPro video camera during the workout, with video director Chris "Chico" Fernandez compiling the best clips. "It needs to be edited by Chico," Maddon joked. "It probably could be used more on Showtime than your local affiliate, so we'll see what we can do with it. … It's Hard-er Knocks."
Follow the bouncing ball
Wil Myers has been bragging about his pingpong abilities but got schooled pretty well Monday morning by Evan Longoria. "He got me," Myers said. "I didn't think he would. I couldn't figure out his serve. But I'll get him."