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Rays | Spring training

Rays news and notes

Technological glitch of the day

RHP James Shields was surprised Sunday morning when he walked into the clubhouse at 10:45 and was told he'd start a minor-league game at 11:30. Apparently, Shields' cell phone battery died Saturday night, when the Rays made the switch due to the rainout with the Orioles. They had tried to get ahold of him, but he didn't find out until, "I pulled into the parking lot."

Technological glitch of the day 2.0

Manager Joe Maddon was a bit startled on Saturday's bus ride back from Fort Lauderdale along Alligator Alley to get a text message from executive VP Andrew Friedman that "X-rays are negative and everything's fine." The problem was that Maddon didn't know whom Friedman was referring to, having not gotten the first text that B.J. Upton was hit by a pitch. "So I wrote back, 'What are we talking about here?' " Maddon said. "It was almost like a bad TV show."

Welcome back

"Bori" Uchibori, the interpreter for 2B Akinori Iwamura, returned to the Rays clubhouse Sunday (back from the World Baseball Classic) and received a warm welcome from several players. RHP Grant Balfour saw him and said, "Team Japan is in the house."

Crowd of the day

7,621 Attendance for Sunday's sellout, the Rays' largest spring crowd at either Charlotte Sports Park or Al Lang.

The dish

Rays vs. Pirates

When/where: 7:05; McKechnie Park, 1611 9th St. W, Bradenton

TV/radio: None

Tickets: $9-$18 at stadium, or by calling (941) 748-4610

Rays information: 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — RH Jason Hammel, RH Lance Cormier, RH Joe Nelson; Pirates — LH Zach Duke, RH Tyler Yates, LH Donnie Veal, RH Jason Davis, RH Jesse Chavez, LH Sean Burnett

On deck

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Pirates, Charlotte Sports Park, 7:05. Rays — TBA; Pirates — TBA

Thursday: at Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, 6:05. Rays — TBA; Tigers — TBA

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Attendance record of the day

With their sixth sellout Sunday, the Rays set a spring attendance record with 83,274, the most in their 12-year history. That tops the 2007 spring at Al Lang, when their total of 79,044 included a game at Tropicana Field that drew more than 14,000. The Rays have three home games left this spring. Quote of the day

"I do know one thing: My next outing is against the big-league squad, so it's kind of like a callup for me."

RHP James Shields, joking about his next start after facing the Twins' Triple-A Rochester club his past two outings

Rays news and notes 03/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009 8:02am]
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