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Rays rail: Beardless Lueke feeling less manly

Some face time

In being sent back to minor-league camp last week, RHP Josh Lueke, per team rules, had to shave the bushy beard he'd sported all winter, though he was allowed to keep a moustache. "You lose everything when you get sent down," Lueke said Sunday, having been called up for the day. "I feel like I lost my manhood. Plus there's been like four people already who didn't know who I was."

Guy a great guy

Rays manager Joe Maddon was surprised to hear that Guy Boucher, whom he had become friends with, was fired as Lightning coach: "He's such a good guy and he's such a bright man and he's done so well there. I don't know the dynamic but I wish him and his family well. He was fun to talk to because he has a lot of great ideas and he's a little bit of an outside-the-box thinker himself. So for all those different reasons it was an easy affinity toward him. … He's not a good guy, he's a great guy."

Jaye's wild ride

Jaye Maddon, wife of Joe, made it to Pensacola and should wheel into Tampa today to complete her cross-country drive in a 30-foot RV with their two dogs, Winston and Athena, and her two sons, Ryan (26) and Dylan (19), raising money at petpelanimalshelter.com. "The real surprising part," Joe Maddon said, "is that the dogs have actually out-behaved her sons."

Who is this Ray?

He was not drafted out of high school. Played shortstop occasionally in college, and studied criminology. Homered in his first two career postseason at-bats,

The dish Rays vs. Pirates

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-27, berm/boardwalk $10. Available through raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store.

Gates open: 5 p.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-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 4:30.

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

Pitchers: Rays — Matt Moore, Brandon Gomes, Joel Peralta; Pirates — Kyle McPherson, bullpen

Heads-up

Moore has not been sharp and after Wednesday's rainout forced him to throw a simulated game on Thursday, they are looking for an encouraging outing, albeit on short rest.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

On deck

Tuesday: at Phillies (Clearwater), 1:05. Rays — Roberto Hernandez; Phillies — Raul Valdes

Wednesday: vs. Jays, 1:05. Rays — Alex Cobb or Jeff Niemann; Jays — TBA

Thursday: at Orioles (Sarasota), 7:05. Rays — David Price; O's — TBA

Friday: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Tigers — TBA

Saturday: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10. Rays — TBA; Tigers — TBA

Who is this Ray: 3B Evan Longoria

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



Quote of the day

"I would say it was pretty graceful."

OF Matt Joyce, on falling during pregame warm-ups.

Rays rail: Beardless Lueke feeling less manly 03/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 8:31pm]
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