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Rays rail: Maddon sees happy ending for Albernaz

A-L-B-Y, A-L-B-Y

Manager Joe Maddon is a huge fan of C Craig Albernaz, the career minor-leaguer still in camp through the weekend. And though Albernaz, 30, has had limited playing time in Triple A, Maddon said he has the defensive skills to play in the majors and suggested there could be a happy ending. "There was a pretty good movie about a football player from Notre Dame and the name almost rhymes with it," Maddon said of Rudy. "Who knows, there might actually be another movie."

Quote of the day

"Length matters."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, explaining that potential replacements for Luke Scott depend on how long he'd be out.

Getting in his kitchen

Manager Joe Maddon hangs out a lot during spring training at Punta Gorda's River City Grill, a restaurant owned and operated by Doug Amaral. So Wednesday, Amaral got to hang out where Maddon works, dressed in uniform and in the dugout as guest manager of the day. "I was trying to be more strategic in our conversation; he was being more culinary," Maddon said. "It was a gastronomic experience."

Farewell, Port Charlotte

The Rays broke camp after Wednesday's game and shifted operations to Tropicana Field, ending an extra-long spring training. Camps opened early due to the World Baseball Classic. How long did it seem they were in Port Charlotte? LHP David Price said "three months." Manager Joe Maddon? "At least since 1998, something like that," he said. "It truly has been long."

Food for thought

Among new concession items at Tropicana Field this season will be fried dough with fruit toppings, hand-carved turkey sandwiches, beignets and an "all-natural" stand with hot dogs, chicken fingers and Blue Diamond flavored almonds.

Who is this Ray?

Grew up in Tennessee. Majored in sociology in college. Hosts a bowling event to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Has a key to the city of Tampa.

The dish Rays at Orioles

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: $8-$32, available through orioles.com, toll-free 1-800-745-3000

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

Pitchers: Rays — David Price, Jamey Wright, TBA; Orioles — TBA

Heads-up

Most of the regulars are on the travel squad, including Evan Longoria, Yunel Escobar, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

On deck

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

Saturday: vs. Tigers at Tropicana Field, 1:10. Rays — Matt Moore; Tigers — Doug Fister

Sunday: Off

Monday: Workout at Trop, closed to public

Tuesday: season opener, vs. Orioles, 3:10. Rays — David Price; Orioles — Jason Hammel

Who is this Ray: LHP David Price

Follow our Rays coverage on the Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Rays rail: Maddon sees happy ending for Albernaz 03/27/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:34am]

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