Quote of the day
"It's just another good reason to want to play Boston."
INF Sean Rodriguez, after the latest episode of heated tempers
The Rays and Red Sox have had a few on-field skirmishes, going back to the Pedro Martinez game in 2000, a 2006 spring skirmish, the 2008 James Shields/Coco Crisp tete-a-tete, and some squaring off last May. Saturday was nearly another, Tampa Bay INF Sean Rodriguez having to be restrained after being hit by a pitch, then getting talked to by Boston RHP Alfredo Aceves and Rays players coming out of the dugout, Sox players on the top step. "I guess it just keeps things with a little fire between us, which is cool," Rodriguez said.
Remaining exhibition games
All games 1:05 unless noted
21: vs. Jays
22: vs. Orioles; at Pirates
23: vs. Twins
24: at Yankees
25: vs. Pirates, 7:05
26: at Phillies
27: vs. Jays
28: at Orioles, 7:05
29: at Tigers
30: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10
A helping hand
Triple-A hitting coach Dave Myers, who was filling in as the first-base coach, had a hand — actually two — in keeping Saturday's fifth-inning incident from escalating by restraining Sean Rodriguez from going after Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. And if Myers hadn't been there in place of George Hendrick, who was at third in place of Tom Foley? "Cuz (Hendrick) would've been there," Rodriguez said. "He might've gone after him."
Assessment of the day
Rays manager Joe Maddon on top prospect Wil Myers: "He truly can be a complete baseball player, we've just got to work at it and work on it. The bat can be very special, but the rest of his game can be very good, too. That's what I saw. A good kid, listens well, very coachable. All that stuff is apparent."
Number of the day
39 Players left on spring roster.
Who is this Ray?
He averaged 17 points in basketball and was recruited by a Division I school as a two-sport athlete. Played for Team USA in Taiwan at the World Youth Championships. Is the only Rays player from his native state.
Rays at Red Sox
When/where: 1:35 today; JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers
Tickets: $5-46, available through redsox.com, 1-888-REDSOX6.
Pitchers: Rays — Alex Cobb, Cesar Ramos; Red Sox — Jon Lester, Joel Hanrahan, Anthony Carter
The Rays are bringing some A-listers, with 3B Evan Longoria, SS Yunel Escobar and INF Kelly Johnson among those scheduled to play.
Tuesday: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Tigers — Doug Fister
Wednesday: at Twins (Fort Myers), 7:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Twins — TBA
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer Who is this Ray? RHP Jeremy Hellickson
Follow our coverage on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.