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Rays rail: Red Sox rivalry heats up again; Myers assessment

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

Red-hot rivalry

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

March

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.

The dish

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 1:35 today; JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: $5-46, available through redsox.com, 1-888-REDSOX6.

Pitchers: Rays — Alex Cobb, Cesar Ramos; Red Sox — Jon Lester, Joel Hanrahan, Anthony Carter

Heads-up

The Rays are bringing some A-listers, with 3B Evan Lon­goria, SS Yunel Escobar and INF Kelly Johnson among those scheduled to play.

On deck

Monday: Off

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.

Rays rail: Red Sox rivalry heats up again; Myers assessment 03/16/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 8:27pm]
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