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RAYS

SPRING TRAINING

Rays rail: Singing star, Maddon's Valentine's gift

Exhibition schedule

Tickets: $10-27, available at raysbaseball.com, Charlotte Sports Park and Trop box offices, Tampa team store, through Ticketmaster.

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

All games 1:05 unless noted

February

23: vs. Pirates, at Red Sox, 1:35

24: at Twins

25: vs. Red Sox (ss)

26: vs. Astros

27: at Pirates

28: vs. Tigers

March

1: at Jays

2: vs. Orioles

3: vs. Twins

4: at Red Sox, 1:35

5: at Twins

6: Off

7: at Pirates

8: vs. Phillies

9: at Phillies

10: vs. Red Sox

11: vs. Twins, 7:05

12: vs. Yankees

13: Off

14: at Orioles

15: vs. Phillies

16: vs. Red Sox

17: at Red Sox, 1:35

18: Off

19: at Tigers

20: at Twins, 7:05

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

Who is this Ray: OF Rich Thompson

On the Web

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

Command performance

C Chris Gimenez has been getting national attention for his singing. Taping a segment for the Trop video board, Gimenez admitted to a "hidden talent" of being good at karaoke: "I have been called the songbird of my generation." With a bat as his "microphone," he unleashed a rendition of Crossfade's Cold, and the Rays released the video online, leading to more attention (on Twitter, @ChrisGimenez5). See the video at tampabay.rays.mlb.com/cutfour.

Every action …

In return for his grand Valentine's Day gestures (painted window greeting, flowers, bracelet), manager Joe Maddon got a cool present from his wife, Jaye: a rock carved to serve as a tap dispenser for a liquor bottle. "A pretty neat gift," Maddon said. By Friday afternoon he already had the Jameson's loaded.

Number of the day

5 Players yet to report to camp: RHP Dane De La Rosa, OF Shelley Duncan, SS Yunel Escobar, INF Hak-Ju Lee, DH Luke Scott.

Who is this Ray?

He was a sixth-round pick by Toronto in 2000. Hadn't played in the majors since 2004 before being acquired by the Rays last season. Got his first big-league hit at age 33 years, 24 days.

The dish

Today's workout for pitchers and catchers starts at 8:45 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte) and lasts less than two hours. Admission and parking free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road, go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, stadium complex is on left. Information: (941) 235-5025.

Heads-up

RHPs Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and LHP Matt Moore are among the scheduled throwers in what will be an abbreviated workout as the players and staff head to the Trop for FanFest.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Word of the day

"Quadtoon"

Joe Maddon, Rays manager, describing a plan to rotate four players at second base

Quote of the day

"The Legend arrives."

Matt Joyce, greeting fellow OF Sam Fuld upon his arrival in the clubhouse

Rays rail: Singing star, Maddon's Valentine's gift 02/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:47pm]
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