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Rays Tales: Marathon men

Everything in Boston this weekend is about Monday's marathon, which is interesting and exciting but can be a bit much for those who get tired driving 26 miles. The frenzy did get us wondering which Ray would/could be most likely to trade spikes for running shoes and make it over Heartbreak Hill to complete the famed course. There are a few we can eliminate right away, such as Willy Aybar, Pat Burrell and Dioner Navarro, plus others such as Randy Choate and Carlos Peña. And even some of the more athletic candidates such as long-striding B.J. Upton. "No chance," Upton said. "100 percent no chance."

Gabe Kapler — at 34 — is probably the most physically fit of the players but said he'd be more likely to venture into triathlons. "The idea of pushing your body to its fullest capability is exciting to me," he said. The same with Grant Balfour, who says he'd be doing the swim-bike-run thing if he weren't pitching.

Lance Cormier, with the inspiration of his triathlete wife, Jamie, said he'd be willing to train for a marathon, with confidence: "I could do it."

But most likely to lead the Rays runners' club, from what we heard, are David Price and Wade Davis. "I've seen them run," Cormier attested.

Price initially laughed at the thought: "How long is it? 26 miles? On a bike, yeah. Not on foot. Not if I had to run the whole way." But his teammates think his ultra-competitiveness would lead him to make a pretty good effort.

That leaves Davis, who started running as a kid growing up in Lake Wales and has gone on runs as long as two hours, enjoying the solitude and the challenge. "I've always been really good at long-distance running; I feel like I could run forever," he said.

So what about a marathon? "I could do that," Davis said. "I could probably do it right now."

Amazing fact of the week

When Carlos Peña hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning of Tuesday's game and another in the first inning of Wednesday's, he became the first Ray to hit either a three-run homer or grand slam in consecutive innings.

Interesting excerpt of the week

From ESPN's Buster Olney: "What should not be a surprise: The Rays are really, really, really good. They might have more pure talent than any team in the majors, and if the talent translates into success — as it now seems to be doing in David Price — they are capable of great things."

Rays rumblings

Brian Anderson is definitely the road warrior among the TV analysts, with all 53 games on the road. As part of his 100-games gig, Kevin Kennedy gets all the home games, plus 15 of his 23 road games on the West Coast, where he lives. … Does it really make sense to bump Thursday's Rays-White Sox game from flagship 620-AM to 970-AM for how-exciting-can-it-be radio coverage of the NFL draft? … For all the chatter at the time, the Rays' benefit of sending LHP David Price to the minors last year was obvious last week as Price reached the one-year service mark. That means he won't hit the six-year mark until eight days into the 2015 season, and thus not a free agent until after. … Cuban OF/1B Leslie Anderson could turn out to be a bargain, with a max salary of $500,000 in any of his four years (plus up to $350,000 a year in plate-appearance incentives). … Former Reds/Nats GM and Fox Sports host Jim Bowden called RHP Jeremy Hellickson "underrated" and a "consistent 12- to 15-game winner" but also described the (not-even) 6-1 Iowan as a "big right-hander."

Got a minute? Randy Choate

Karaoke song if you had to? You Never Even Called Me By My Name, by David Allan Coe.

Big occasion meal? Porterhouse steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes, roll.

Late-night TV? Whatever movie is on — Tommy Boy, Field of Dreams, whatever's on TBS or TNT, I get sucked in.

Favorite road city, and why? Seattle. I love rainy and dreary, and I love the stadium.

Dream date? Jennifer Aniston, there's no question. Hands down. That's the easiest one to answer.

Rays Tales: Marathon men 04/17/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 17, 2010 10:07pm]

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