If INF Aki Iwamura, dropped last week by the Pirates after hitting .182, doesn't end up with another big-league team (Colorado?), figure the Rays would eagerly bring him back for depth at Durham. … There's some fun planned at the Trop and on the air Tuesday to mark TV man Dewayne Staats' 5,000th game. … Interesting take from the New York Post's Joel Sherman suggesting that now the Yankees don't need to sign Carl Crawford because their current outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher is good enough. … The Rays were tied for fifth in Baseball America's ranking of teams' 2000-09 drafts.
Got a minute? Jason Bartlett
Best meal you can make? Chicken and rice. It's simple, but every time I make it people like it.
Karaoke song if you had to? Something country.
Late-night TV? We watch Chelsea Lately a lot, fall asleep to that.
Time-killer at the mall? The electronics store or Best Buy — I can spend a few hours in there pretty easy.
Dream date? I've got to stick with Jessica Alba. I know she's married and has a kid now but that was it. And so do I.
There is, it turns out, one thing brothers B.J. and Justin Upton do agree on: both are thrilled about the opportunity this week to play against each other for the first time. "Very excited," B.J. said. "It should be a lot of fun." "Really excited," Justin said. "Hopefully we can put on a show." The two are three years apart — B.J., the Rays centerfielder, is 25; Justin, the D'backs' rightfielder is 22 — and have never shared the field before in any sport, at any level. "It's a big deal," said Manny Upton, their father. "They've never played with or against each other."
About 70 friends and relatives, many from their home state of Virginia, are headed down for the Friday-Sunday series at the Trop, and all with their rooting interests split. "We're just going to hope both do well," Manny said, "and not worry about the outcome."
As close as B.J. and Justin are, we thought we'd mark the occasion by having them dish on each other:
How would you describe your brother's taste in clothes?
B.J: Average. Very, very average.
Justin: I'll give him a 5 on a scale of 10. Maybe.
If you two go out to dinner, what's it take for the other to pick up the check?
B.J.: For me to tell him to, his checkbook's bigger than mine.
Justin: He'd have to have like five people there I didn't know, something drastic where there was no reason for the bill to go to me.
Who would your brother pick to play him in an Upton Brothers movie?
B.J.: Rick Fox.
Justin: Chris Tucker.
What was the biggest secret your brother kept from mom and dad?
B.J.: That he wrecked my car when he was 14.
Justin: I really can't think of anything specific, but he wasn't the most honest kid.
How would you say your brother handles himself with the ladies?
B.J.: Terrible. No game. Zero.
Justin: I'd give him an 8 on a 10 scale. He does a pretty good job.
What is something your brother is incredibly horrible at?
Justin: One thing he can't beat me at is golf.
(Note: When told of B.J.'s answer, Justin said: "Wow, that's unbelievable. I'm going to say he's worse than me at golf. If I'm horrible, he's horrendous.")
What's the most you've seen your brother eat in one sitting?
B.J.: Oh man, a lot, a whole lot. You almost have to stop him from eating. He'll eat anything.
Justin: About three bites of a cheeseburger.
What musical artist does your brother think he's like?
B.J.: Young Jeezy. He thinks.
Justin: He'd think Lil Wayne.
What characteristic of your brother's would you like to have?
B.J. (who is listed at 6-3, 185): I'd like to be able to gain weight like him.
Justin (who is listed at 6-2, 205): I'd like to have his height with my size.
Who's better … at cards:
At figuring out a new cell phone?
B.J. Him.Justin: Me.
B.J.: Me.Justin: Me.
B.J.: Split.Justin: Me.