Four men have been manager of the Rays, and three will be on the field together this week when Lou Piniella, now the Cubs' manager, and Larry Rothschild, his pitching coach, make their first returns since leaving. (Hal McRae, the Cardinals' hitting coach, came back in 2005.)
A look at who has done what:
Manager, years G W-L Pct
Larry Rothschild, '98-2001 499 205-294 .411
Hal McRae, '01-02 309 113-196 .366
Lou Piniella, '03-05 485 200-285 .412
Joe Maddon, '06-08 392 167-225 .426
Lou on the way in …
"Hey, listen, I've won everywhere I've been, and when it's all said and done, we're going to win here. And that's really the bottom line."
Lou on the way out …
"There's always disappointment. When I signed on here three years ago, I didn't think it would end this way, obviously. If I thought it would, I probably would have chosen a different approach. But what are you going to do? I've done the best I can."
Does Scott Kazmir have a point with his strike-zone complaint about umpire Derryl Cousins in Wednesday's loss to the Angels? Cousins was behind the plate for two previous Kazmir starts: April 8, 2007, when he had 10 strikeouts, all swinging, in a loss; and June 6, '07, when he had four, all swinging, in a win. So in three games and 182/3 innings, Kazmir has faced 83 batters, struck out 24 and not gotten a called third strike. In 103 other games, Kazmir has had 112 called in 647 strikeouts, 17.3 percent. Cousins isn't scheduled to work another Rays series at least through Aug. 31.
A grand time
The Rays on Wednesday lost the 1,000th game in franchise history, matching the Padres for fewest games needed to reach that mark among the 14 expansion teams:
Blue Jays 1,902
* 833 losses through Friday
Source: Times research, bb-reference.com
Got a minute?
Best meal you make?
I don't think anyone would eat anything I made, but I grill pretty good and make pretty good salmon.
Band you'd like to be onstage with?
Brooks & Dunn.
A red '92 Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Actor you'd like to meet?
I think Jim Carrey would be pretty interesting.
The Rays told MLB they plan no significant uniform changes for 2009, meaning TAMPA BAY will not return to the road jerseys. They are considering adding an "alternate" jersey that will also say RAYS. … One very large problem with these Ken Griffey-to-Tampa Bay rumors: the $16.5-million 2009 option he'd likely want picked up to waive his no-trade clause. The Rays would not do it. And do they really need another lefthand-hitting, OF/DH type? … Tentatively — and that's with a capital T — prized LHP David Price is slated to pitch for Vero Beach in Clearwater on June 25. Start time is noon. … Boston OF Coco Crisp, who says it's not "necessarily the truth" that he was the "main culprit" in the Fenway brawl, appeals his seven-game suspension on June 23; if it's upheld, he'd return for the July 1 game at the Trop. … In an ESPN.com poll with more than 30,000 responses, Joe Maddon was voted the game's ninth-best manager, ahead of Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire and Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel. Boston's Terry Francona was first. … So much for No. 1 draft pick Tim Beckham wanting to start playing right away. The Princeton (W. Va.) rookie team opens Tuesday, and he's a long way from being signed. … Who really was surprised to read that ex-Ray Elijah Dukes had a confrontation last week with Nats manager Manny Acta?