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Schedule for Rays opener

JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Today's schedule

2:30: Tropicana Field parking lots open for tailgating

4:30: Gates open; Rays players and team officials greet fans in rotunda

4:40: Rays batting practice

5:40: Mariners batting practice

6:44: Carlos Pena, right, receives his 2007 AL comeback player of the year award

6:49: Starting lineups announced

7:01: National anthem performed; color guard from U.S. Special Operations Command Joint Service Honor Guard from MacDill Air Force Base

7:04: Ceremonial first pitches by Gov. Charlie Crist and retired Bucs fullback Mike Alstott

7:10: First official pitch by Matt Garza

What's free

For all fans, a schedule magnet, thermal mug and scratch-off card for prizes.

What's new

• Free parking is limited to vehicles with four or more passengers in lots 2, 3, 6B, 7-9, 11-14. Otherwise, general parking is $10, with $20 parking in Lot 1 and $5 in Lots 11-14.

• The Trop looks very blue inside and out as the new color scheme has been heavily integrated. Also, scoreboard graphics and themes have been changed.

• The Budweiser Party Tent on the east side of the stadium will be open starting at 3 p.m. today and for all weekend and prime games.

Past home openers

YearResult

1998Tigers 11, Rays 6

1999Red Sox 4, Rays 1

2000Indians 14, Rays 5

2001 Rays 8, Jays 1

2002Rays 9, Tigers 5

2003Rays 6, Red Sox 4

2004Rays 9, Yankees 4

2005Jays 5, Rays 2

2006Orioles 6, Rays 3

2007Rays 6, Jays 5

Previous first pitches

1998 — Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez; 1999 — Larry Doby; 2000 — Wade Boggs; 2001 — St. Petersburg Mayor David Fischer; 2002 — U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks; 2003 — Bucs coach Jon Gruden and GM Rich McKay; 2004 — Boxing champ Winky Wright; 2005 — Auto racer Michael Andretti; 2006 — Al Lopez Jr., Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV; 2007 — Gov. Charlie Crist

Songs of hope

As the Rays open their home schedule tonight, Times pop music critic Sean Daly looks ahead to what might be and offers a play­list for the season. Floridian, 1E

Schedule for Rays opener 04/07/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 12:19pm]
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