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Tampa Bay Rays: A jones for Ed "Too Tall" Jones; catching Yogi Berra; Evan Longoria in turf war

'Too Tall' guest of the day

Rays manager Joe Maddon had his biggest guest of the spring Thursday when longtime NFL star Ed "Too Tall" Jones, on right with Maddon, made it onto the field for batting practice. Several Rays personnel were excited to meet him, including team president Matt Silverman, who grew up a Cowboys fan.

Quote of the day

"He could play right end for me right now."

Raheem Morris, Bucs coach, after seeing 60-year-old Ed "Too Tall" Jones on the field before the game

Save of the day

Rays manager Joe Maddon caught Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, 85, when he tripped behind the batting cage and kept him from falling. Berra, hospitalized briefly last week when he fell in Clearwater, was fine this time. "Might have been my best play as a professional,'' Maddon said.

Conflict of the day

3B Evan Longoria is among the Rays talking up the new AstroTurf field installed at the Trop for free through an MLB deal, but he remains a paid spokesman for competing FieldTurf, which is what was replaced. "It's been a conflict of interest this past year," he said.

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

TV/radio: FSN; 620-AM

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $10. Available through and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices and Tampa team store.

Gates open: 5 p.m.

Parking: $10, lots open at 4

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

Pitchers: Rays — Andy Sonnanstine, Joel Peralta; Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz, Rob Delaney; Red Sox — Tim Wakefield, Matt Fox, Matt Albers, Randy Williams.


Former Ray Carl Crawford is scheduled to make the trip for what will be his second spring meeting with his former teammates.

Who is this Ray?

He was an All-Big 12 selection and second-team All-American at Nebraska. He speaks Japanese well. He built a hockey rink in the back yard of his Minnesota home during the offseason. He signed with the Rays as a free agent.

On deck

Saturday: at Twins (Fort Myers), 1:05. Rays — Wade Davis; Twins — Nick Blackburn

Sunday: Orioles, 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann; Orioles — Brad Bergesen

Monday: Yankees, 7:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Yankees — TBA

Tuesday: at Red Sox (Fort Myers), 7:05. Rays — TBA; Red Sox — TBA


23: Phillies

24: at Astros

25: Pirates

26: Orioles

27: at Pirates

28: at Yankees, 7:05

29: at Red Sox

30: vs. Blue Jays at Tropicana Field, 4:10

Who is this Ray answer: 1B Dan Johnson

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: A jones for Ed "Too Tall" Jones; catching Yogi Berra; Evan Longoria in turf war 03/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:52pm]
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