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Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton returns to his roots; Joe Maddon's new car

Flashback of the day

CF B.J. Upton came up as a shortstop. And after the infielders worked on fielding balls barehanded and throwing to first, he charged in from the outfield to make a play. "I still got it," he said.

Slowdown of the day

As the infielders worked on rundowns, third-base coach Tom Foley, 52, took a few turns as a baserunner. Upton said Foley filled a role: "When the situation is a slow guy in a rundown." Foley, claiming Achilles' pain, said, "I could have gotten out of a couple of them."

Lineups of the day

Today's intrasquad game:

Cursi's Crushers

Jennings, LF

Upton, CF

Joyce, RF

Keppinger, 2B

Mangini, 1B

E. Johnson, 3B

Vogt, DH

Gimenez, C

Brignac, SS

Ramos, P

Chico's Shiners

Rodriguez, SS

Guyer, RF

Longoria, 3B

Zobrist, 2B

Miranda, 1B

Lobaton, C

Salazar, LF

Chirinos, DH

Feliciano, CF

Lueke, P

Who is this Ray?

He enjoys hunting and fishing. He majored in computer science and says he would be a programmer if not playing baseball. He was acquired from Seattle.

The dish

Today's full-squad workout starts at about 9 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road ) and lasts until 10:45 a.m. (The ensuing intrasquad game is not open to the public.) Admission and parking are free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 South to Toledo Blade Road, go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left. For details, call (941) 235-5025.

Heads up

The shortstop battle begins in earnest with Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez starting in the intrasquad game.

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: $9/$12-$27, available at box office, via raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster.

Info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

3: at Twins

4: Twins

5: Orioles *

6: Twins

7: at Yankees

8: Tigers (ss)

at Twins (ss)

9: Orioles

10: at Red Sox (7:05)

11: Pirates

12: Twins

13: at Orioles

14: Marlins

15: Phillies

16: at Jays

17: at Pirates

18: Red Sox

19: Off

20: at Marlins

21: Yankees

22: at Pirates

23: Jays (7:05)

24: at Twins (3:05)

25: Marlins

26: at Twins

27: at Red Sox (1:35)

28: Pirates (7:05)

29: at Phillies

30: at Pirates

31: Red Sox

APRIL

1: at Orioles

2: Twins *

3: at Twins

4: vs. Future Rays, 1:40, at Trop

* Value game, $2 off

Who is this answer: RHP Josh Lueke

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Maddon's sweet new ride

Manager Joe Maddon showed off his "new-contract present," a blue-gray 1956 Chevy Bel Air he had restored and updated. Maddon, who also has 1967 Galaxy and 1972 Chevelle convertibles, plans to tool around the bay area in his new ride because it has air conditioning. "It's pretty quick when it starts up," he said. "And I love the color, and I love the interior." Better, Maddon's wife, Jaye, endorsed the purchase: "My wife is kind of like a guy sometimes. She likes big, flat-screen TVs. She likes watching football on Sundays. She likes fast cars. She used to drink martinis. She's got a lot of great man cave qualities about her."

Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton returns to his roots; Joe Maddon's new car 02/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 10:07am]
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