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Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Peña in Oscar-nominated "Moneyball"; Ben Zobrist makes his movie debut

Academy Award night notes of the day

Carlos Peña is featured somewhat prominently in tonight's best picture-nominated Moneyball, portrayed by actor Adrian Bellani, though he said, laughing, "I could have done it myself." The scene in which Peña is traded (for a pitcher, cash and soda!) didn't happen the way it's portrayed; he was in the minors at the time. He also shows up in game clips. "It's actually a pretty good movie," he said. "There's one point I see myself running to first base, and I'm like, 'Okay, that's me.' And there's other times I'm like, 'That's not me, that (rear is) not mine.' "

Ben Zobrist made his movie "debut" this winter, a cameo appearance in a short film, Snake, filmed in Nashville by a friend from his church. Zobrist's wife, Julianna (who is also a singer), plays a bigger role. "It was fun," Zobrist said.

Roll Tide

SS Reid Brignac and LF Desmond Jennings spent a lot of time together in the offseason, and most of it was fun, except for when the topic was college football's BCS championship game, in which Jennings' Alabama team beat Brignac's LSU squad 21-0. "It's been tough around the household," Brignac said. They had a friendly wager, and to pay it off, Brignac posed for a photo, posted to Twitter, wearing an Alabama hoodie. "Then," he said, "I went and took a shower after to wash that stuff off."

Odd coupling of the day

OF Sam Fuld has an economics degree from Stanford and interned at Stats LLC, but he didn't have to get deep to analyze being in a hitting group with sluggers Ben Zobrist, Luke Scott and Carlos Peña. "This is certainly a numbers-based theory that I will probably not hit the most homers in that group," he said.

Quote of the day

"It's the biggest buzz."

Manager Joe Maddon, on the expectations for this season compared with his previous six

Who is this Ray?

He was born in Florida, moved to Georgia and starred at the University of Georgia. He has a brother who played minor-league ball. He has been traded five times, most recently from Houston to San Francisco.

The dish

Today's first full-squad workout starts at around 9:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and lasts 31/2 hours. Admission and parking 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, stadium complex is on left.

Heads up

Live batting practice starts at 11:30, with Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson and Alex Cobb among those scheduled to throw.

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: $9/$12-$27, via raysbaseball.com, at box office, through 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, Tropicana Field

Who is this answer: INF Jeff Keppinger.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Peña in Oscar-nominated "Moneyball"; Ben Zobrist makes his movie debut 02/25/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 25, 2012 9:25pm]
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