Compliment of the day
Red Sox manager Terry Francona raved about Rays LF Johnny Damon (right), who played for Boston from 2002 to 2005, calling him "one of my all-time favorites" and "very dear to me." "He's one of the best guys you could ever have play," Francona said. "As a manager, you can't appreciate him too much. There were days he just got beat (up) and he'd call in the morning and go 'Don't not play me. Let me have a chance to show up."
Quote of the day
"Carl's got some style. He can pull off many colors."
Andy Sonnanstine, Rays RHP, on seeing Carl Crawford in Red Sox colors
Quote of the day 2
"I hope he's not mad at me. I'm sure he's taken away many hits in his day."
Reid Brignac, Rays shortstop, joking about robbing Mike Cameron, left, of two hits Thursday by making diving snags of ground balls
Rays vs. Pirates
When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Internet radio: raysbaseball.com
Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $10. raysbaseball.com, Ticketmaster, Tropicana Field and Charlotte box offices, Tampa team store.
Gates open: 11 a.m.
Directions: Driving time from bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), right 2 miles, complex on the left.
Parking: $10; lots open at 10.
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
Pitchers: Rays — Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Alex Cobb; Pirates — James McDonald
RHP Jeremy Hellickson, the expected fifth starter in the rotation, is scheduled to make his spring debut after having been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Who is this Ray?
He's a former shortstop prospect who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Padres in 2004. After being signed by the Rays in January 2010, he spent two months at the Winning Inning Baseball Academy in Clearwater, living in the same room former Ray Josh Hamilton had stayed in.
Saturday: at Phillies (ss), 1:05. Rays — David Price; Phillies — Kyle Kendrick
Sunday: at Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — Chris Bootcheck; Jays — Brandon Morrow
16: at Marlins
17: at Yankees, 7:05
18: Red Sox (ss), 7:05
19: at Twins
21: Yankees, 7:05
22: at Red Sox, 7:05
24: at Astros
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: RHP Matt Bush
Joe Smith, Times staff writer