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Tampa Bay Rays: Compliments to Johnny Damon; Jeremy Hellickson to debut; Reid Brignac takes hits away

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:

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $10., 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.

On deck

Saturday: at Phillies (ss), 1:05. Rays — David Price; Phillies — Kyle Kendrick

Sunday: at Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — Chris Bootcheck; Jays — Brandon Morrow


14: Off

15: Marlins

16: at Marlins

17: at Yankees, 7:05

18: Red Sox (ss), 7:05

19: at Twins

20: Orioles

21: Yankees, 7:05

22: at Red Sox, 7:05

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: RHP Matt Bush

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: Compliments to Johnny Damon; Jeremy Hellickson to debut; Reid Brignac takes hits away 03/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 9:44pm]
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