Guest coaches of the day
The Bucs are coming to Port Charlotte today. WR coach Eric Yarber — a big baseball and, specifically, Garry Templeton fan — will take batting practice with the Rays, accompanied by TE coach Alfredo Roberts. Head coach Raheem Morris is expected by game time and has been invited to join manager Joe Maddon in the dugout.
And in return …
Joe Maddon — a former star QB at Hazleton High and the Lafayette College freshman squad — said he'd welcome the chance to not only watch a Bucs practice but to participate. "I could run the scout team, pass defense only, red shirt on (meaning no hitting)," he said. "I might be able to throw the ball 10 yards … little flares out of the backfield."
List of the day
Longest spring winless streaks
13, 2007 (0-13)
9, 2002 (0-9)
8, 2011 (0-7-1)
Sign of the day
RHP Dirk Hayhurst will do more writing — on 200 Topps baseball cards that will be included in the Allen and Ginter collection. He plans to use facts about the Garfoose — the half giraffe/half moose character he created — and Twitter tidbits.
Rays vs. Blue Jays
When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $8. Available at raysbase ball.com and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices and Tampa team store.
Gates open: 11 a.m.
Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), go west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left.
Parking: $10, lots open at 10.
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
Pitchers: Rays — James Shields, Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz, Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Cesar Cabral; Jays — Marc Rzepczynski, Brad Mills, Casey Janssen, Octavio Dotel, David Purcey, Josh Roenicke
Cruz has been impressive thus far in his bid for a bullpen job, retiring six of the seven batters he has faced.
Who is this Ray?
He attended Trinity College (in Hartford, Conn.) and was New England Small College conference pitcher of the year. He made his big-league debut with the Royals in 2005. He spent part of 2009 in Japan. He signed as a minor-league free agent.
Wednesday: Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann, Jays — Brett Cecil; vs. Netherlands at St. Petersburg, 1:05. Rays — Chris Bootcheck, Netherlands — Rob Cordemanas
Thursday: Red Sox, 1:05. Rays — Andy Sonnanstine; Red Sox — TBA
Friday: Pirates, 1:05. Rays — Wade Davis; Pirates — TBA
Who is this Ray answer: RHP Jonah Bayliss.
12: at Phillies (ss)
13: at Blue Jays
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
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer