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Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon getting next best thing to Springsteen show; Maddon impressed by Joe Namath's kindness

Springsteen note of the day

Manager Joe Maddon can't make Friday's Bruce Springsteen show in Tampa since the Rays are playing but will settle for the next best thing, his buddy Willie Forte's B Street Band, which will play Springsteen covers before Sunday's game vs. Miami, starting at 11. Also, gigs tonight at 9 and Friday at 10:30 at the Tampa Hard Rock.

Namath note of the day

Of all the time he spent with childhood idol Joe Namath on Tuesday, manager Joe Maddon said what struck him the most was how nice Namath was. "My takeaway is genuine good guy," Maddon said. "And I think that's pretty important."

Feast of the day

Reid Brignac's family was down from Louisiana and, with help from their friends (who run Broussard Brothers Catering) and David Price's parents, prepared a feast for the team of red beans and rice, jambalaya, boudin (a sausage), bread pudding. "It was awesome," said RHP Brandon Gomes, who has a clue having attended college in New Orleans (Tulane). "Amazing. Some of the best jambalaya I've ever had."

'I'm not dumb' answer of the day

Jaye Maddon … or Demi Moore."

Joe Maddon, on who he'd next like to bring to a game after Miami's Ozzie Guillen said he'd top Joe Namath with Gloria Estefan.

Who is this Ray?

He is a native of DeLand and lives in DeLeon Springs. He played at Oklahoma State and was a ninth-round pick by Cleveland. He signed as a free agent.

Rays at Pirates

When/where: 1:05 today; McKechnie Field, 1611 Ninth St. W, Bradenton.

Tickets: Reserved seats $10-$22. Available through pirates.com, calling 1-877-893-2827, at box office.

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — James Shields, relievers TBA; Pirates — Jeff Karstens, Jason Grilli, Tony Watson, Daniel Moskos

Heads-up

1B Carlos Peña, 2B Ben Zobrist and OFs Sam Fuld and Desmond Jennings are on the travel squad for today's game.

On deck

Friday: vs. Jays, 7:05 p.m. Rays — David Price; Jays — Brett Cecil

Saturday: at Twins, 3:05 p.m. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Twins — Jason Marquis

Sunday: vs. Marlins, 1:05 p.m. Rays — Wade Davis; Marlins — TBA

Upcoming schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

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: DH Luke Scott

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon getting next best thing to Springsteen show; Maddon impressed by Joe Namath's kindness 03/21/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:03am]
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