New ad of the day
Rays CF B.J. Upton and brother Justin of the Diamondbacks are among five athletes featured in the New Era caps' national "Flagbearers" campaign.
Talent review of the day
Tuesday's annual team "talent show" provided laughs and entertainment, including a few songs (including Free Bird) from John Jaso (on guitar), Evan Longoria (drums) and Johnny Damon (some vocals). Chris Archer was a box of laughs, and Steve Vogt a solid emcee. The winner was minor-league OF Emeel Salem, who sang and played piano for an impressive medley. "We actually had some talent in the talent show," Jaso said. Added J.P. Howell: "He should seriously try out for American Idol."
Reunion of the day
Sean Rodriguez, above, got to spend a few minutes pregame with his father, John, a baseball lifer now managing a Class A team for the Cardinals, who share the Jupiter facility. "He got a little emotional because we were both on the field in uniform," Sean said.
Other guests of the day
Former Ray Greg Norton, now the Marlins' Triple-A manager, came over from the back fields to say hello, and manager Joe Maddon had a Lafayette College buddy and a former Boulder Collegians summer league teammate in the stands. There could be a big visitor tonight, with former NFL star Ed "Too Tall" Jones — a childhood friend of just-inaugurated HCC president Ken Atwater — invited to join the Rays for batting practice in Tampa.
Rays at Yankees
When/where: 7:05 tonight; Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa
Tickets: $17-$33, available via Yankees.com, Ticketmaster and at the stadium.
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297
Pitchers: Rays — Chris Bootcheck, Mike Ekstrom, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Jake McGee; Yankees — Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Romulo Sanchez, Luis Ayala
Expect most of the front- liners to play tonight and Friday, then get Saturday off.
Who is this Ray?
His father is a minor-league manager in the Cardinals organization. His brother was a catcher in Nationals system and is now a high-school coach. He hit in every spot in the lineup last season but cleanup. He came to the Rays in trade.
Friday: Red Sox, 7:05. Rays — Andy Sonnanstine; Red Sox — Tim Wakefield
Saturday: at Twins (Fort Myers), 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann; Twins — Nick Blackburn
Sunday: Orioles, 1:05. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson; Orioles — TBA
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: INF Sean Rodriguez
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer