Sad news of the day
Manager Joe Maddon's father-in-law, Ted Sousoures, died Thursday in Southern California due to heart failure. Maddon said his wife, Jaye, is doing okay, helped by the support system of five siblings, and he doesn't plan (as of now) to leave the team. "He was a tough guy, great guy," Maddon said. "It's just unfortunate."
Rays hear that Aki's okay
The Rays got word that former teammate Akinori Iwamura, who returned to play in Japan, is okay after Friday's earthquake that struck his homeland. He plays for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, who are based in Sendai, a northern coastal city near the quake's epicenter. One of his agents told the Rays that Iwamura's team was out of town when the quake hit.
Rays pitcher James Shields is excited about defending his title in Monday's pro-am for the Transitions Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. Shields was in the winning group last year, teamed with PGA pro Brett Wetterich and three amateurs. He doesn't know yet whom he is playing with this year but said: "I've got to defend my title. So whoever I'm paired with, I'm putting a lot of pressure on my pro." The Rays have their only off day of the spring Monday, after playing in Clearwater on Saturday and Dunedin on Sunday.
Rays at Phillies (ss)
When/where: 1:05 today; Bright House Field, Clearwater
Tickets: From $13 to $34, can be bought at phillies.com, in person at Bright House Field box office or by calling (215) 463-1000. Parking is $9.
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297
Pitchers: Rays — David Price, Juan Cruz, Cesar Cabral, Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos; Phillies — Kyle Kendrick, Drew Naylor, Brian Bass, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson
LHP Cesar Cabral, who has intrigued the Rays as a bullpen candidate since coming over in the Rule 5 draft, will make an appearance. 3B Evan Longoria, LF Johnny Damon and CF B.J. Upton will join several regulars in the lineup.
Who is this Ray?
He was a highly touted football recruit as receiver out of high school, finishing second in Alabama's Mr. Football in 2004. He started and played leftfield for the U.S. team in the All-Star Futures game this past season.
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: OF Desmond Jennings
Joe Smith, Times staff writer