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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Sadness for Joe Maddon, tsunami brings flashback, James Shields pumped for pro-am golf outing

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.

Teeing off

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

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: From $13 to $34, can be bought at, 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.

On deck

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: OF Desmond Jennings

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Sadness for Joe Maddon, tsunami brings flashback, James Shields pumped for pro-am golf outing 03/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 10:13pm]
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  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person


    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  5. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”