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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 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

Heads-up

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

Schedule

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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