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Spring training

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes

Rained out in Port Charlotte quotes of the day

"I'm going to watch a lot of basketball. I'll watch every game that's on today."

— CF B.J. Upton on his plans

"There'll be a lot of video games involved. Probably an NHL10 (online) tournament with some of the guys from back home." — LHP J.P. Howell on his plans

Commercial interruptions

• Expect to see a lot more of 3B Evan Longoria, as his TV commercial is appearing in regular rotation before Tuesday's launch of the MLB2K10 video game he pitches.

"It's cool; I like the way they did it," Longoria said. "There was a lot of production time involved. You don't really know how it's going to turn out until you see it, so it was cool. It turned out good."

Longoria said it has been a little weird seeing himself in the commercial, especially when it shows up on the clubhouse TVs. "It's definitely different," he said. "That's like the first real big national commercial that I've done, so it's a little different to see it on the national channels like ESPN and MLB Network."

Longoria is also featured in life-sized cardboard cutouts at some stores.

• LF Carl Crawford has a TV spot, too, though he's more of a supporting actor with one spoken line as he joins Ryan Braun and Orlando Hudson on the sideline while Torii Hunter and Ken Griffey star in the spot for Dick's Sporting Goods. Crawford didn't have much to say about his acting debut. "Let's talk about baseball," he said.

Non-scoop of the day

The inclement weather forced the Rays to cancel their planned ice cream social at the stadium (with no makeup date yet). For manager Joe Maddon, that may have been a, um, blessing. "The fact that I'm lactose intolerant, it's kind of good that it got rained out because then I'm tempted," he said. "And then I test myself, and I always lose."

Olympic moment of the day

LHP R.J. Swindle, the lone Canadian in the clubhouse, is confident in Team Canada's chances in today's gold-medal hockey game against the U.S. "I think they've got a good chance. This is their big sport; they're supposed to win."

Did you know?

Tom Foley is going into his ninth season as third-base coach. In the majors, only St. Louis' Jose Oquendo has coached longer on the hot corner.

The dish

Today's full-squad workout starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: 1-75 south to Exit 179 (North Port/Port Charlotte). Turn right (west) on Toledo Blade Road. Go about 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Turn right. Go about 2 miles, complex will be on the left. Workouts usually last 3-3½ hours. Admission and parking are free.


After Saturday's rainout, the hitters will get to face live pitching again, starting around 11:15, with the full rotation scheduled to throw.

On deck

Monday: Workout at Port Charlotte, 9

Tuesday: Workout/intrasquad game at Port Charlotte, 9:30

Wednesday: at Orioles Sarasota, 1:05

Rays: James Shields

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:26pm]
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