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Spring training

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes

Fashion statements

The sideshow to Thursday's pig roast was the hazing of players in their first major-league camp. They had to dress as hula girls and serve drinks. A rundown from emcee Fernando Perez:

RHP Neal Frontz: "Most ladylike. He probably throws 95, but he has the body of a middle school girl."

INF Chris Nowak: "Undoubtedly the scariest woman, with his beard and rainbow 'fro; an Amazon."

SS Tim Beckham: "We urged people not to tip him because he's already overpaid."

From RHP Jason Hammel: "I was kind of partial to (LHP) Jason Cromer. I can be a sucker for blonds, I guess."

From manager Joe Maddon: "The fact that Beckham wore a helmet actually took him a little bit over the top. (C Craig Albernaz) was probably the most risque. And we have to watch him because I think he actually liked it."

The dish …

Today's full squad workout starts at 9:30 a.m. at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, with live batting practice at about 10:50. Driving time from the Tampa Bay area is 1½-2 hours. The suggested route: Take I-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; stadium complex is on your left. Workouts usually last 2½-3 hours. Admission and parking are free.

List of the day

Dioner Navarro ranked among the majors' top- hitting catchers last season (minimum 400 at-bats):

Player Team Avg.

Joe Mauer Twins .335

Ryan Doumit Pirates .323

Yadier Molina Cards .304

Brian McCann Braves .301

Bengie Molina Giants .296

Dioner Navarro Rays .294

Geovanny Soto Cubs .287

Russell Martin Dodgers .284

Rays exhibition schedule

Home games at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

TICKETS: All reserved seats sold out; berm seating available for $9 except for Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies games (sold out). Available through raysbaseball.com, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store, and through Ticketmaster.

For information: 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Games at 1:05 unless noted

February

Wed.: Reds

Thu.: at Yankees, 1:15

27: Boston

28: at Phillies

March

1: Blue Jays

2: at Cardinals

3: Astros

4: Puerto Rico, 7:05

5: off

6: at Pirates

7: Red Sox

8: at Red Sox

9: Twins

10: Blue Jays

11: off

12 :Phillies

13: at Blue Jays

14: at Reds

15: Pirates

16: at Pirates, 7:05

17: off

18: Reds

19: Cardinals

20: at Jays

21: at Orioles

22: Yankees

23: at Pirates

24: off

25: Pirates, 7:05

26: at Tigers

27: at Twins

28: Reds

29: at Reds

30: at Twins

31: at Red Sox

April

1: Twins

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Quote of the day

"Let's just say it was a little different scale."

DH Pat Burrell, right, on Thursday's Welcome to Charlotte County parade, comparing it with his experience in the '08 World Series champions parade in Philadelphia

Photo op of the day

Friday was photo day, with the players getting their pictures taken by news and photo agencies and for baseball cards. RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who is awfully proud of his 4-for-10 batting line, did a few of his poses swinging a bat. "C'mon," he cracked. "I'm a .400 career hitter."

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes 02/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 20, 2009 10:14pm]
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