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Tampa Bay Rays: Number change of the day for Fuld; locker talk of the day for Shields, Manny, Damon and others

Quote of the day

"They lost their bullpen. But they still have a great starting rotation. They still have a very intelligent, smart manager who is creative, and it's going to be tough to beat Tampa just because they know how to win."

Adam Lind, Jays 1B on the Rays

Number change of the day

There was one number change from the spring as OF Sam Fuld, right, will wear No. 5, worn previously by Rocco Baldelli (as well as Pat Burrell). Fuld, who wore No. 5 since high school whenever he could, said home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland checked with Baldelli then offered the switch to Fuld.

Locker talk of the day

RHP James Shields has gotten his share of ribbing from teammates about his expanded locker in the clubhouse. Like most veterans, Shields has two adjacent lockers, but the wall between was knocked down during the offseason. Shields said he joked with home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland about having more room in his corner, "and he actually redid the whole thing." Westmoreland said there was structural damage to the previous locker anyway. "It's nice," Shields said. "But I'm going to catch some hell from the players for about a week and then they'll get over it."

Locker talk of the day, part II

With all the roster turnover, there are lot of players in new places in the clubhouse. DH Manny Ramirez took RHP Rafael Soriano's two-locker space in the back with Johnny Damon in RHP Dan Wheeler's previous spot in the left corner. LF Carl Crawford's lockers, next to SS Reid Brignac, are left unoccupied, and RHP Kyle Farnsworth is where RHP Grant Balfour used to be. INF Sean Rodriguez got bumped up to the two-locker space previously owned by 1B Carlos Peña. "I hope he left some homers in there for me," Rodriguez said, jokingly.

Who is this Ray?

This outfielder joined the Rays from Triple-A Durham June 25. He ranked third on the team in RBIs over the last three months with 40, 28 coming with two outs. He's a Tampa native and a natural right-hander who does everything — eats, writes, throws — that way except hit.

Long time coming

When manager Joe Maddon called RHP Adam Russell on Tuesday afternoon to let him know he made the team, he said, "Sorry it took so long." But Russell had it worse last year with the Padres, when he said he found out 15 minutes before the roster deadline he didn't make the team. "It's just a really nice thing to hear finally, after all these years, that you're going to be on the opening-day roster," he said. Coincidentally, it was Russell's current teammate, LHP Cesar Ramos, who got San Diego's final spot last season. And now they're in adjacent lockers. "We can't cut the umbilical cord," Russell said, jokingly.

Regular season

Today: Off

Friday: vs. Orioles, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price; Orioles — Jeremy Guthrie

Saturday: vs. Orioles 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields; Orioles — Brian Matusz

Sunday: vs Orioles, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis; Orioles — Chris Tillman.

Who is this Ray answer: OF Matt Joyce

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: Number change of the day for Fuld; locker talk of the day for Shields, Manny, Damon and others 03/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:44pm]
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