Old friend note of the day
Carl Crawford knew how funny it sounded, but he said ex-Ray Scott Kazmir, above, was a workout fiend this winter in Houston, joining Crawford, (Washington's) Adam Dunn and (L.A. Dodger) James Loney in hardcore sessions with trainer Lee Fiocchi. "He's looking pretty good," Crawford said. "I think he's going to be throwing 95 again this year. No, seriously. He looked really good. He worked out every day. I saw him. I couldn't believe — I had the same reaction you guys have, but he did it. I give it to him."
Family note of the day
The Rays' new minor-league strength and conditioning intern has a familiar name: It's Mike Garza, younger brother of RHP Matt. Mike has done some work with Matt and other players near their Fresno, Calif., home and wants to get his own gig. "It's a good opportunity for him," Matt said.
Johnson note of the day
It's not that unusual that the Rays have two players named Johnson — INFs Dan and Elliot — on their roster since more than 100 have played in the majors. But there's something at least novel in that Elliot Johnson (and his wife, Nicole) in November named their newborn son Blake, which is the same name that Dan (and his wife, Holly) gave their son two years ago. "I try," Elliot said, tongue firmly in cheek, "to emulate him as much as possible."
List of the day
Most hits since 2003
Ichiro Suzuki 1,580
Michael Young 1,416
Derek Jeter 1,357
Albert Pujols 1,338
Miguel Tejada 1,323
Jimmy Rollins 1,276
Carl Crawford 1,229
Juan Pierre 1,229
Source: Tampa Bay Rays
Did you know?
Carl Crawford was one of a select group chosen by Ken Griffey to wear a custom version of Griffey's Nike Swingman cleats, joining Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones and Orlando Hudson.
Today's workout for pitchers and catchers 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 2½-3 hours. Admission and parking are free.
Projected starters James Shields, Matt Garza, Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are among those scheduled for bullpen sessions, starting around 10:20.
Quote of the day
"The offseason seemed so long this year that you start to get bored toward the end … stuff starts to happen and next thing you know you end up with an extra tattoo."
Carl Crawford, explaining why he got a full-sleeve tattoo on his left arm (which he declined to show)
Olympic moment of the day
Nonroster LHP R.J. Swindle is the only Canadian among the current Rays, as well as a former Olympian, but he certainly wasn't bragging after Sunday night's hockey loss to the U.S. "That was horrible," Swindle said. "Embarrassing. Tough to watch."