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SPRING TRAINING

Tampa Bay Rays: Quote of the day, Showing off, Teeing off

Quote of the day

"He's scaring me a little bit, he's hitting a little too good right now. I think he talked himself into the lineup (today), that's how good he's feeling."

LF Johnny Damon on DH Manny Ramirez, who went 2-for-2 Tuesday with a homer and is hitting .333 this spring.

Quote of the day 2

"I don't know if Manny knows it's part of the solar system, and it takes a while to get there."

Manager Joe Maddon, joking about Ramirez requesting to join the Rays today on their three-hour bus ride to play in Jupiter.

Showing off

The Rays held their annual spring talent show Tuesday night, with C John Jaso (guitar) and 3B Evan Longoria (drums) planning to play in their two-man band. C Nevin Ashley had one request: "As long as (SS Tim) Beckham, above, is not going on the stage again. He's been booed off two straight years. Let him stick to baseball, that's all I'm going to say." How about RHP James Shields? "My talent is throwing changeups," he quipped. "That's about it."

Teeing off

Shields didn't defend his title at the Shelton Quarles Pro-Am at the Transitions Championship Monday but "had a blast" with partner Chris Riley, shooting 8 under, five shots behind the winner. LHP David Price, paired with John Daly, and CF B.J. Upton, paired with Roland Thatcher, were both 9 under. "(Riley) thinks baseball is harder than golf," Shields said. "And I think golf is harder than baseball."

Rays at Marlins

When/where: 1:05; Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter

Tickets: $15-$27, available at Roger Dean Stadium box office, via Ticketmaster, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — Wade Davis, R.J. Swindle, Cory Wade, Brandon Gomes; Marlins — Chris Volstad, Randy Choate, Burke Badenhop, Steve Cishek

Heads-up

Manny Ramirez asked to be added to today's lineup, so he'll serve as DH. C John Jaso, 2B Sean Rodriguez, OF Matt Joyce and SS Reid Brignac are other regulars playing, with RHP Wade Davis starting.

Who is this Ray?

Last season, he hit leadoff more times than any rookie catcher in major-league history. In the offseason, he traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, visited Cancun and the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.

On deck

Thursday: at Yankees, 7:05. Rays — Chris Bootcheck; Yankees — TBA

Friday: Red Sox, 7:05, Rays — Andy Sonnanstine; Red Sox — TBA

Schedule 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: C John Jaso

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays: Quote of the day, Showing off, Teeing off 03/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:47pm]

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