Quote of the day
"We're talking about Pedro Rosa right now."
Manager Joe Maddon, after Manny Ramirez did his best Pete Rose imitation, sliding headfirst into second for a first-inning double.
Upset of the day
One of the more popular activities among the players is Words With Friends, a Scrabble-type game played on smart phones. And Justin Ruggiano, who attended Texas A&M, couldn't wait to share the news Wednesday that he beat Sam Fuld, graduate of Stanford University, and by more than 30 points. "Texas A&M beating Stanford, we need a word for that," Ruggiano said. "How about epic? Or monumental?"
Financial news of the day
The value of the Rays franchise increased 5 percent to $331 million, according to Forbes magazine's latest evaluation, but remains 28th of the 30 MLB teams, ahead of Oakland and Pittsburgh. Forbes estimates the Rays have revenues of $166 million (25th) and operating income of $6.8 million (also 25th). The Yankees are considered most valuable at $1.7 billion, the Padres most profitable with $37 million in operating income.
Movie critic note of the day
Manager Joe Maddon has his iPad loaded for today's nearly 3-hour bus ride to and from Kissimmee. Work on the way up, a movie for the trip home: the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Step Brothers. "Probably," Maddon said, "the most underrated movie of the last five years."
Number of the day
20 Evan Longoria's rank among MLB players in terms of jerseys sold in 2010. Yankees SS Derek Jeter was No. 1 and Phillies Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee were in the top 5.
TV programming note of the day
MLB Network's 30 Clubs in 30 Days tour stop at Rays camp airs at 6 tonight.
Rays at Astros
When/where: 1:05 today; Osceola County Stadium, 631 Heritage Park Way, Kissimmee
Tickets: $10-24, available by calling (407) 839-39009, via Astros.com and at the stadium.
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
Pitchers: Rays — Wade Davis, Kyle Farnsworth, Cesar Ramos, Jake McGee; Astros — Bud Norris, Brandon Lyon, Mark Melancon, Fernando Abad, Ross Wolf
Farnsworth is back on the mound for the first time since hyperextending his left knee on Monday, making the first of scheduled back-to-back appearances.
Who is this Ray?
He graduated from Somerset (Mass.) High and played three seasons at Eckerd College. In five minor-league seasons, he has thrown out nearly half of attempted base-stealers and hit only four home runs. He has also pitched twice.
Friday: Pirates, 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann; Pirates — Charlie Morton
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 Craig Albernaz
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer