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Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Tales

Evan Longoria plays baseball pretty well. And now that he has played himself in a few national TV commercials, we figure his next lineup will be for a national TV show. Longoria said he's not necessarily looking to do more acting but has enjoyed it. "It's fun, but it's tough," Longoria said. "It's a lot tougher than it looks. I give a lot of credit to the actors." He had more lines in the MLB 2K10 video game spot, but it was more natural as he played himself in uniform. In the New Era caps commercial, he had more of a physical role as something of an action hero (and a stunt double for the Jet Ski and transfer scenes), though with a couple of well-timed lines. He also has a Pepsi spot in the works. Without knowing where he'll show up next, here are a few suggestions we culled from around the clubhouse:

'24'

He looked pretty comfy in the New Era commercial as something of a Jack Bauer/Jason Bourne type anyway. "I could see a little action/adventure kind of thing," manager Joe Maddon said.

'The Bachelor'

Gee, you'd think they'd have any trouble filling out this lineup given his resume? Plus, as Longoria told Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick: "I don't have a girlfriend, so let's put that out there."

'Big Bang Theory'

Entourage might be better because Longoria's not much of a sit-com guy. But with 62 homers in his first 283 games, you can see how he'd fit in here. (At least it's better than How I Met Your Mother.)

'Man vs. Wild'

We thought we should let Evan, who usually sticks to the Discovery, Travel and NatGeo networks, pick one: "If I could be on a TV show, probably Man vs. Wild. I think it would be fun to go on an adventure with (Bear Grylls) and see what goes on behind what we see on TV. He's pretty amazing, the stuff he can do with what he's given."

'Desperate Housewives'

If the writers are on the ball, they'd have him lined up during the Rays' mid May L.A. trip for a walk-on appearance with Eva Longoria, the star with whom he shares a name. But would it be brother-sister platonic or romantic? "I'd prefer it being a love scene of some sorts," Maddon cracked. "And we could all live vicariously through that moment."

Grapes of Matt

Matt Garza's venture into organic table grapes was coincidental because there already is a working farm on the Easton, Calif., land he bought to eventually build his dream house (which he is personally designing). But now he's getting into it, eyeing expansion of what's already a "very profitable" set-up producing Thompson, Crimson and the high-end Flame. "They're pretty good," Garza said. "Some of the guys were giving me (a hard time), and then I went over the financials with them. They're like, 'That's pretty smart.' " Don't expect them to be called Garza Grapes, however: "I'll let my kids come up with something clever."

Rays rumblings

There's progress and a potential announcement this week on the arrival of Cuban defector signee 1B/OF Leslie Anderson. … Among locker shuffling from 2009, Evan Longoria moved to Akinori Iwamura's old spot on the back wall in what could be baseball's highest IQ zone, between Gabe Kapler and Carlos Peña. Ben Zobrist and James Shields also relocated to better digs. … RHP Mike Ekstrom wasn't too upset his name was pronounced ELK-strom during Tuesday's intros — he also has been called EGG-strom and EPP-strom. … Forbes editor Michael Ozanian calls Stuart Sternberg's purchase and improvement of the Rays, leading to an increase in value from $200 million to $316 million, a blueprint for "self-abused" teams such as the Pirates. … RHP Grant Balfour went back to his 2008 model under-uniform T-shirt with "Defend the Trop" on the front and "Cowbell Security" on the back: "It brought me good luck then."

Got a minute? Carl Crawford

Big-occasion meal? Seafood gumbo.

Favorite road city, and why? Has to be Miami because it's hot — outside.

Late-night TV show? Besides SportsCenter, I watch a lot of CNN.

Oddest song on your iPod? Al Green, For The Good Times.

Dream date? (Puerto Rican actress) Roselyn Sanchez. I hope you run a good picture of her.

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Tales 04/10/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:49pm]
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