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Spring training

Tampa Bay Rays spring training news and notes

Pit stop of the day

With a three-plus-hour bus ride from Port Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale early Saturday, the Rays took a quick bathroom break at a rest stop on Alligator Alley. Most of the players wore street clothes, but manager Joe Maddon was in uniform pants and team sweatshirt, though no one seemed to notice. "No one said anything to me," he said.

Time waster of the day

Having to get back on the bus for the long trip back, manager Joe Maddon figured some entertainment was in order. "We're going to stop and get a movie for the ride back, stop at Blockbuster or someplace else, make sure we get a good flick," he said. "We'll probably watch all three episodes of the Godfather by the time we get back."

Number of the day

5 Former Rays with the Orioles — RHP Danys Baez, INF Chris Gomez, LHP Mark Hendrickson, 1B Aubrey Huff, INF Ty Wigginton

Milestone of the day

With today's sellout, their sixth, the Rays will set a team record for spring training attendance, breaking the 80,000 mark in 13 games. The record was 79,044 in 2007, which included a crowd of 14,000-plus for a game at the Trop. The Rays' average of 6,372 for big-league exhibitions is sixth in the Grapefruit League.

Quote of the day

"As much as has gone on over there, it seems like I've been out of there for five years."

Aubrey Huff, who left the Rays in a July 2006 trade

The dish

Rays vs. Yankees

When/where: 1:05; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Tickets: Reserved seats and berms sold out; limited number of boardwalk ($9) tickets may be available. Buy through raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices and Tampa team store.

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the Tampa Bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Take I-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; stadium on left.

Parking: $7, lots open at 10.

For information: 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — LH David Price, RH Grant Balfour, LH Brian Shouse, RH Jason Isringhausen; Yankees — RH Alfredo Aceves, LH Phil Coke, LH Damaso Marte, LH Kei Igawa, RH Brian Bruney

On deck

Monday: Pirates, at Bradenton, 1:05. Rays — Jason Hammel; Pirates — Zach Duke

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Pirates, at Charlotte Sports Park, 7:05. Rays — Matt Garza; Pirates — Jeff Karstens

Thursday: Tigers, at Lakeland, 6:05. Rays — Andy Sonnanstine; Tigers — TBA

Friday: Twins, at Fort Myers, 1:05. Rays, Twins — TBA

Rays exhibition schedule

Home games at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, in Port Charlotte.

Games at 1:05 unless noted

March

Mon.: at Pirates

Wed.: Pirates, 7:05

Thurs.: at Tigers, 6:05

Fri.: at Twins

Sat.: Reds

29: at Reds

30: at Twins

31: at Red Sox

April

1: Twins

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays spring training news and notes 03/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 21, 2009 5:17pm]

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