Tampa Bay Rays Tales: Fashion plates for players, wives

Rays rumblings

Look for the, um, colorful '98 original jerseys in the July 11 Turn Back the Clock game. … MLB President/COO Bob DuPuy said in an ESPN.com chat that the stadium situation is a larger concern than attendance: "They definitely need a new ballpark." … The interest in Pedro Martinez appears slight (and somewhat odd, unless he can close), but the Boston Globe says the Rays and Cubs "have begun to at least explore" money. … Manager Joe Maddon looked smart suggesting the issue at new Yankee Stadium might be the measurements rather than wind a day before an AccuWeather.com study came out with a similar conclusion. … ESPN.com's Keith Law says 10th-round pick SS Derek Dennis may be a good one: "a younger, thinner Derek Jeter."

Got a minute? J.P. Howell

Must-see TV? Weeds (on Showtime), the No. 1 show ever.

Best meal you can make? I make a good salad — cucumbers, carrots, lettuce that's chopped up perfect. The size of my stuff is what makes it.

Karaoke song if you had to? All Eyez on Me, by Tupac.

Guilty pleasure at the mall? Shoes, easy

With fiance Heather's permission, dream date? It's her, dude.

More fun is identifying the worst dressed. There are a few candidates, with Garza's name on this list, too, for his mix of colors. "All of sudden you're going, 'Whoa, dude, this is a little weird,' " Howell said. Jeff Niemann came up big, but he gets a pass for the limited selection in being 6-9, 260. "I don't know if there's any way to describe it," Dan Wheeler said. "High school?"

So that makes the "winner" Gabe Gross, below.

"Definitely Gross," Upton said.

And his style? "It's, 'Maybe I just don't care,' " Wheeler said.

"He doesn't wear anything I would ever wear in my entire life," added Joe Nelson. "Or have in my closet.'' The event starts at 7 at Nordstrom at Tampa's International Plaza. Tickets are $100 and available at the door or through childrensdreamfund.org. Among players participating (some with wives/girlfriends): Peña , Pat Burrell, Howell, Kapler, Dioner Navarro, James Shields, Wheeler and Ben Zobrist.

Free lunch *

Remember John Keiley, the guy who owned the Denver-area pizza shop with the painted "magic window" offering free pizza if the Rays won the World Series? They didn't, but since they'll be in town this week facing the Rockies, Keiley is making good on his offer: free lunch Wednesday to anyone in Rays gear. The deal is good at the original location, Johnny's New York Pizza & Pasta shop in suburban Lakewood (where the window now touts the Cubs' cause) and a new downtown shop, The Pizza Peel. "Pizza, strom­bolis, salads, calzones, spaghetti," Keiley said. "And lots of fun to be had by all." He's still amazed at the attention he got for joining the Rays bandwagon. "It was unbelievable, exciting and pretty overwhelming," he said. "And I was rooting hard for them to win."

* transportation not included

Gossip guy

Carl Crawford has been to two All-Star Games, but now he has really made it big: the New York Post's Page Six gossip page. Last weekend in New York, Crawford went with buddy CC Sabathia to watch the NBA game at the 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar for the in crowd. What got their names in the paper was that also there, and we'll use the Post's adjectives, were "skirt-chasing Yankee" Alex Rodriguez and his "new gal pal," actress Kate Hudson. "In typical celeb fashion," the Post huffed, "they left separately."

Homer happy

Much is made of all the homers hit at the new Yankee Stadium, but there have been more games with HRs at the Trop, 31-30 through Friday.

Yankee Trop

Total HRs 110 73

By home team 61 43

By road team 49 30

Leader Teixeira, 13 Peña, 10

The Rays are going to be looking sharp for tonight's Rays on the Runway fashion show, which benefits the Children's Dream Fund and Rays Baseball Foundation. Quite a few Rays already have style. Ask around the clubhouse who is the typically the best dressed and there are nearly a dozen names on the list. Carlos Peña was mentioned most often, with Evan Longoria next and Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Gabe Kapler, Scott Kazmir and B.J. Upton all getting multiple endorsements. "We've got some guys with some style on this team," Upton said. "There's some guys who can dress." Peña's style? "So perfect," J.P. Howell said. "Everything fits right. The shirt isn't too baggy, the jeans are always wrapped around his legs and flow out. I think it's just his body."

Tampa Bay Rays Tales: Fashion plates for players, wives 06/13/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:36pm]

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