Treat of the day
Johnny Damon is considered a great teammate everywhere he goes, and he showed why again Sunday. Around the sixth inning, he reached up over the top of the dugout and — borrowing money from video coordinator Chris Fernandez — bought three snow cones from a stadium vendor, and got a fourth free. "They just looked good," Damon said. "I had one, the coaches had some and Zobi (Ben Zobrist) had one."
Quote of the day
"This is probably the best I've felt coming out of spring training."
Rays LHP David Price.
Number of the day
8 Spring losses by one run, of 14 overall
Prank of the day, continued
Saturday, the Rays hazed minor-league INF Tyler Bortnick for his over-the-top Facebook comments on getting a hit off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in a minor-league exhibition. Sunday, they added to it, bringing him to Bradenton to play in his first big-league exhibition, having him introduced, and wear a jersey, with his screen nickname, WHAMMYYY.
Scenic route of the day
Manager Joe Maddon took the long way on Sunday from Port Charlotte to Bradenton, driving his 1972 Chevy Malibu convertible — top down, Bruce Springsteen blaring — up U.S. 41 through the heart of Sarasota, and dug the scene. "It kind of had a California vibe to it," he said.
Recovery of the day
Bullpen coach Bobby Ramos insists he'll be ready to return to active duty by Friday's opener, having been limited since straining his rib cage — while sneezing — March 3. "He has to get stretched out, and that's fun to watch," manager Joe Maddon said. "If he withstands the stretching by (strength and conditioning coordinator Kevin Barr), then we'll let him catch a bullpen."
Rays at Yankees
When/where: 7:05 tonight; Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa
Tickets: $17-33, available via Yankees.com, Ticketmaster and at the stadium
Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
Pitchers: Rays — James Shields, Jake McGee, Adam Russell; Yankees — A.J. Burnett, TBA
McGee and Russell are scheduled to make the second of back-to-back appearances, which can be telling.
Who is this Ray?
He was part of the first 2-6-2 triple play in big-league history. Undrafted out of high school, he played at two small colleges (Olivet Nazarene and Dallas Baptist) and was a sixth-round pick in 2004 by Houston. He was acquired in trade for Aubrey Huff. His father is a minister and his wife a singer finishing her second CD.
Tuesday: at Red Sox (Fort Myers), 1:05. Rays — Wade Davis; Red Sox — Clay Buchholz
Who is this Ray answer: INF/OF Ben Zobrist
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer