Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Rays rail: Rays see themselves in Florida Gulf Coast

Comparison of the day

Florida Gulf Coast's remarkable run as a No. 15 seed into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 caught the attention of the Rays clubhouse. OF Sam Fuld tweeted they're like the "Rays of the NCAA tourney," noting how loose they play. Manager Joe Maddon said they're "really exemplifying the team concept. … It's really an incredible story," he said. "And it's fun to watch."

Kazmir's return

Ex-Rays ace Scott Kazmir, named the Indians' fifth starter Monday, is scheduled to make his first regular-season start April 6 at Tropicana Field. Kazmir, a two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2011. More details at right.

Guests of the day

The Lafayette College club team was a guest of manager Joe Maddon, a former Lafayette catcher, before Monday's game. The players helped the Rays shag fly balls during batting practice.

Family matters

RHP Alex Cobb's older brother R.J., a commander in the U.S. Army, made a rare visit before deploying to Afghanistan in a few weeks. Cobb said they went to the Punta Gorda air show Sunday afternoon. "It was pretty cool," Alex said. They were going to have R.J. throw the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday at the Rays' home finale, but he may not as Cobb is starting the minor-league game.

Who is this Ray?

His father was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He was born in Wichita, Kansas, and now resides outside of Orlando. He enjoys playing paintball with his sons.

The dish Rays at Phillies

When/where: 1:05 today; Bright House Field (601 N Old Coachman Road), Clearwater

Tickets: Reserved $14-34 Available through, in person at stadium box office, or by calling (215) 463-1000. Parking is $10

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — Roberto Hernandez, Cesar Ramos; Phillies — Raul Valdez, Michael Stutes, Jeremy Horst, Antonio Bastardo, Jonathan Papelbon


RHP Roberto Hernandez will make his last audition for the final spot in the rotation, as the team is expected to decide between him and RHP Jeff Niemann in the next couple days.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

On deck

Wednesday: vs. Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann. Jays — J.A. Happ

Thursday: at Orioles (Sarasota), 7:05. Rays — David Price. Orioles — TBA

Friday: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05. Rays — TBA; Tigers — TBA

Saturday: vs. Tigers (Tropicana Field), 1:10. Rays — TBA; Tigers — TBA

Who is this Ray? RHP Kyle Farnsworth

Follow our coverage all season on The Heater blog ( and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

ST. PETERSBURG – Quarterback J.T. Barrett is one of the most accomplished players preparing for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.He's the only three-time captain in Ohio State history, and he set at least 37 school/Big Ten re...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Overtime favors Countryside in girls hoops bout with Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Two similarly successful teams in Clearwater and Countryside combined for one exciting game.Facing each other Tuesday night in a brilliant, all-out girls basketball battle, one unfortunate play turned the tide.Leading by two p...
Updated: 7 hours ago
UNC streak over Clemson at 59-0

UNC streak over Clemson at 59-0

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Graduate transfer Cameron Johnson scored a season-high 21 to help No. 15 North Carolina hold off No. 20 Clemson 87-79 on Tuesday night, improving its all-time home record against the Tigers to 59-0. It’s the longest home winning s...
Updated: 8 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 16

Tuesday’s scoreboardGirls soccerLennard 8, Blake 0Osceola 1, Clearwater Central Cath. 0Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 4, Bishop McLaughlin 0
Updated: 8 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulsa at Temple6 p.m.ESPNewsVillanova at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1Dayton at St. Joseph’s6:30 p.m.CBSSNArkansas at Florida7 p.m.ESPN2; 1250-AMSMU at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPNUAuburn at Alabama7 p.m.SECUSF at East Carolina7 p.m.820-AM...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

BOSTON — Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, died Tuesday. He was 71 and had been battling cancer in recent years, though no cause of death was provided. In a statement, the Cel...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

NEW YORK — Rick Nash scored twice while the Rangers notched five straight goals in a 5-1 victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night. Jordan Weal put Philadelphia up 1-0 before Nash, J.T. Miller, Paul Carey and Michael Grabner combined to make it 5-1 by...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Updated: 9 hours ago

Largo rallies past Palm Harbor University 3-2, wins PCAC north

LARGO — Prior to Tuesday night's game against Palm Harbor University, Largo coach Dan Flynn gave his team a pep talk that may have been slightly embellished. He told his team that he talked to fellow coaches, who told him they had little chance...
Updated: 9 hours ago

MAKING NEWSNASSAR VICTIM: ‘YOU ARE A REPULSIVE LIAR’One of the dozens of victims expected to testify at the sentencing hearing of a disgraced former Michigan sports doctor Tuesday described the sexual abuse Larry Nassar inflicted on her as a child an...
Updated: 10 hours ago