RAYS release details for fan fest
ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' Feb. 27 Fan Fest at Tropicana Field will include autograph sessions, a "yard sale" of items from the team's previous 18 seasons, an appearance by Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons and several free kids activities, the team announced Friday.
Tickets for the autograph sessions go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday at raysbaseball.com, with 70 passes available for $25 each for sessions with Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Logan Forsythe, Kevin Kiermaier, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly and Steven Souza Jr. Proceeds go to the ALS Association Florida Chapter.
There are autograph-session presales for season-ticket holders and Rays Insiders, so inventory might be limited for the public sale. Other Rays players, staff members and 40 former big-leaguers will sign for free for kids 14 and under, and those who buy passes.
The yard sale will have game-used and autographed items; proceeds also will go to charity. A selection of Don Zimmer collectables will benefit the Clearwater for Youth Don Zimmer Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The event is 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with season-ticket holders admitted at 10 a.m. Admission and parking are free.
DINNER SOLD OUT: Tonight's Dinner with Chris Archer & Friends, featuring the Ted Williams Museum Hitters Hall of Fame induction at the Trop, is sold out.
Orioles: Closer Zach Britton agreed to terms on a $6.75 million contract for 2016.
Reds: Reliever J.J. Hoover won his salary arbitration case, improving players to 2-0 against teams this year. Hoover got a raise from $535,000 to $1.4 million.
track and field
Chinese doping letter examined
The sport's world governing body, IAAF, is investigating the authenticity of a letter published in Chinese media that suggests state-sanctioned doping in the 1990s and casts doubt on the long-standing world records set by Wang Junxia in the women's 3,000 and 10,000 meters.
Wang wrote a letter, signed by nine other members of Ma Junren's training program, in 1995 to journalist Zhao Yu saying athletes were forced to take banned substances and Ma injected athletes himself, Chinese website Tencent reported.
IAAF said in a statement that it became aware of the allegations when contacted by Chinese media and has asked the Chinese Athletics Association to assist with an investigation to verify if the letter — written in Chinese and provided by Zhao to Tencent this week — is genuine.
Wang clocked 29 minutes, 31.78 seconds in the 10,000 at China's national games in September 1993, shattering the world mark by 42 seconds. No runner has come within 22 seconds of her time since. Her record in the 3,000 is 8:06.11, also set at the 1993 games. She won the 10,000 at the 1993 worlds and the 5,000 at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Boston College hired former Syracuse and UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni as defensive line coach. Pasqualoni most recently was defensive line coach for the Houston Texans.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer; Times wires