The baseball offseason is off to an aching start for Rays manager Lou Piniella.
Piniella was hospitalized over the weekend because of severe back spasms. He complained of back problems after returning from a two-week trip to Europe in October, then was hospitalized Friday.
The Rays said Piniella received treatment and surgery was not anticipated. Piniella was due to be released this morning but might need to cut back on his offseason appearance schedule.
_ TOM JONES