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Crawford encouraged by early results on wrist

Carl Crawford on Friday, for the most part, felt no pain.

A notable achievement considering the Devil Rays leftfielder, rehabbing a bone bruise in his left wrist since October, took his first batting practice.

Crawford hit off a pitching machine and the coaches. The smile on his face told how it went.

"I call it a step because I didn't feel any pain in the wrist," he said. "If I move the wrist in a certain direction I feel slight pain. But the way I'm swinging the bat, taking it to rightfield, I didn't feel any pain, so I call it a step forward."

"He looked nice," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think he's going to leave today feeling pretty good about himself."

Crawford, who bailed out of the World Baseball Classic to protect the wrist, watched the first three days of batting practice.

"It's coming along good," he said. "I'm not beating the wrist up. As long as we're getting better with this slow progress, that's how we'll continue."

Crawford takes BP today against Rays pitchers.

"We're going to see how it really feels," he said, "and go from there."

MORI PLEASED: Shinji Mori said his second day of pitching batting practice was better than his first.

"Much better than two days ago," he said. "I had confidence throwing breaking balls."

Still, Mori got some rough treatment from slugger Jonny Gomes, who was all over Mori's fastball.

"It's the first time I saw him," Gomes said. "He's working on stuff. We're all working on stuff. He's looking fine."

RUDE WELCOME: Casey Fossum borrowed teammate Scott Kazmir's Cadillac Escalade on Thursday, picked his family up at the airport and took them to spend their first night in their new home in Bradenton's Heritage Harbor development.

Then he woke Friday morning and said he found Kazmir's 2003 truck on blocks in the driveway and its $8,500 custom O.Z Racing wheels stolen.

"Welcome to the neighborhood, huh?" Fossum said. "It's a gated community. It's supposed to be safe. I'm not sure if we're even going to stay there now. We moved in at 8 o'clock (Thursday) night, and I woke up at 7 and saw this. The police said it happened between 4 and 5. Unbelievable."

Kazmir said his priority was to get some type of wheels put on so he could get the car back to his Tampa home, then to get replacements, though the wheels he had on the truck are no longer made.

HE'S NO. 1: Outfielder Delmon Young is No. 1 on Baseball America's list of the game's top 100 prospects, but he said it is not necessarily the honor he is looking for as he seeks to jump to the majors.

"It's a good thing to get, but I don't want to be considered a prospect anymore," Young said. "I hope I'm not on their list next year."

Young had an eventful day on the practice field, getting hit in the head by a pitch from J.B. Miadach, but he wasn't hurt.

"Straight on the temple," Young said. "But that's what helmets are made for. I wanted to hurry up and get the first one out of the way."

MISCELLANY: The Rays went through drug testing. Pitcher Seth McClung and television broadcaster DeWayne Staats will be at the Clearwater Greek Festival at 4 p.m. today at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 409 Old Coachman Road.


Times staff writers