The Longoria calendar
It's hard keep the days of the week straight given the repetitive routine of spring training, and it has been even more of a whirlwind for 3B Evan Longoria, given the unexpected early birth of his daughter last week. So he probably can be excused for saying Tuesday about his readiness for the season: "The target is April 1, it's not Feb. 30."
On the run
So why was Longoria, he of the previous hamstring problems, even trying to score from second base in the first inning against the Astros on Tuesday? Because 3B coach Tom Foley didn't stop him. Foley said as much, saying he was "caught in between" and could only yell to Longoria, who didn't hear him. The lesson? It's spring training for coaches, too.
Rays at Pirates
When/where: 1:05 today; McKechnie Field, 1611 9th Street W, Bradenton
Tickets: $14-$24, available through pirates.com, toll-free 1-877-893-2827
Pitchers: Rays — Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Juan Sandoval, Dane De La Rosa, Alex Torres, Felipe Rivero, J.D. Martin, Frank De Los Santos; Pirates — A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Vic Black, Brooks Brown, Jason Grilli, Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon
Most of the front-line players — though not 3B Evan Longoria — are scheduled to make the trip, including OF/INF Ben Zobrist, CF Desmond Jennings, SS Yunel Escobar, plus OF prospect Wil Myers.
Thursday: Tigers, 1:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Tigers — Anibal Sanchez
Friday: at Blue Jays (Dunedin), 1:05. Rays — Jake Odorizzi; Jays — TBA
Saturday: Orioles, 1:05. Rays — Alex Cobb; Orioles — TBA
Who is this Ray: INF/OF Sean Rodriguez.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer
Remaining exhibition games
Tickets: $10-$27, available at raysbaseball.com, Charlotte Sports Park and Trop box offices, Tampa team store, through Ticketmaster.
Info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)
All games 1:05 unless noted
3: vs. Twins
4: at Red Sox, 1:35
5: at Twins
7: at Pirates
8: vs. Phillies
9: at Phillies
10: vs. Red Sox
11: vs. Twins, 7:05
12: vs. Yankees
14: at Orioles
15: vs. Phillies
16: vs. Red Sox
17: at Red Sox, 1:35
19: at Tigers
20: at Twins, 7:05
21: vs. Jays
22: vs. Orioles, at Pirates
23: vs. Twins
24: at Yankees
25: vs. Pirates, 7:05
26: at Phillies
27: vs. Jays
28: at Orioles, 7:05
29: at Tigers
30: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10
Familiar face of the day
Former Rays OF Gabe Kapler, right, was in uniform for the first of two days, fulfilling what he said was a need for "a baseball fix." Kapler, whom manager Joe Maddon introduced as "possibly the best teammate you've ever had in your life," said he'd like to get into coaching at the appropriate time but now wants to spend time with his sons.
Quote of the day
RHP Alex Cobb, joking, on what the Rays learned in Tuesday's media training session
Who is this Ray?
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His father is a career baseball man, currently managing in Class A, and his brother played in the minors. He played at the Trop while in high school. Has played seven positions in the majors. (See answer below, at left.)