Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays v O’s: Happy Opening Day!
Posted Apr 2, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM
ST. PETERSBURG Welcome to Opening Day! Or, as some people walking around the Trop this morning are saying – Happy New Year!
The Rays and the Orioles open the season … again. This is the sixth Opening Day meeting between the two since 1999. The Orioles hold a 3-2 lead.
This is the fourth straight year the Rays open the season at home.
David Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, takes the hill for the Rays against former Ray Jason Hammel, who has never won a game at the Trop.
Don Zimmer and his family, wife Soot, son Tom, daughter-in-law Marian, and grandsons Bo and Ron, will deliver the first pitch.
The Rays will debut the Bang a Gong gong out in right field just to the foul side of the foul pole. They will take the field to the 1971 T. Rex hit “Bang a Gong.” Someone will bang the gong, not sure who yet.
Also, Fernando Rodney will fire his imaginary post-save arrow at the gong after closing out games at the Trop. At least that’s the rumor.
Because Price is pitching, fans sitting in sections 132 and 134 down the right field line will wear District K-9 T-shirts and hold up “K” cards when Price strikes out a batter. The sections will be known as District K-9.
The Rays hope it to be a game-day tradition when Price pitches this season. Since the sections sold out for today’s game, the offer will stand for Sunday’s game against the Indians, when Price is scheduled to make his second start of the year.
Here are the lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Nolan Reimold LF
Steve Pearce DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Jason Hammel RHP
Tampa Bay Rays
Desmond Jennings CF
Sam Fuld RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce LF
Yunel Escobar SS
James Loney 1B
Jose Molina C
Kelly Johnson DH
David Price LHP