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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Upon further review ... today’s game does count toward W/L record
Posted Mar 30, 2011 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 30, 2011 at 09:59 AM
BY ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays play their final Grapefruit League game today against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field and IT WILL count toward their spring record.
Further fact checking by the people who originally said it wouldn’t found this afternoon’s game is still part of the spring schedule even though it will take place at the Trop.
That it will be included on the won/loss record means the Rays have a chance to finish above .500. They are 14-14-2 after Tuesday’s 1-1 tie with the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
That should please pitching coach Jim Hickey, who walked through the visiting clubhouse after Tuesday’s game and told the players a win in the finale pushes them above .500.
When informed the game doesn’t count toward the record, Hickey said, “It counts for me.”
Now, it counts for everyone.
The Rays meet the Jays at 4:10 p.m. Tickets are $10, and fans can sit anywhere in the lower level except the Home Field and Whitney Bank clubs. Gates open at 2:40.
This will be the first time the Rays play on the AstroTurf, installed back in February.
Jeff Niemann will start for the Rays and throw four or five innings.
Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez will likely play deep into the game. They were scheduled to play eight or nine innings Monday against the Yankees in Tampa, but the game was rained out.
The Rays have Thursday off. They begin the regular season Friday at 7:10 p.m. against the Orioles at the Trop.