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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-14

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-14

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-14
--RHP Joe Nelson's rental apartment isn't available until Wednesday, so he is living with RHP Troy Percival for a few days at his Clearwater condo. "It's like being a high roller," Nelson said. "There's no turndown service, but he's got plenty of food in the fridge, so that's good. He's a pretty good roommate."

--RHP Jeff Niemann won the Al Lopez Award given annually to the top rookie in spring training. Niemann will receive the award April 30 from Al Lopez III, grandson of the Hall of Famer.

--RHP Jeff Niemann got off to a horrible start on Saturday, but he recovered to pitch into the sixth and saved the bullpen, which already was without long man Lance Cormier. "That first inning was rough, but I thought he pitched very well after that," manager Joe Maddon said. "I was impressed."

--RHP James Shields said he would try changing his game-day routine in an effort to solve his mystifying struggles on the road. Sunday, all he did was show up a little earlier than normal and spend a little more time chatting with people, but the results were impressive as he worked seven shutout innings.

--RHP Dan Wheeler was one of the Tampa Bay players eager to see the ring new DH Pat Burrell got to commemorate the Phillies' victory over the Rays in the World Series. "I'm a little bit jealous," Wheeler said. "I want my own. That's really special. I hope he gets another one this year."

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Runs scored on home runs, of the team's first 29 overall, an imbalance that manager Joe Maddon said has to be corrected.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We expect that these two banners are the first of many." -- Team President Matt Silverman, on the hanging of the AL East and AL Championship banners at Tropicana Field.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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