Finally, these two teams meet up and there is some interest from outside Florida (or even these two metropolitan areas).
Yes, even Sports Illustrated is here to take in the Sunshine State Series -- or whatever the heck you want to call it.
Little bit of news to get to (the Panthers hired a new head coach BTW) but first the lineups. Will be back with some of the other stuff as we go on. As the Herald's hockey writer, the Panthers making such a big move has made today just a little more hectic.
Please be patient. Thanks.
And now, your lineups:
FLORIDA: Hanley Ramirez SS; Jeremy Hermida RF; Jorge Cantu 3B; Mike Jacobs 1B; Dan Uggla 2B; Luis Gonzalez DH; Cody Ross LF; Alfredo Amezaga CF; Matt Treanor C; Pitching tonight, Ryan Tucker (1-0, 1.80)
TAMPA BAY: Akinori Iwamura 2B; Dioner 'Nick' Navarro C; B.J. Upton CF; Eric Hinske LF; Evan Longoria 3B; Willy Aybar 1B; Cliff Floyd DH; Gabe Gross RF; Jason Bartlett SS. Pitching tonight, Andy Sonnanstine (6-3, 4.88).
-- Josh Willingham is set to begin his Double-A rehab assignment tonight with the Carolina Mudcats (great name). He's going to be playing in left field, getting in at least three at-bats as he tries to work his way back into the Marlins' lineup. Fredi Gonzalez says Hammer can't DH during Greensboro's upcoming games, so he'll likely get a day off the field on Monday.
-- Josh Johnson, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, pitches again tonight for Single-A Greensboro. He went five innings in his last start on Monday (one run, five hits) in an extended spring game up in Jupiter. JJ has a 70-75 pitch limit in this game with the Grasshoppers.
-- Sergio Mitre continues his rehab, threw 30 pitches off a mound today.
-- Luis Gonzalez the DH tonight against the D-Rays, Fredi Gonzalez says former D-Ray Jorge Cantu may get that slot on Saturday, with Hanley Ramirez and Mike Jacobs also seeing time during this nine-game American League swing.
-- It's thundering and raining here at the ballpark. But they have a roof on the building, which works out nice tonight. PLAY BALL
-- The Rays are without a couple of players, serving suspensions for that fun-loving brawl in Boston on June 5. The Bad Rays: RHP James Shields (6 games), OF Carl Crawford (starts tonight, out 4 games). RHP Edwin Jackson (5 games) starts his sit-down on June 16, with Iwamura taking three games off starting on the 18th.
-- FYI: Quite a few Marlins fans in the house tonight, sure most of whom made the quick jaunt up I-75 sometime today. Either that, or they live here in the Tampa Bay area. Whatever. Sure the Rays are glad they are here.
-- Also, no television for tomorrow's 6:10 start; will be here with a live blog for those who like their baseball, well, blogged.
-- For you Super Saturday fans, the Marlins announced their concert series for the second half of the season. Think the Bangles might be a decent show. Anywho: July 19 -- Jerry Rivera; August 2 -- The Bangles; August 16 -- Jaci Velasquez; August 30 -- Olga Tañon; September 13 -- Victor Manuelle and Albita; September 20 -- Lou Gramm of Foreigner (with a few decent solo hits) fame.