Rays for Rays

It’s a good time to be a Rays fan.

Honestly, how often, before now, could you say something like that and mean it sincerely? But it’s true, from the bottom up.

At the top rung, obviously, the Rays are playing great baseball. After their win this afternoon, they’re just a half-game behind the Red Sox atop the AL East. Matt Garza threw a dandy and Evan Longoria is white hot. In his last four games, he’s gone 8-for-19 (6-for-11 in the last two) with three homers, four doubles and 8 RBIs.

Down in Double-A, 2007 No. 1 overall pick David Price makes his Southern League debut, starting for Montgomery tonight in Mobile at 8 p.m. ET. You can listen on MiLB.com Gameday Audio.

But wait, that’s not all. I’m in Princeton, West Virginia because Tim Beckham is making his professional debut tonight. He’ll DH and bat second in the P-Rays lineup against the Burlington Royals. You can listen to that game as well at 7 p.m. ET. There was a little nasty weather here a bit ago, and the radar looks like it might have one more bit of rain, so batting practice was banged, but it’s looking like all systems are go for the No. 1 pick in this most recent draft to get his first taste of pro ball. I’ll be writing a story off of it and we’ll (myself and Joe Cronin) provide a video interview and a little later, a feature, from the game. Wireless access permitting, I’ll try to blog after each of his at-bats tonight.

Flood relief efforts continue: Changing the topic for a minute, I just wanted to update you on a few on-going efforts regarding helping out those impacted by the flooding in the Midwest. A couple of days ago, I wrote about Trevor Bell and how he was donating $100 for every strikeout in a recent start, which meant a total of $700 when all is said and done. Well, after surveying the area a bit, Bell wrote a check for $2500 before being moved back up to Rancho Cucamonga. It’s reported in that city that Angels GM Tony Reagins promised the Angels will make a donation to the city as well.  Stephen Smith, over at FutureAngels.com, passed along some information on his blog. The Cedar Rapids Kernels now have a local relief fund up and running. Send dontations to:

Kernels Foundation Flood Relief
PO Box 2001
Cedar Rapids, IA  52404

I also just got a release from Minor League Baseball announcing the formation of MiLB Charities and that $50,000 will be donated to Iowa flood victims as the charitable arm’s first act.

More to come from Princeton as action unfolds…

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