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MLB Arizona DiamondbacksTampa Bay Rays

Opening day 30 hours away

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The beer is chilling. The hot dogs are being delivered. The bunting around the ballpark is being unfurled. That means it’s almost the greatest day of the year. Everyone is in first place and hopes run high.

Hopes are running high in the Bay area this April. The roster that manager Joe Maddon has crafted for your 2010 Tampa Bay Rays is the most complete in team history. The 25 man roster was finalized Sunday with no unexpected surprises. LHP J.P. Howell and OF Matt Joyce will start the season on the DL.

OF/DH Hank Blalock found out the phone wasn’t ringing off the hook for him so he decided AAA Durham wasn’t so bad after all. Blalock does have an out clause in his contract which he can contact the Rays and they would then have 48 hours to add him to the roster or release him outright. I imagine Blalock will remain in Durham for 6-7 weeks to see if he starts hitting so Pat Burrell is on notice.

James “Big Game” Shields will be the opening day pitcher for the 3rd consecutive year. Tuesday night’s home opener is sold out. The Rays open a 6 game homestand, 3 with Baltimore and 3 with New York Yankees.