06/01/2003 4:56 PM ET
Chew on this: Rays visit Wrigley
Tampa Bay (21-34) at Cubs (30-25), Tuesday 8:05 ET
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Once again, the name "Sandberg" will be announced during a Cubs game.
But this time, it will be Jared Sandberg, nephew of Cubs great Ryne. And he will not be playing for the Cubs, but for the Devil Rays.
Jared is an original Ray, picked in the team's first-ever draft of 1996. He even started as a second baseman, but since has been moved to third base. He hit 18 home runs last season and is battling for playing time this year after starting the season in Triple-A.
Jared has not spent much time with his famous uncle and only visited Wrigley Field twice before. He was there as a paying customer in 1995, the year his uncle retired the first time. And he went again on Sept. 20, 1997, on Ryne Sandberg Day. Jared is from the Seattle area and his parents will be in Chicago for the series.
But he said he doesn't think about comparisons between the Sandbergs.
"I can't worry about that," Jared said.
As for going to Wrigley, though, Jared is excited.
"That's where the name Sandberg was first established so, it should be fun," Jared said.
Pitching matchup: 2-1, 3.50 in 2003
3-0, 4.91 ERA in Interleague starts
Has never faced the Cubs
TB: RHP Jeremi Gonzalez
CHI: RHP Matt Clement
2-6, 4.99 in 2003
Has never faced the Rays
Player to watch:
Gonzalez was one of the Cubs' top prospects in the '90s and went 11-9 with a 4.25 ERA in 23 starts for them in 1997. He was 7-7 in 1998 before having surgery on his right elbow. He had elbow surgery again in 1999 and missed half of the 2000 season. Gonzalez had knee surgery and missed all of the 2001 season. He was picked up by the Rangers in 2002 and pitched in their minor league system before joining the Rays as a free agent last last November. So, it has been four and half years since Gonzalez has pitched in the Majors and he is finally back to full strength. He has been dominant so far, allowing only nine hits in 18 innings, with 18 strikeouts.
"When you start losing, it becomes very easy to start playing for yourself." -- Lou Piniella
On the Internet:Gameday
Tampa Bay station: PAX-TV
Chicago station: Fox Sports Net Chicago
Tampa Bay station: 970 WFLA
Chicago station: WGN 720
Wrigley Field will be the 23rd ballpark the Rays have visited. The are 4-18 in the first games at their opponents' homes. ...The Rays are 35-53 all-time in Interleague play. Their best record was 2001, when they went 10-8. Lou Piniella has a 55-49 record as a manager in Interleague games. ... The Rays are expected to add Steve Parris to the roster as a reliever some time during the series. Parris was on the DL with tendinitis in his right shoulder. ... Toby Hall went 4-for-4 on Sunday and is 33-for-108 since April 22. Hall also is the third-toughest player in the AL to strike out. He has fanned only 10 times in 173 plate appearances. ... Aubrey Huff has played in 168 straight games, the sixth-longest streak in the Majors.
Wednesday, Rays (Victor Zambrano) at Cubs, 8:05 ET; Thursday, Rays (Dewon Brazelton) at Cubs, 2:20 ET; Friday, Rays at Astros, 8:05 ET; Saturday, Rays at Astros, 8:05 ET; Sunday, Rays at Astros, 2:05 ET.
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.