NEW YORK -- Rays players James Shields, David Price and Sean Rodriguez, along principal owner Stuart Sternberg and team president Matt Silverman will be part of a contingent making an appearance with first lady Michelle Obama at Baltimore's Camden Yards on Tuesday morning. The group will be addressing the subject of childhood obesity and how to combat the problem via a joint White House, Major League Baseball and MLB Players' Association initiative.
"I think as far [as appearing with Obama], that's pretty cool," Shields said. "I think Major League Baseball being associated with fighting childhood obesity and Michele Obama being passionate about it, that's a pretty cool thing."
Pena's approach patient yet aggressive
NEW YORK -- Carlos Pena had four hits in Saturday's 10-5 win over the Yankees, giving him the fifth four-hit game of his career.
Pena is a disciple of the Rays' approach to selective hitting. Working within the parameters of said approach, Pena was asked if there is a risk of becoming tentative at the plate.
"You never go up there trying to walk or anything like that, but there is a fine line between discipline and aggressiveness, and I think the more aggressive you are in your zone, the more aggressive and effective you are hitting the pitches you should be hitting and the more walks you'll get," Pena said. "So it goes hand in hand."
Pena maintains that in order to be a disciplined hitter, you have to be aggressive.
"It's weird how that works sometimes," Pena said. "Yet I think pitchers will be more careful with you, so you start walking more -- because you're hitting your pitches, because of your aggressiveness."
Pena acknowledged that the selective approach can at times freeze up a hitter, meaning he might not swing as readily as he would if he went to the plate looking to swing away.
"Sometimes you get too tentative, there's no doubt about that," Pena said. "I know this ballclub, we get some walks and we're able to get on base and stuff like that, but you don't want to get to a place where you're looking for a walk. Because now you're not swinging the bats and now you're not swinging at pitches you should be hitting.
"So it's about being ready to hit the pitch you want, and then the other stuff takes care of itself. That's the way I look at it. The better you're hitting, the better you're swinging, and the more walks you'll get."
Brignac in select company
NEW YORK -- Reid Brignac stole the show in Saturday afternoon's 10-5 Rays win with a two-run homer and a three-run homer.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brignac became the third rookie to hit two home runs with five or more RBIs in a road game against the Yankees. Detroit's Harry Davis also achieved the feat in 1932, as did Boston's Jason Varitek in 1998.
In addition, Brignac's two-homer game marked the third time in club history the Rays had a player deliver a multi-home run game from the ninth spot in the batting order. Geoff Blum hit two from the ninth spot on May 4, 2004, at Texas, and Jared Sandberg did it June 11, 2002 against the Dodgers.
Maddon gets visit from Mr. October
NEW YORK -- Rays manager Joe Maddon had an unexpected visitor Sunday morning when Reggie Jackson stopped by his office to chat.
"Reggie and I aren't necessarily close friends, [but] we've been friends, and I don't see him very often," Maddon said. "He just came in there and pretty much talked to me about the same things I've read in the paper --that it's been a very difficult time for him based on his relationship with Mr. Steinbrenner.
"He's very appreciative of that relationship," said Maddon. "Again, I wasn't expecting him to come in. It kind of took me by surprise, too."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.