09/01/11 8:38 PM ET
Rays plan events to commemorate Sept. 11
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"The Rays will join communities across America in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001," said president Matt Silverman in a statement issued by the team. "We will gather together to remember those who lost their lives and to honor the first responders and other heroes for their actions that solemn day."
The schedule includes displays in and around Tropicana Field, on-field ceremonies, a video tribute to the victims and recognition of the Tampa Bay area's first responders.
The first 30,000 fans will receive a miniature American flag, and the first 10,000 kids 14 and under will receive a Rays Fire Helmet presented by Chili's.
The displays include a steel beam from the rubble of the World Trade Center, a large American flag suspended over the Rotunda entrance at Gate 1, a wall where fans can write messages to first responders and victims, and the University of South Florida robotics machine that was used in the recovery and search after the attacks. A commemorative "9.11.01" will be carved on the back of the pitcher's mound, and a remembrance logo will be visible throughout the ballpark.
Eighteen local fire chiefs, police chiefs and military personnel will throw out ceremonial first pitches, as will Captain Mark Bogush from Tampa Fire Rescue. Bogush and his search and rescue K9 Marley were dispatched to the World Trade Center days after the attacks.
The national anthem will be performed by Hillsborough County Sheriff Belinda Denbigh, who will also sing "God Bless America" in the seventh inning.
At all Major League parks on that day, a video will be shown, and all players will wear caps and jerseys featuring an American flag patch.
For Guyer, third time could be the charm
ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Brandon Guyer joined the team on Thursday after being recalled from Triple-A Durham.
Guyer had two brief stints with the team this summer. He was first recalled on May 6, at Baltimore, and he homered in his first Major League plate appearance that night. Overall, he is hitting .162 with one home run and two RBIs in six Major League at-bats.
He should have more playing opportunities this time around.
"It is [a good feeling]," Guyer said. "I've been up twice. Every time I come up, I get more comfortable. Some of the guys in here I played with at Durham. So I'm definitely a lot more comfortable and excited about the rest of the season."
Guyer has experienced a whirlwind year, from being traded by the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal to playing at the Triple-A level for the first time and then reaching the Majors.
"It's been a roller coaster," he said. "But coming into the season, my main goals were to be consistent and to stay healthy. The healthy part really didn't work out -- I've had some bumps and bruises. Coming up and down, I just really tried to stay consistent, and I think that's what I did. That's why I'm back here."
Guyer batted .312 with 14 home runs and 61 RBIs in 107 games at Durham.
"[Heading into the season], I felt like I could get better at every aspect of the game," he said. "When I was at Durham, I played every outfield position. So I made sure I got comfortable at all of them so when I got here I could play all of them.
"Hitting-wise, I needed to get a little more patient, and I feel I got better at that, especially toward the end of the season. ... I feel like I made a lot of good strides."
On Wednesday, manager Joe Maddon allowed that Guyer will be in contention for a starting job in 2012, meaning that the remainder of this season is somewhat of an audition.
"I'm just trying to not think too much about it," Guyer said. "Just go out there and act like it's another baseball player. The way I play, I'm sure it will affect how they look at me next year. But all of that I'm not thinking about. I'm just trying to come out here and play ball."
Staats, Kalas are Rays' Frick Award nominees
ARLINGTON -- Fans can now vote online for the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award -- a prestigious honor given to broadcasters -- by clicking here.
DeWayne Staats and Todd Kalas are Tampa Bay's nominees.
Staats, who is in his 14th season as the Rays' play-by-play man, began his Major League broadcasting career as the radio and TV voice of the Astros (1977-84), then he called radio and TV action for the Cubs from 1985-89. He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the Yankees, and he also spent the 1994-95 seasons calling action for The Baseball Network (ABC/NBC).
Kalas is also in his 14th season with the Rays, and his 19th in the Major Leagues. His primary role with Sun Sports is as a pre- and postgame host and in-game reporter. He has also filled in every season with play-by-play and color on the Rays' television and radio networks. He is the son of the late Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee.
Voting on the Facebook page will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30. The top three selections will appear on the final 10-name ballot, with the final selection made by a 20-member electorate. The winner will be announced at baseball's Winter Meetings in Dallas in December.
The Ford C. Frick Award has been presented annually since 1978 to honor excellence in baseball broadcasting, and is given to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.