4/24/2014 2:20 P.M. ET
Maddon to be honored at Champions' Breakfast
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Friday, Joe Maddon will be one of seven "champions" honored at the Brooks DeBartolo Champions' Breakfast at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from 7:30-9:30 a.m., featuring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Maddon's wife, Jaye, will accept the honor on his behalf, since the Rays will be in Chicago to play the White Sox in a four-game weekend series.
Maddon was chosen from the areas of military, education, faith, social justice, community service and entrepreneurship.
Students at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School researched individuals who stood out in each field as champions and stalwarts in the Tampa Bay community.
Jennings back 'in a zone' after returning from injury
ST. PETERSBURG -- Desmond Jennings, who nursed a groin problem over the weekend, looked back to full speed on Wednesday night.
The Rays' center fielder had three hits Wednesday and reached base four times for the first time since Sept. 18, 2013 against the Rangers.
"Des is playing really well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Des is playing a really good game of baseball. He's doing a lot of nice things. Attempting to bunt, bunting, running the bases extremely well. Playing good outfield. At-bats, he's not chasing.
"He's in a zone. He's hit the ball well in different moments."
Jennings had two stolen bases Wednesday night, giving the Rays their first multi-stolen base game by a Rays player since he did it last July 5 vs. the White Sox. The Rays went 97 games in between without a player recording two stolen bases.
In the decade from 2003-12, the Rays averaged a multi-stolen base game by a player once every 11.3 games and led Major League Baseball with 1,487 stolen bases.
Other than Jennings, the last Rays player to record two stolen bases was Sam Fuld on Aug. 13, 2012 at Seattle.
Hanigan a philosophical catcher
ST. PETERSBURG -- Ryan Hanigan majored in philosophy in college and completed all of his core classes toward his degree.
While the Rays' catcher explained that he did so with the idea of going to law school, he also enjoyed the subject.
"I was always into it, even in high school when they wouldn't offer those types of classes. On my own, I was interested in it," Hanigan said. "For me, it's always whenever I'm interested in something, then I'll want to know everything about it.
"You're basically looking at the history of early Western thinking all the way through. Pretty much it's how I went through it, and that's kind of how I approach everything. Start at the bottom and work your way to the top in terms of understanding it at its most basic level."
Hanigan noted that there were many applications of philosophy in regard to baseball, but he added: "I don't dwell on it too much."
• Rays pitchers struck out 14 Twins on Wednesday night after striking out 12 in the series opener. That marked the first time they've recorded 12-plus strikeouts in consecutive games since July 10-11 against Minnesota. The club record for consecutive 12-strikeout games is three, and it happened three times -- all in 2012.
• Since right-hander Alex Cobb (left oblique strain) was placed on the disabled list on April 13, Rays starters have lasted five innings or fewer in seven of nine games and have compiled a 6.65 ERA heading into Thursday afternoon's game.
• Entering Thursday's action, the Rays had doubled in 21 straight games to begin the season and are the only team in baseball with a double in every game this year. No other team went more than 14 games with a double to start the 2014 season. Twenty-eight games is the longest double streak by an American League team to start a season. The '12 Royals and '06 Indians each had streaks of 28 games. The '12 Nationals hold the record with 35 consecutive games with a double.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.