• Three-time All-Star and 13-year Major League veteran, Cecil Fielder, will come to Rays camp on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and dress in uniform, as part of the Rays' "Adopt-a-Legend" program.
Previous special guests include Joe Namath, Glenn Beckert, Dave LaPoint, Raheem Morris, Orlando Palmeiro and Gabe Kapler.
Rays manager Joe Maddon explained how the arrangement came about with Fielder.
"Last year during the season he came to one of our games and he was down on the field," Maddon said. "I've always liked him. Quite frankly, as a young coach at that time, he treated me extremely well, a veteran player who took time to treat me well. And I always liked his demeanor in the clubhouse, how he interacted with the players. So when I told him about our Adopt-a-Legend program, he perked right up. I said I'd love for you to come out for a couple of days and visit with the guys. And he was all for it. Great guy for me, and he treated me with a lot of respect as a young coach. That's stuff I don't forget."
• Joe Maddon was asked about Mariano Rivera's anticipated retirement announcement.
"The best ever at what he does," the Rays manager said. "It will be a long time before you get somebody who was better than that. The way he was able to be so consistent, unbelievably consistent. And the hotter the game the better he was.
"Incredible what he's done, and in such a simple manner. That's the part that's really so impressive. The guys would always yell from the bench in a joking way: 'He's tipping his pitches.'"
Maddon likened the reaction to Rivera's cutter to the way players reacted to Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, in that in both cases, hitters would know what pitch was coming but they still wouldn't be able to hit it.
"Here's a guy that everybody knew what was coming all the time and they still couldn't do anything with it," Maddon said. "It was unbelievable how he nailed it."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.