ST. PETERSBURG -- Eric Hinske returned to Tropicana Field in a Braves uniform on Friday night. The veteran slugger will always be remembered by Rays fans as an integral part of the team's 2008 American League championship.
Rays manager Joe Maddon spoke fondly of Hinske, first recalling a motivational speech to the team made by Monte Kiffin, then the defensive coordinator of the NFL's Buccaneers. During the speech, Kiffin misspoke, referring to "Hinske" as "Pinske" and the name stuck in the clubhouse.
Hinske "had a great influence on our World Series year," Maddon said. "He's a really good baseball player. He plays the game well.
"Him and Cliff [Floyd] and Percy [Troy Percival], Danny Wheeler, those guys are really so big in the paradigm shift here. ... A lot of it is because of those guys and how they [raised] our young [players]. They were the guys in the clubhouse who did most of the really good work with our young players and showed them the right way."
Rhymes continues to be day to day
ST. PETERSBURG -- With all the injuries the Tampa Bay Rays have suffered this season, the team was relieved to hear good news concerning infielder Will Rhymes.
Rhymes, who was hit by a 95-mph pitch by Boston's Franklin Morales on Wednesday, will not be joining nine other Rays on the disabled list after an MRI revealed his arm was not fractured. What remains is a bruise and swelling on the 29-year-old's right arm, and he continues to be listed as day to day.
"[The swelling] moved up a little bit," Rhymes said. "Apparently, that's a good, but it's kinda weird."
Rhymes was not listed in Friday's lineup against the Braves, but said he is available to play -- possibly in a pinch-running situation, if needed.
"Everything is good, I feel pretty good today," Rhymes said on Friday. "I probably could go. ... It was kind of precautionary to take an extra day. I want to get out there, obviously. But we have to be pretty smart about it, too."
After being hit by the pitch, Rhymes appeared to be OK. But after reaching first base, he motioned to the dugout that he wanted to be taken out of the game. As he started walking off the field, Rhymes passed out. Minutes later, he regained consciousness and was taken off the field. He added that the incident led to a swarm of text messages, with Wednesday's game being broadcast nationally.
"[I received] quite a [few], apparently it was an ESPN game," Rhymes said. "Quite a few people were watching, I got quite a few texts."
Rhymes was originally called up to take the roster spot of the injured Evan Longoria on May 1. He has started 12 games and appeared in two more, hitting .283 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.