* The Rays just won three out of four from the Houston Astros, the defending World Series champions. Prior to that, the Rays had swept the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees. It means the Rays began this week with a winning record and renewed respect for their resiliency and young talent. And all this despite roster trimming and blindsiding injuries. Don’t look for the Rays to make the post season this year–that’s still too steep a hill to climb–but do look for Kevin Cash to get some manager-of-the-year votes.
* Say what you will (and we will say a lot) about Tropicana Field, including its obsolescence upon debut, but it is temperature-and-humidity friendly inside. Not that we wouldn’t trade the Trop dome for a, say, Wrigley Field experience, but this just in: The heat index last Saturday at Chicago’s Wrigley was 107. Three visiting Minnesota Twins players left early with heat illness. The Cubs are good, Joe Maddon’s a great guy, and Wrigley Field is very cool–except when it’s very uncomfortable.