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Play ball!

Field2

BRADENTON, Fla. — Play ball! As I type this, it’s less than three hours before the first pitch will be thrown in the annual charity game against State College of Florida. The weather is darn near perfect, as it’s been throughout camp so far.

Freshman left-hander Josh Clemen, a Bradenton native, will start for the Manatees. The Bucs will start lefty Aaron Thompson and also use a half-dozen other pitchers.

There are a number of interesting subplots today. I’m eager to get a look at Chase d’Arnaud in game action. It could be fun watching Corey Wimberly turn it loose on the bases. John Bowker, who’s in a tough spot roster-wise after the addition of Matt Diaz, is playing. Andrew Lambo, who’s one of the prospects I want to keep a very close eye on this year at Triple-A, is starting in right.

»»» The flags at McKechnie Field are flying at half-staff in honor of Chuck Tanner, who died a couple of weeks ago. There also will be a moment of silence during the games today and Sunday against the Rays.

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