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It’s officially Opening Day… PLAY BALL!

The starting rotation is locked and loaded. The lineup is strong. And the expectations for the Tampa Rays for the 2014 season are extremely high.

The Rays begin their 17th season at the improved Tropicana Field today against the Toronto Blue Jays. This game marks the ninth straight season the Rays have sold out their home opener. During a pre-game ceremony, the team will raise the 2013 American League Wild Card banner.

Rays pitcher David Price says that he is honored to be the opening day starter for the third time.

“Anytime you’re asked to throw at the first game of the season for your club is a big day. We take pride in it. It’s a very special feeling for that opening day whether you’re pitching it or sitting on the bench. I’ve been in my fair share of when I was on the bench on opening day and it still gives you goose bumps, the National Anthem and everything that goes on,” Price said.

This will be the first time for most fans to see the new 360-degree walkway around Tropicana Field and the converted part of centerfield into an open-air gather spot called “Porch in Centerfield” which includes a 46-foot long bar and concessions.

The game will begin at 4:10 and Price says that he is excited to get this season started.

“Opening day is very special to us and it kicks off our season so it’s always good to get the ball rolling. I’m the one that got the nod, so I’m very fortunate for it.”

Among the other 12 games being played today, The Miami Marlins will face the Colorado Rockies tonight at 7:05. Pitcher Jose Fernandez will become the Marlins’ youngest opening day starter when he takes the mound tonight.

And the Atlanta Braves will face the Milwaukee Brewers.

For audio clips, click the links below:

David Price

David Price 2

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