U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Azinger Will Throw Out First Pitch for Rays

September 25, 2008

It's official. Paul Azinger, the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup captain, will throw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays hold their first home playoff game. The date and time are to be determined, because the American League season ends Sunday, and the Rays--who have clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history--still could be either a wild-card or the East Division champion. The latter is more likely, in which case the Rays would start their first series at home in the middle of next week.

"It's something I wanted to do," said Azinger, who lives in nearby Bradenton. "As soon as I got home after Louisville, I kind of made that known. Then I called them. And I guess, at the same time, they were trying to call me. Anyway, I'm pumped."

--Bob Verdi