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It's no wonder Brian Roberts stays in such excellent shape. The man orders a fruit platter for lunch while sitting by the hotel pool.

No sloppy burgers and fries for the leadoff hitter.

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I tried to follow his example when I returned to my room, but the chocolate syrup probably defeated the purpose.

Carlos Pena has hit the C ring catwalk at Tropicana Field five times this season - a sentence I never thought I'd be typing. That's a single-season Devil Rays record, but I'm assuming the folks who run the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown aren't asking for his bat.

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Pena said he talked to the ball last night as it headed toward the right field seats, telling it to "hit something."

The Orioles should try the same thing when they have runners in scoring position. Maybe they can convince the ball to hit one of their bats.

Aubrey Huff and Jose Canseco held the Devil Rays single-season home run record at 34 before Pena passed them last night. Huff congratulated Pena.

"He said, 'I thought no one would ever do that,'" Pena said. "He's a funny guy. He's a comedian."

Hey, did you hear the one about the free-agent slugger who didn't get hot until August?

Sorry.

Nick Markakis played the carom and fired the ball back to the infield, even though he knew it was a home run. He tried to fool the umpires, but to no avail.

My guess is first base umpire Paul Nauert would have fallen for the "got your nose" trick. He wasn't exactly sharp last night. Besides blowing the call on Carl Crawford, he also incorrectly ruled Melvin Mora safe in the same inning.

"It just caught me by surprise," Crawford said. "To see him pump his fist out, it just shocked me. We've always been getting calls that don't go our way, but tonight, that was a play I knew I was right on."

Later today, I'll have the list of players added to the expanded roster, and hopefully some news on Erik Bedard's examination back in Baltimore. I fully expect Bedard to be shut down the rest of the season, but I'll gladly be wrong. He wants to pitch, manager Dave Trembley wants him to pitch. I'm just not sure his body will allow it.

I'll approach Trembley with great caution again today. He hasn't exactly been in a good mood lately. The big smile and hearty laugh are gone. He's irritated about a lot of things, some obvious, some you'd have to be behind the scenes to understand. But trust me, he isn't happy right now.

Nothing a nine-game winning streak won't solve.

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