Gators' Meyer visits with Rays

Gators' Meyer visits with Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays welcomed a special guest into their clubhouse before taking on the White Sox on Friday night.

Most of them did, at least.

University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer attended the game with his son, Nathan, and visited Tampa Bay players and coaches in the clubhouse prior to the game. Several members of the team, including pitcher Wade Davis and clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland, were happy to see the two-time national champion.

"It's good to have probably the best coach ever in college history in the clubhouse," said Davis, a Gators fan. "I haven't met him yet, but that's pretty cool. I know Westy's probably having a good time."

Lance Cormier and B.J. Upton, on the other hand, took a few lighthearted jabs at Meyer.

Cormier, who graduated from the University of Alabama, hung a Crimson Tide shirt from his locker, which Meyer took down and placed in the neighboring locker upon seeing it. Upton, who was set to attend rival Florida State University before jumping to the Major Leagues, entered the clubhouse doing the Seminoles' trademark chop.

Upton later told Meyer: "You know what? I had to do it. I'm sorry. I had to do it. I couldn't not do it."

Meyer, a 13th-round selection in the 1982 First-Year Player Draft, also spoke with Rays manager Joe Maddon in Maddon's office before the game.

"I love talking to him. He's definitely into it. He loves baseball," Maddon said. "He definitely enjoys our team, and he's a great supporter."