Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Howell's wife writes book
Heather Hennessy-Howell, wife of Rays pitcher J.P. Howell, will promote her newly released children's book, "The Adventures of Dangles," from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading at the USF-St. Petersburg campus. Dangles is a stuffed monkey with angel's wings and a bow and arrow that helps children negotiate the more difficult times of childhood. The first book in what Hennessy-Howell plans on being a series aimed at children ages 3 to 10 deals with bullying. Dangles is the centerpiece of the Howell's Healing Hearts Foundation and their website, discoveryourpath.com.Dangles' message, as well as that of the foundation, Hennessy-Howell said, is "as long as you're making the right steps, you're going to get through this. Sometimes you have to take that path, and they key is not to veer off and make the right choices along the way." The idea for Dangles came from the stuffed animal Howell bought for his wife before picking her up at the airport during spring training 2008. The monkey with angel's wings and a bow and arrow accompanied Hennessy-Howell everywhere she went, including the couple's honeymoon last offseason. "I would show it to little kids and they loved it," Hennessy-Howell said. "There was never a dull reaction." From there, the idea grew to reaching out to children and spreading their message through Dangles. Hennessy-Howell, whose dreams of becoming an Olympian in the 800-meter run were dashed when she broke her back during her freshman year at USC, knows something about having life unexpectedly alter your plans. So does Howell, who missed all of the 2010 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. "Dangles will show how kids can use things to make them stronger and find out what their real path in life is," Hennessy-Howell said. Howell is rehabbing in Birmingham, Ala., with James Andrews, who performed his surgery. Howell said he expects to begin throwing in spring training and hopes to rejoin the bullpen during the early part of 2011. BLUE JAYS PASS ON MARTINEZ: Dave Martinez is no longer a candidate for the Blue Jays managerial job. The Rays granted the Jays permission to talk to their bench coach, but Martinez never got further than one interview. An original Devil Ray, Martinez is under contract through the 2011 season. TSN TABS THREE RAYS: Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and Rafael Soriano were named to The Sporting News' 2010 American League All-Star Team. This is the first time the Rays have placed multiple players on TSN's postseason team. Carlos Peña (2007) and Longoria (2009) were the other Rays to make the team.
News at noon: Wrong-way driver identified in fatal Howard Frankland crash; Congress provides an opportunity that might help finance a new Rays stadium; and more