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Monday, July 28, 2014

Deadspin: David Ortiz Pissed Off the Rays Again

David Ortiz’s three-run home run would be all the Red Sox needed in yesterday’s 3-2 win over Tampa. But he couldn’t have known that at the time—it was the third inning—yet Ortiz flipped his bat like he had just won a game, setting off yet another war of words with the Rays.

“I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody retaliates,” said Rays pitcher Chris Archer. . . “Whatever, dude,” Ortiz said. “There’s always going to be comments out there. He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I think. He’s got two days in the league, and to be ######## and complaining about stuff like that.”

The Rays are a truly dislikable, whining bunch of twits. All credit to their front office, but what a bunch of tosspots.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Price, Rays beat Red Sox for 8th straight victory

Price won his sixth start in a row, Evan Longoria hit a three-run double, and the Rays earned their eighth straight victory by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Friday night.

‘‘A little bit of the swagger is back,’’ Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

59 games left, 40-19 gets them to 90 wins.  It could happen.  Hopefully they have some more games with the Red Sox on the schedule.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, rays, streaks

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yadier Molina serves his brother crackers on a plate — home plate

Orange slices and Shasta for everyone after the game!

Jose was in St. Louis to play catcher for his Rays, while Yadier was sidelined with a thumb injury, so maybe Jose should have been the one sending the pick-me-up. As it happened, TV cameras caught Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo putting a couple of packs of peanut butter-filled cheese crackers on home plate, then showed Yadier laughing and motioning for his brother to take them.

Sure enough, Jose gratefully accepted the offering and put the crackers in his back pocket.

Picture-by-picture breakdown here.

 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Dave Cameron: 2014 Trade Value: The Top 10

7. Salvador Perez

If there’s one piece of feedback I got more clearly than any other last year, it was that I was too low on Salvador Perez. I had one friend in the game tell me should have been in the top five, and I had him at 36. My bad, Kansas City. Consider this a mea culpa.

Perez might not yet be the best catcher in baseball, but there are a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be in the near future. He’s basically a power spike away from being Jonathan Lucroy, only he’s four years younger than Milwaukee’s backstop, and at a point where many catchers are still honing their craft in the minors. And while framing metrics don’t love him the same way they do Lucroy, his defensive reputation is still stellar, as he shuts down the running game as well as anyone.

And then there’s the contract. Because the Royals locked up Perez after just 39 big league games, he’s set to make $2 million each of the next two years, and then they have team options for three additional years at $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million respectively. It’s $19 million over five seasons, or an average of $4 million per year. The best catcher in the American league is signed to the kind of deal you give a decent middle reliever.

Perez doesn’t even have to get any better to be one of the biggest steals in baseball. If he does improve, though, he might eventually challenge for the top spot on this list.

BUT WHO IS #6????


Monday, July 07, 2014

Gleeman: Rays sign No. 1 rated international prospect Adrian Rondon for $3 million on his 16th birthday

I think I got a turtleneck for my 16th birthday.

Today is the first day Adrian Rondon is eligible to sign because it’s his 16th birthday and the Rays moved quickly to add the right-handed-hitting shortstop from the Dominican Republic.

Tampa Bay must believe that Rondon is destined for stardom because Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that by going so far beyond their designated spending limits the Rays will be forced to pay a 100 percent tax on all international spending above $2 million and won’t be allowed to sign any prospects for more than $300,000 for a while.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:08 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican, international free agents, rays

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rays’ David Price in ‘bad mood’

“I mean, obviously I think about it,” Price told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s why I’ve been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it’s nothing I really want to talk about.
“I don’t have an answer for you guys. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know when I’m going. So there’s nothing I can really comment on.”

So much for standard cliches about not letting it affect him.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:03 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, rays

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

VIDEO: 17-year-old female knuckleballer throws BP to Rays

Chelsea’s knuckleball is real. She hit Longo in the back. I loved it. With that pitch & her composure she can compete

Not bad at all.  Joe Maddon seems like fun.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:36 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cool, joe maddon, knuckleballers, rays

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Every facet delivers as Rays top Cardinals, 6-3 | TBO.com

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, May 30, 2014


Monday, May 05, 2014

CBS: Who’s The Evil Empire Now? Rays Say Rule Gives BoSox Right To Force Doubleheader

The Red Sox lobbied for a doubleheader to be played Thursday after rain in Boston washed out Wednesday’s scheduled game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The struggling Rays wanted no part of a double dip.

But this one goes to the Red Sox, mainly because Boston gets what it wants, according to the Tampa Bay Times:

“Rays acting player rep Ben Zobrist said that their objections — which officially included a questionable weather forecast for today, and several other makeup possibilities during May and September visits — didn’t matter.

“In short, the Rays were told by MLB that the Red Sox (and Cubs) have exceptions to the standard rules in the Basic Agreement ‘to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do.’ “

bobm Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:50 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, cubs, rays, red sox

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4 balls, you’re out!

I have an idea: steroids for the replay guys.

bunyon Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, replay, sabermetrics, umpires

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josh Lueke Is A Rapist, You Say? Keep Saying It.

But during that Saturday night game, DRaysBay.com editor Erik Hahmann suggested that enough was enough. “It gets brought up every game by some ####### on twitter,” he tweeted. What ensued was a discussion, largely made up of male writers and fans, about the etiquette of reminding people that Lueke raped a woman.

Lars6788 Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 302 comment(s)
  Beats: brett myers, josh lueke, rape, rays, when enough is enough

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Matt Moore has torn UCL; Tommy John surgery possible

Further testing on Matt Moore’s left elbow Wednesday revealed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. The Rays and Moore are deciding on the next step, which is either surgery or rehabilitation.

“Honestly, let’s just wait until (today). I don’t have everything in,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to the Royals. “It needs to be looked at a little more deeply, because it’s not a slam-dunk surgery right now.”

Moore, placed on the disabled list Tuesday with left elbow soreness, could miss at least a month if he chooses to rehab without surgery. If the 24-year-old opts for the reconstructive surgery known as Tommy John surgery, he will miss at least 12 months.

Moore left Monday’s loss to the Royals in the fifth inning complaining of pain in his left elbow when he threw his change-up. He said the pain was similar to, but not as severe as, the pain in the same location he experienced last summer that forced him to the disabled list for more than a month.

...Moore said Tuesday he was hoping the injury was just bruising from the ligament rubbing against something in his arm while he threw the change-up, because the pain did not occur when he threw his other pitches. He also said he didn’t feel a pop, which some pitchers experience when they completely tear the UCL.

“Maybe something clicked in there,” Moore said. “Maybe I got little aggressive out front with one of the change-ups and something rubbed wrong or clicked, and once you kind of hit something, it kind of just stays around for a second.”

A tear would explain why the velocity on Moore’s fastball has decreased since 2011, when he arrived on the scene in September with a flourish, throwing in the high 90s.

Thanks to CV.

Repoz Posted: April 10, 2014 at 06:59 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, April 06, 2014

TBT: Rays sign Yunel Escobar to two-year extension

Though Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said a driving force of the offseason plans was keeping the infield intact, extending SS Yunel Escobar wasn’t on his radar.

As much as the Rays love Escobar, he was under contract through 2015 (a favorable $5 million club option). But Escobar, 31, approached Friedman a few weeks into spring training and made clear his “strong desire” to stay longer.

...

Friedman said the team took a “calculated risk” on Escobar, who was suspended for three games in 2012 for wearing eye-black stickers with a gay slur written on them.

But Friedman said it has worked out “as good as we could have asked for,” with Escobar a Gold Glove finalist last year, contributing offensively and bringing an infectious enthusiasm.

2015: $5 million
2016: $7 million
2017: $7 million club option/$1 million buyout

Jim Wisinski Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:01 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Rays notes: Archer ready to take his turn

I hope he doesn’t drink the bad water going around.

[Chris] Archer, 25, signed a six-year, $25.5 million contract Wednesday that also has two option years, which can raise the value to $43.75 million.

“It’s outstanding,” manager Joe Maddon said. “When you get that commitment both ways, from the owners to the player and the player’s commitment back to the organization, my first thought is, that’s the way to become consistent in regards to winning and establishing a tradition. Great moment for both sides, and I’m really happy for Archer and his family.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, rays

Friday, March 28, 2014

WSJ: Deee-fense: Baseball’s Big Shift Playing the field suddenly is becoming a sophisticated science

Baseball’s approach to defense, long unchanged except for the gloves getting bigger, is undergoing the most radical change in strategy since the Reconstruction Era. Defensive shifting, which started as a trend several years ago, is becoming epidemic. Major League teams “shifted” 8,134 times last season, compared with just 2,357 in 2011. [...]

Last season, the Pirates “shifted,” meaning they had three infielders on one side of second base or in significantly nontraditional positions, 494 times, compared with 105 in 2012. [...]

The Pirates defense “saved” 77 runs in all, or 77 runs better than an average defense, third-most in Major League Baseball.The Pirates also finished above .500 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1992. The Boston Red Sox shifted 478 times in 2013, compared with 199 in 2012. Those shifts saved the Red Sox 15 runs during the course of the season, second-most in baseball. They won the World Series. (The Rays were first in runs saved by shifts.) [...]

Still, not everyone is on board. The St. Louis Cardinals, the game’s model franchise of late, shifted infielders just 107 times last season, about 50% more than 2012, but nothing on the scale of the Orioles (595 shifts), Rays (556 shifts) or Brewers (538 shifts).

 

bobm Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, orioles, pirates, rays, red sox, shift

Monday, March 24, 2014

Alex Colome suspended 50 games

Like pitch counts, PEDs aren’t going away.

Bruce Markusen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:53 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steroids, suspensions

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great Expectations, Great Variations «

Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.

Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, rays, red sox, spring training, twins

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Castrovince: Shift is on: Odd defensive alignments the new norm

The Rays no longer retain an edge in this particular defensive department. If anything, their shifting strategy is the new norm, a practice employed by everyone from up-and-coming to established managers. Because whether you’re analyzing the statistics or the employment practices in Major League Baseball today, one thing is clear:

The shift is on.

As far as the metrics are concerned, the numbers of defensive shifts on balls in play tracked by Baseball Info Solutions’ (BIS) video studies over the last four seasons were as follows:

2010: 2,465
2011: 2,358
2012: 4,577
2013: 8,134

A 94-percent jump from 2011-12 is eye-catching, in and of itself. A 245-percent rise from 2011-13 is meteoric.

“I would say it’s in large part due to much more attention being paid to the data,” said a National League advance scout. “Even something as simple as spray charts include much more information than what was previously available.”

What is also available is a mountain of data that confirms a severe decline in offense, with last year’s run production at its lowest level in more than two decades, and league-wide batting average at its lowest point in more than four.

Now, how much credit does the shift movement get for this decline, especially when there are so many other factors—the crackdown on performance-enhancing drugs, the increase in average velocity, the popularity of the ever-vexing cutter, to name but a few—in play?

Hard to say, truthfully.

There are, however, numbers that would lead you to believe the value of hitters who can hit with authority to the opposite field is particularly high in this defensive day and age.

Thanks to WS.

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Speier: Reliefonomics: Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop offers a different outlook

Badenhop acknowledges bad hops.

Of all the soundtracks that have greeted a reliever on the commute from the bullpen to the mound, it’s safe to suggest that the Freakonomics podcast has never been employed. Though an unabashed fan of the series, new Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop is unlikely to buck that trend. Yet in his own way, the right-hander—who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics from Bowling Green University—might make an intriguing subject for the series…

Badenhop’s consistency is nothing short of startling.

So how did it happen? The answer is as interesting as the phenomenon itself.

“It’s not something you shoot for. You try to progress. I obviously knew walks were one thing I can control, so I knew my walks, and from there the rest kind of fell in place,” suggested Badenhop, a sinkerballer who has consistently produced some of the highest ground ball rates in the game. “Me throwing the ball over the plate, that’s my job.

... “You can control if you throw a strike, you can control if you have movement and if you’re down in the zone, keeping the ball on the ground. Then once it’s hit, it’s not up to me. It’s my job to put it in the zone,” he continued. ” ...

Because Badenhop is a ground ball pitcher who relies considerably on his defense, he’s very mindful of the significance of the defense behind him and its positioning.

The notion was reinforced in 2011, Badenhop’s final year with the Marlins…  “I go back and look through the Rolodex of all my outs for the year, nowadays we have access to some good stuff and I can pull up how many outs the third baseman makes, whether a five-unassisted or 5-3 or 5-4, and I think it was five plays. Our third baseman was positioned where he fielded five ground balls after the fifth month of the year? What’s the point of him being out there? I’d rather him cover some of those dinky balls in the six-hole. He might as well be hitting off the tee getting ready for his next at-bat if he’s fielding one ball a month.

“I know when I brought that up to our infield coach in Miami,” Badenhop conceded, “he wasn’t as receptive as other places I’ve been.”  ...

Badenhop… takes considerable pleasure in… embracing a period when the sport where he earns his living is undergoing challenges to its conventional wisdom.

“You can play old school—which is playing hard and playing the right way—but if you don’t embrace new things, embrace change, those people are left behind,” said Badenhop. “I think the game is really starting to catch up. To be in an organization—Milwaukee last year, Tampa the year before, these guys this year—where they do pay attention to that stuff, it’s pretty awesome.”

The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:21 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, burke badenhop, marlins, rays, red sox, sabermetrics

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Gammons: As team chemistry grows, Rays positioned for great season

Mourning Joe…Dillon.

The texts lit up Matt Silverman’s phone before 7 am Wednesday, when Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist asked a guest for a ground hog World Series prediction and the first two words of the answer were “Tampa Bay.” The Rays president knows that February promises won’t get a ballpark built or even a profit turned, but that “it’s good for people to be reminded what this team has done in this division, in this market and with our payroll.”

“People need to be reminded,” says the face of the franchise, Evan Longoria. In Longoria’s six seasons with the Rays, his team is the only team in the American League East to have won at least 90 games five times in six years, and in every one of those years did so with the lowest payroll in the division that considers itself baseball’s S.E.C.

...The people of Tampa shouldn’t need to be reminded of what winning 90 games five of the last six years means, which the Yankees and Red Sox haven’t done. They’ve done so despite a system that punished small market teams that are run well and reward big market teams that are inefficient businesses in terms of the draft. They’ve done it even if there are many who think the Rays and Tigers should flip divisions.

On the first day of March, almost every baseball person one talks to mentions the Rays as the team to beat in the American League if Price stays. One of these years the World Series is coming back to The Trop on The Island, Longoria is going to be the MVP, and the people from Sarasota to Fort Lonesome, Orlando to Indians Rock Beach are going to realize what they have, and what they’ll miss if nothing gets done and they move to Montreal.

Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, February 20, 2014

St. Petersburg’s Kriseman, Rays’ Sternberg meet for ‘great conversation’

Hmmm…wonder if John Rocker and Mayor de Blasio will ever meet for ‘great conversation’.

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg and new St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman met Tuesday afternoon to talk baseball, their first official session since Kriseman took office.

“It was nice,’’ Sternberg said Wednesday morning at the Rays spring training site. “We had a great conversation and I’m very confident in his ability and his vision in leading the city.’‘

Sternberg said it was a productive discussion, but general in nature, with “nothing at all” decided and few specifics about the stadium situation.

...On Wednesday, Kriseman’s office issued a statement: “Mayor Kriseman and Rays leadership met on Tuesday to discuss the future of baseball in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area. Both parties agreed that such talks, based on mutual trust and respect, should remain private and not distract from what is sure to be another exciting season of Rays Baseball.’‘

Like previous Mayor Bill Foster before him, Kriseman has said he’s interested in keeping the Rays in St. Petersburg. On Wednesday, Sternberg said he is willing to discuss anything.

“Everything is an option, absolutely,’’ he said. “Our stance remains the same: that we’d like to explore opportunities that would enable the franchise to stay here for generations. And the way to get there is to find the best spot for the team and where it’s going to be for the next 50 or 70 years.’‘

Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nats, Rays swap Lobaton and Karns

The Washington Nationals shored up their catching corps and added more talent to the upper levels of their Minor League system on Thursday, acquiring catcher Jose Lobaton, left-hander Felipe Rivero and outfielder Drew Vettleson from the Tampa Bay Rays.

In exchange, the Nationals sent right-handed starter Nathan Karns to the Rays. To clear space for Rivero on the team’s 40-man roster, right-hander Erik Davis was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.

Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: February 13, 2014 at 04:03 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, rays

Monday, February 10, 2014

Topkin: Analysts down on Rays’ farm system

Those rankings are subjective, snapshots based on arbitrary criteria. But for an organization with the objective to build through player development, it’s not an encouraging sign.

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman didn’t totally disagree with the critical analysis.

“I think we have a lot of depth in our system,” he said. “I think the one area we’re probably not as good as we’d like it to be is in the elite kind of top-end talent, not having as many high-end guys as we would like. But I think the depth is pretty strong.” ...

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Manager Joe Maddon turned 60 Saturday, celebrating the night before at a surprise party staged by his wife, Jaye. “Sixty is the new 40,” Maddon said. ...

EX-RAYS RUMBLINGS: Johnny Damon turned 40 in November and (apart from the WBC) hasn’t played since August 2012, but he said he’s not necessarily done, open to playing or managing, but only in the majors.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: farm system, joe maddon, johnny damon, rays

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Rays re-sign first baseman Carlos Pena

Big time rush…to sign him!

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed first baseman Carlos Pena, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed.

Pena has seemed a good fit to return to the Rays throughout the off-season, as we’ve written and talked about repeatedly.

Pena played for the Rays from 2007-10, then moved to the Cubs last season. Agent Scott Boras told the Tampa Bay Times last week that Pena was open to a return to the Rays, where he had success and enjoyed the experience, and Pena told MLB Network Radio last week he was considering several options. He made $10-million last season with the Cubs.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

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