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Rays Newsbeat

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Commissioner says MLB is open to new Rays stadium in St. Petersburg

The Brinks truck wasn’t big enough.

Manfred said he was “disappointed” the Rays and Tampa leaders couldn’t work out a deal for the Ybor site by the Dec. 31 expiration of the “free look” agreement. He sent a strongly worded letter to Hillsborough officials pointing out how their offer was incomplete in advance of the Rays announcing in December that they were ending talks.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2019 at 07:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium financing

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Pham goes to arbitration; Devenski avoids hearing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Outfielder Tommy Pham asked an arbitration panel for a raise from $570,100 to $4.1 million, and the Tampa Bay Rays argued for $3.5 million.

Arbitrators Margaret Brogan, Andrew Strongin and Gil Vernon are expected to decide the case Tuesday, a day after hearing arguments.

Pham hit .275 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs for St. Louis and Tampa Bay, which acquired him on July 31. He batted .343 with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 39 games for the Rays.

Given Pham’s previous commentary on the Rays, I’d have expected them to be fighting over an amount of money larger than $600,000.

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, rays, tommy pham

Friday, January 25, 2019

Tropicana Field to become cashless this season

Kevin Cash is no longer accepted.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Tropicana Field will be the first major league ballpark to stop accepting cash. Yes, for real. Everything — beer, hot dogs, nachos, foam fingers and the rest — must be either (a) purchased with a credit card; or (b) with a Rays gift card which one can obtain for cash.

This is gonna cause a lot more controversy than you might think.

It’s still a small handful of places, but a growing number of businesses, often coffee shops or upmarket fast casual restaurants, have adopted cashless policies, refusing to accept paper currency and requiring customers to pay with debit or credit cards. The rationale: thanks to chip and tap and smartphone technology it’s become quicker and easier to to simply take cards or electronic payment, reducing customer wait time and the hassle of making change, counting cash drawers down at the end of the day, etc.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM | 398 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

New Mariners CF Mallex Smith throws shade at Rays’ poor attendance

The Mariners introduced new center fielder Mallex Smith to the media Thursday and someone asked Smith what he was most excited about in going to Seattle.

“I’m going to enjoy fans in the stands,” a smiling Smith joked. “So that’ll be, that’s a big one for me. I’m gonna be excited about that. I’m looking forward to seeing those seats full.”

It was a light-hearted jab at his former team, the Rays. Smith, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in a five-player trade in November, spent two seasons playing in front of cavernous stretches of empty seats in Tropicana Field. The Rays ranked last in the majors in attendance and were 29th of 30 teams last season, averaging 14,964 fans during Mallex’s time there.

Wondering if this will backfire somehow….

 

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mallex smith, mariners, rays

Friday, January 04, 2019

Rays reducing seating capacity at Tropicana Field to create more ‘intimate’ experience

Seating capacity at Tropicana Field will be reduced to about 25,000 to 26,000 under a renovation plan aimed at improving fans’ experience.

The team on Friday announced plans to create a more “intimate” atmosphere, including the creation of the Left Field Ledge in the lower level featuring premium seating for small groups, and the elimination of the upper-deck 300 level.

The capacity at the Trop previously was 31,042.

“These renovations mark our continued commitment to providing a first-rate fan experience at Tropicana Field,” Rays President Matt Silverman said in a news release. “Together, in concert with the reduction in seating capacity, these investments will help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2019 at 05:34 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Tommy Pham Says The Rays Have “Really No Fan Base At All”

Talks with area officials on a potential new stadium fell apart earlier this month, so the Rays are back in their generation-long limbo. Perhaps matters in Oakland are more pressing for MLB, but eventually, something’s going to have to give here—and as Rays outfielder Tommy Pham so brutally but accurately put it, it’s likely going to have to be “a new ballpark, or maybe a new city.”

Pham, who was acquired from the Cardinals at the trade deadline and went on to post career-best numbers with the Rays, is currently playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, and did an interview with MLB Network radio in which he compared the crowds in St. Louis and St. Pete, and it’s not pretty.

Shortly after these statements, Pham had announcements to make about water being wet and bears doing unspeakable things in the woods.

QLE Posted: December 29, 2018 at 08:00 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, rays, tommy pham

Friday, December 21, 2018

Athletics acquire Jurickson Profar from Rangers in three-team trade with Rays

All three teams have announced the trade. Here are the details:

Athletics get: IF Jurickson Profar
Rangers get: LHP Kyle Bird, LHP Brock Burke, RHP Yoel Espinal, IF Eli White, international bonus money
Rays get: RHP Emilio Pagan, RHP Rollie Lacy, Competitive Balance Round A draft pick

Bored Posted: December 21, 2018 at 04:36 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rangers, rays, trades

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Athletic: What It’s Like to Cover an Indians Three Team Trade on a Flight with the Front Office and No WIFI

“When the flight attendant voiced that passengers could use their electronics, I frantically retrieved my laptop and called up the Wi-Fi page on my phone. Antonetti and Chernoff both laughed. Their work was complete, but mine was just beginning.

One problem: Southwest Wi-Fi wouldn’t work. Every click of the “Submit Payment” button segued into a 504 Gateway Timeout page. I won’t be shocked if charges adding up to $800 appear on my credit card statement.

Antonetti did relay the final details of the deal:

Indians receive: Carlos Santana, Jake Bauers, cash
Mariners receive: Edwin Encarnacion, compensatory pick, cash
Rays receive: Yandy Díaz, Cole Sulser

Knowing the information was helpful. Not being able to do anything with the information was painful.”

Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: December 14, 2018 at 04:04 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, indians, mariners, rays

Winter Meetings Recap: Bryce Harper Lays Low, MLB Can’t Promote and the Rays Make a Splash

LAS VEGAS — It was only two years ago that people immediately declared the White Sox the “winners” of the winter meetings because they acquired prospects with heavy buzz, including Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Moncado is a .234 hitter who has fanned in 34 percent of his plate appearances, Kopech blew out his elbow, Giolito posted a 6.13 ERA this year, Lopez has a 4.21 ERA in 51 career games, and the White Sox have lost 195 games and 130,000 paid customers in the two seasons since.

Nobody’s giving up on them, but maybe we should give up on the whole “winners and losers” thing as instant judgment of the winter meetings. This time, as baseball is leaving Las Vegas after yet another hum-drum winter meetings, let’s try this: here’s what we learned from these meetings:

A summary account of do-tos involving the Winter Meetings, with quite a bit to debate and ponder.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

No, Rays owner can’t pay a “penalty” to move out of Tampa Bay before 2027 | Field of Schemes

The Rays aren’t jumping to Montreal any time soon.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tampa Bay Rays sign RHP Charlie Morton to two-year, $30 million deal - DRaysBay

The Rays broke at least two piggy banks.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2018 at 07:39 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, rays

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred blasts plans for Rays stadium

He is disgusted by the amount of public subsidies! LOL, J/K.

Hillsborough County officials hoping Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred would help consummate the deal for a new Rays stadium appear to have struck out.

Manfred, in a strongly worded letter sent today, said the framework of the deal lacks specific details necessary for him to “understand the merits and feasibility” of the proposal as well as “the actual level of commitment” from the public side.

Further, Manfred addressed the looming deadline in the three-year window to let St. Petersburg officials know if they will find a new home in Tampa, writing he was “puzzled by the decision to inject me publicly in the process” with only weeks remaining.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2018 at 01:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Rays’ Cash will stick with using an opener in 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Naturally, Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash was the opening manager to speak at the winter meetings.

Cash said Monday the Rays will stick with their revolutionary practice of using an “opener” next season.

The Rays deviated from baseball tradition this year, regularly using a relief pitcher to begin games rather than a traditional starting pitcher. Tampa Bay went 46-38 with usual starters and 44-34 when utilizing the bullpen.

Granted, this is on the “dog-bites-man” level of news, but it will still be interested to follow to see if it remains as effective as a strategy.

QLE Posted: December 11, 2018 at 04:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin cash, opener, rays

Saturday, December 08, 2018

So what will Rays new ‘process and analytics’ coach do?

Unless his mother has a really big basement, I hope his meetings with players will take place at the park.

The team that made shifting commonplace and implemented the opener pitching strategy is at it again. The Rays on Tuesday introduced Jonathan Erlichman as the majors’ first “process and analytics” coach.

Erlichman, 28, has worked five-plus years in the Rays front office, the last two as director of analytics, but now will don a uniform as an additional member of Kevin Cash’s coaching staff. The Toronto native likely is in a small group, maybe even of one, to do so with a mathematics degree from Princeton.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Time running out for officials to reach stadium deal with Rays

Less than two months remain until the window closes on the three-year agreement that the city of St. Petersburg gave the Tampa Bay Rays to explore stadium options in Tampa.

But the team and elected leaders have yet to publicly reveal how the community would help pay almost $900 million to move the team to a new ballpark in Ybor City.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2018 at 03:23 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, November 02, 2018

Cuban P Sandy Gaston finalizes contract with Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have finalized a minor league contract with 16-year-old Cuban pitcher Sandy Gaston that includes a $2.61 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander ranked among the top international prospects eligible to sign with major league teams this year.

Gaston is from Matanzas, Cuba, and will turn 17 on Dec. 16.

 

QLE Posted: November 02, 2018 at 04:50 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban players, rays, sandy gaston

Thursday, October 25, 2018

MLB’s Manfred still confident a Rays stadium will rise in Ybor

Maybe he just needs MLB to start talking contraction again. Of course, the regular flim flam job will probably get a deal done.

“I think we have some work to do in terms of getting a financing plan together that will get that stadium built.

“But I remain confident if anybody can get it done in Tampa Bay, it’s Stu. Nobody is working harder at it.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium financing

Friday, October 19, 2018

Congress provides an opportunity that might help finance a new Rays stadium

But it’s safe to say stadium backers are looking at a combination of ways to pay the projected $892 million cost for a ballpark in the team’s preferred Ybor City location — among them, a community development district, tourism tax revenues, naming rights, corporate sponsorships and a team contribution.

And one other option, called an Opportunity Zone, that has captured the imagination of deep-pocketed investors, developers and politicians interested in reviving depressed inner city neighborhoods.

The creation of bipartisan congressional sponsors as part of the sweeping 2017 GOP tax cut plan, the Opportunity Zone legislation is so new the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t issued final rules yet on how to use it.

No one knows exactly how it would work, but it could mean that hundreds of investors seeking to reduce their tax payments would end up owning a piece of the ballpark.

A Baseball Fan Posted: October 19, 2018 at 11:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Snell wins 20th, ties Rays record in 4-0 victory over Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas — For Blake Snell, all the setbacks set up all these victories.

Snell became the major leagues’ first 20-game winner in two years, helping pitch the Tampa Bay Rays past the Texas Rangers 4-0 Tuesday night.

Snell (20-5) threw one-hit ball for five innings and tied the Tampa Bay record for victories in a season. David Price also won 20 in his Cy Young Award season of 2012.

So, how many of you would have guessed that Blake Snell had twenty wins before this was posted?

QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, pitcher wins, rays

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rays Disrupt Baseball’s Tanking Industry by — Get This — Trying to Win - The New York Times

One of the complaints I’ve heard about the opener is it costs pitchers wins. The other day one of MLB Radio’s hosts made an interesting comment about wins. He said using an opener will help a pitcher get more wins not less.That’s because as a starter a pitchers needs to go five innings to get a win. A reliever, of course, has no such requirement. With such high reliever usage a pitcher can come in the second, pitch three or four good innings and end up with a win. True this. Of course, the opener doesn’t get any wins and only picks up losses.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:10 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: 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 12:30 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Former Oriole Luke Scott signs one-year deal with Tampa Bay

Luke Scott: Rebirtherr.

Luke Scott, the outspoken, energetic slugger who spent four seasons in Baltimore and was named the 2010 Most Valuable Oriole, has agreed to a one-year deal with the division-rival Tampa Bay Rays that includes a 2013 option, according to an industry source.

Exact terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Scott, 33, was in his final year of arbitration after making $6.4 million in an injury-marred 2011 that ended in July, when he decided to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. In December, the Orioles decided not to tender him a contract—he would have made at least $6 million and likely more—and allowed him to become a free agent.

There was talk that the club wanted him back on a lesser deal, but the Orioles never made a push this offseason to re-sign him.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, rays

Friday, January 06, 2012

How The Greg Reynolds Trade Is More Interesting Than You Think

How could it possibly be more interesting?

We’ll begin with the biggie. Reynolds, of course, was selected second overall by the Rockies in 2006. He was selected right after Luke Hochevar, and right before Evan Longoria. The Rockies’ selection of Reynolds was thought to be a reach, and it took the Rays by surprise. The Rays had another plan, assuming the Rockies would take Longoria. That plan? Andrew Friedman:

We had Evan Longoria first on our board…We thought Longoria was going to go two to Colorado, and we had cut a deal with Tim Lincecum, to take three….

Reynolds’ failures were magnified because the Rockies nearly drafted Long Beach State third baseman Evan Longoria before turning to the Stanford pitcher. At the time, the Rockies felt starting pitching was more of a priority with Garrett Atkins and [Ian] Stewart both in the fold.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, rays, rockies

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jonah Keri: The Myth of the Small-Market Window

We’re not selling blinds here.

There is a nugget of truth behind this Window obsession. Smaller-revenue teams have a tougher time signing premium free agents, or retaining their own top players past their initial six years of team control. That puts extra pressure on these poorer teams to bring up a bunch of great prospects all at once, then hope they get good at the same time before they get expensive.

But far more often it’s a bullshit excuse. It’s a vague, faraway goal that always seems several years out of reach. It’s a cover for cheap, greedy ownership, lousy scouting, drafting, and player development, and myopic trades. It’s a weak attempt to placate a fan base screwed over by years of management incompetence and indifference.

Or in the case of the Oakland A’s, their recent fire sale and justification for said fire sale, it’s a bold-faced ploy by one opportunistic owner to win territory from another opportunistic owner so that another city can hand out another $500 million check for another boondoggle stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rays

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