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Friday, April 03, 2020

Tupelo Mississippi breaks some interesting news this April Fools day.

With a scoreboard page lacking scores because of the coronavirus pandemic, John L. Pitts, sports editor for the Tupelo, Miss., Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, looked instead to the big screen.

cardsfanboy Posted: April 03, 2020 at 10:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: april fools day, durham, indians, new york, rays, tigers

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Everything’s Up to Date in Tampa Bay

From time to time, one encounters a fan who takes an interest in a non-hometown team. Often it is a sentimental attachment to a team based in a city where one spent one’s formative years. Sometimes a fan becomes enthralled with an individual player and by default becomes a fan of the player’s team. And sometimes it is a vicarious identification with a winning team or an underdog.

For my part, in recent years I have followed the fortunes of the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays. I’ve never lived in either of those locations, and I’m not a fan of any one player, so I guess you can put me in the underdog category.

As fans are well aware, both franchises have to deal with limited budgets year after year. Also, both play in ballparks that are typically at the bottom of the rankings posted by stadium mavens, and for various reasons their municipal hosts can’t seem to agree on locations for new digs. Nevertheless, the A’s and Rays usually field competitive teams and reach the postseason more often than a lot of franchises with more resources facing less daunting challenges. It may well be their Herculean struggles against their handicaps will never result in a title; on the other hand, a Cinderella team could be taking shape even as I write this.

In recent months, however, I find my admiration for the Tampa Bay franchise is dwindling. It has nothing to do with on-field performance. It’s strictly because of what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Sadly, I doubt that’s about as far as they can go…..

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2020 at 01:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, food, rays

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Rays prospect Garrett Whitley hit in face by foul ball, taken to hospital

SARASOTA — Rays minor-league outfielder Garrett Whitley was hit under the right eye by a foul ball during Monday’s game and taken to a Sarasota hospital with a facial injury.

Whitley was sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout when he was struck by a ball hit sharply by Baltimore’s Renato Nunez. It bounced through the opening between two screens in front of the dugout in the fourth inning of the 3-3 tie.

Manager Kevin Cash said Whitley, 22, did not lose consciousness and was not bleeding extensively, both good signs. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays and/or scans, then later discharged and said to be resting at home. The Rays expect to have an update on Tuesday.

“That was pretty scary,” Cash said. “From the initial test and exams, he was coherent, his eyes were moving fine. He’s going to have a pretty good welt. ... The only blood that I saw was a little bit out of his nose, and then almost like the seam of the baseball split him just a little bit (under the eye), not like a gash.”

 

QLE Posted: March 03, 2020 at 01:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: foul balls, garrett whitley, prospects, rays

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wondering about Wander? Take a look during Rays’ next games

He’ll be playing on Thursday and Friday.

Joe Ryan had his Wander moment last year during an early afternoon, late-season game with the advanced Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

“No one had put the ball in play for like six innings and some guy hit a ball up the middle and I was like, ‘(Darn), he hit it pretty hard,’” Ryan recalled. “And Wander just — all of I sudden I turn around — and it was almost like out of (the movie) For the Love of the Game, where the shortstop slides through, picks it up and flips it to first. I was like, ‘Wow, that was sick.’


“That side of him I hadn’t seen before, and that was really exciting. We talked about it later in the dugout, and he was saying, ‘Yeah, I realize what I need to do in the big leagues, and I want to be in the big leagues for a long time.’

“And not like he wasn’t taking it serious before, but he was just like, ‘I really need to focus.’ And it was awesome to hear that when we were just sitting there talking, and then to see him do it day in and day out with the consistency that he has.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2020 at 06:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wander franco

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Crowd-seeking Rays come up with win-win-win free ticket plan

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are offering fans a win-win-win-win proposition.

Trying to draw bigger crowds to barren Tropicana Field, the Rays came up with a crowd-pleasing ticket plan Wednesday.

The ``Win Pack” lets a fan pick any four regular-season Rays game to attend for a total of $99. If the Rays win all four, the fan gets a voucher redeemable for a free ticket to another game.

The Veecks cannot say that they are impressed by this level of showmanship…..

 

QLE Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:17 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, tickets

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sternberg: Talk of selling share of Rays to Montreal group untrue

Eventually, if the radical plan to split seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal starting in 2028 comes to fruition, principal owner Stuart Sternberg expects to sell a minority interest in the team to his partners in Montreal.

But Sternberg said Montreal group leader Stephen Bronfman was incorrect in saying those negotiations were underway and a sale could be completed in the next three-four months.

“It isn’t true,’’ Sternberg said Saturday at Rays camp. “Eventually, at a point, I would expect and believe they could and would become minority partners. ... I need some representation up there. But there’s nothing happening in months. No way.’’

Bronfman’s comments, saying the talks were in advanced stages, appeared in a lengthy article about the effort in the French language Le Journal de Montreal.

The groups last week said they working on an aggressive timeline to get agreements in place by the end of 2020 for new open-air stadiums in Montreal and either Tampa or St. Petersburg and permission from Major League Baseball to implement the radical plan starting in 2028.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2020 at 10:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Rays trade Emilio Pagán to Padres for Manuel Margot and a prospect

TAMPA (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Rays have traded reliever Emilio Pagán to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Manuel Margot and catcher/outfielder Logan Driscoll, according to The Athletic.

Pagan had a breakout season with the Rays in 2019 appearing in a career-high 66 games, and had a team-high 20 saves with 96 strikeouts to 13 walks.

Margot will be the second Padres outfielder added to the Rays this offseason following a trade back in December that sent Tommy Pham to San Diego in exchange for Hunter Renfroe, Xavier Edwards & a player to be named later.

There’s no chance this trade will also end up baroque as all get out, is there?

 

QLE Posted: February 09, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: emilio pagan, manuel margot, padres, rays, trades

Friday, February 07, 2020

MLB: Montreal sharing plan ’100 percent’ best way to keep Rays in Tampa Bay

ORLANDO — Major League Baseball officials and owners now see the season-sharing plan with Montreal proposed by the Rays as the best way — “100 percent” — to keep a team, albeit part time, in the Tampa Bay market, commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

“People continue to believe that the two-city alternative they’re exploring is viable and could be a really good solution for keeping baseball in Tampa Bay,’’ Manfred told the Tampa Bay Times after a scheduled owners meeting.

“I continue to be impressed by the energy that they’ve devoted to the project. And to the fact there is significant receptivity among our group, and excitement in some quarters about the possibility.’‘

Manfred said Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg had made a strong case to the owners, which mirrors the comments team officials have made publicly about the Montreal plan being their primary focus.

There’s no way that this idea isn’t going to backfire on everyone involved, is there?

 

 

QLE Posted: February 07, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, manfred is thinking about it, montreal, rays

Thursday, February 06, 2020

SABR 50: Registration information

Whoever has the keys - can you post this in SABR BBTF Blog?

SABR 50
July 15-19, 2020

Join us in Baltimore to celebrate a special occasion this summer: SABR’s 50th annual convention!

The annual SABR convention, which is open to all baseball fans, includes top featured speakers from around the baseball world — front office executives, players, managers, scouts, journalists, historians, and analysts — innovative panel discussions, groundbreaking research presentations, ballgames, the SABR Trivia Contest, the Awards Banquet, and most of all, the opportunity to make and renew baseball friendships over the course of this exciting and memorable event.

Attendees at our SABR 50 convention this summer in Baltimore will have a special opportunity to visit Camden Yards for an exclusive Day at the Ballpark session on the morning of Thursday, July 16 to hear from Baltimore Orioles executives and players. Guest speakers and more details will be announced later this spring. Access to the Day at the Ballpark session at Camden Yards is included in your registration for SABR 50. We’ll return to Camden Yards on Friday night for a game between the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.


Our featured speakers for SABR 50 are expected to include:
Tim Kurkjian, ESPN analyst, author of three baseball books, and Maryland native

Janet Marie Smith, who oversaw the building of Camden Yards and the revitalization of Baltimore’s waterfront

Sig Mejdal, Baltimore Orioles Vice President and Assistant GM

Mike Webber Posted: February 06, 2020 at 03:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore, orioles, rays, sabr, sabr-bbtf chapter

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

The Astros needed a good GM, but the Rays didn’t deserve to lose James Click

The Houston Astros needed a general manager. He’d be somebody to steer the franchise toward a little dignity, around the draft vacancies and talent craters sure to come, and away from the self-inflicted humiliation reflecting from recent seasons. Guy’s not going to sleep much, in part because the roster he inherited seems to have overrun the manager who just left. There’s a lot to do. A lot to fix. A lot to heal.

Team owner Jim Crane on Monday, with spring training opening in a week, chose James Click, a dedicated baseball man who in 15 years had risen from intern to vice president of baseball operations with the Tampa Bay Rays, just beneath Erik Neander on the baseball ops depth chart. This, just days after Crane hired a manager, Dusty Baker, and gave him but a season’s worth of security.

Click earned the job. He knows the industry. He is smart. People like him. He’ll probably make a fine general manager. He could not turn down a career opportunity that hardly ever comes along.

The Astros should not have hired him.

Normally, I’m not a fan of the pinata-post style of article commentary- but I’m legitimately having trouble following this argument, and I’m trying to figure out if it’s a failure on my end or not.

 

QLE Posted: February 05, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, bad analysis, dirty rotten cheaters, general managers, james click, rays

Friday, December 13, 2019

Rays sign Japanese outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to two-year deal

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with outfielder and first baseman Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkins adds that the deal will be worth roughly $12 million over two years in addition to the posting fee of around $2.4 million.

Tsutsugo, who recently turned 28, has spent the last 10 seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars of Japan’s Central League. Over that span, he’s batted .284/.382/.525 with 205 home runs and 514 unintentional walks in 4,040 plate appearances. He’s hit 139 of those home runs over the last four seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2019 at 08:46 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, December 06, 2019

Padres-Rays Trade: Tommy Pham, Hunter Renfroe Headline Intriguing Deal (Report)

The Padres acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Rays on Thursday night. In exchange, they sent away 2019 home run leader Hunter Renfroe and highly-regarded prospect Xavier Edwards.

Pham is the fourth major leaguer the Padres acquired to plug into their starting lineup or rotation in the last eight days. They acquired outfielder Trent Grisham and righthander Zach Davies from the Brewers on Nov. 27 and second baseman Jurickson Profar from the Athletics on Dec. 2

The deal, while agreed upon, is not yet finalized. MLB.com’s Juan Toribio reports it’s possible the Rays could acquire one additional prospect who has yet to be named.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:25 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rays, trade

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Rays in listening phase entering winter meetings

`TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays head into the upcoming winter meetings in the listening phase about ways to improve a roster that came within one win of reaching the American League Championship Series last season.

“Do we have to do a lot of things? No,” Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Erik Neander said Thursday. “This offseason is a little bit different in terms of, like the needs of this club are not nearly as clear-cut and defined as they’ve been in years past.”

The franchise with baseball’s smallest payroll at just over $66 million looks to build on an outstanding 2019 in which the Rays took Houston to a deciding fifth game in the AL Division Series in their first postseason trip since 2013.

“There’s a lot of time between now and opening day,” Neander said. “I anticipate some twists and turns in terms of what our team will look like by the end of March. We’re going to be open-minded, we’re going to try to be opportunistic.”

Listening, yes- but to what?

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Tampa Bay Rays no longer negotiating split-season; declined renewed Tampa stadium talks

The Tampa Bay Rays will not split their home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal until at least 2028, according to a memo St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman sent to City Council Wednesday.

“Negotiations between the City of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Rays Organization related to the ‘shared season’ concept have concluded. Both parties have agreed that the best path forward is to abide by the existing use agreement with the understanding that the agreement allows for the Rays Organization to explore post-2027 split or full season opportunities, both in St. Petersburg and elsewhere,” Kriseman wrote.

That means the team can negotiate a split-season plan, but only for seasons after the team’s contract with the city to play ball at Tropicana Field expires in 2027.

Kriseman said the Rays also declined an offer to let the team resume stadium exploration in Hillsborough County and Tampa.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 03:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rays GM Erik Neander wins MLB Executive of the Year honor

Rays GM Erik Neander was named MLB Executive of the Year in a vote of his peers announced Monday night at the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Neander was honored for the team’s success in winning 96 games and returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The press release announcing the award detailed many of the moves Neander and staff made but made no mention of them operating with the lowest payroll in the game.

“I am both humbled and honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball and the executives who voted on the award,’’ Neander said in a statement released by the team.

So, who would you give this award to if you were voting on it?

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: erik neander, executive of the year, rays

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Nationals won their first title. Who’s next?

When I was a kid there were two immutable truths about baseball: the Boston Red Sox were cursed and the Chicago Cubs were losers, however lovable they might be.

Four World Series titles in the bag make that Red Sox curse seem rather quaint. The Cubs’ 2016 title — and four or five straight years with them considered rich and powerful contenders — put that lovable loser thing to rest. Time marches on and the stuff you believed about the world when you were a kid becomes inoperative as you grow older.

Young baseball fans today carry with them a different set of assumptions about who are baseball’s haves and who are baseball’s have-nots. To them the Sox and Cubs are and always have been alpha teams. Those powerful Braves and Indians teams from the 90s are only vague memories. The Dodgers have replaced the Braves as that great regular season club that can’t seem to get over the hump. And, of course, there are a handful of losers, some lovable, some not-so-lovable, that seem destined to never win it all.

Last night’s win took the Nationals out of that category. Their October surge — complete with five wins in elimination games in which they trailed at some point — forever vanquished the narrative about how they had never won a postseason series and kicked the memory of those 90-100-loss Nats teams from the first several years of their existence into a deep, deep hole.

A consideration of the chances that the six teams that have never won the World Series have of getting out of that club.

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mariners, padres, rangers, rays, rockies, world series

Friday, October 25, 2019

Chaim Bloom may be emerging as favorite for Red Sox GM job

The Red Sox may be on the verge of finding Dave Dombrowski’s replacement.

The Sox have interviewed Rays Vice-President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom for the job of their next chief decision-maker when it comes to baseball matters. The 36-year-old has been working hand in hand with Tampa Bay GM Erik Neander to oversee all functions of baseball operations for the Rays since 2016.

Bloom has been with the Rays for 15 years, taking the role of Director of Baseball Operations in 2011 before moving up to one of the top spots in the Tampa Bay front office when then-President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman moved on to the Dodgers in 2014.

Any thoughts on this from either the Rays or Red Sox observers among us?

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:47 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: chaim bloom, general manager, rays, red sox

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cubs Sign Andy Sonnanstine

In yet another “buy low” move, the Cubs have signed former Rays righthander Andy Sonnanstine to a non-guaranteed split contract—i.e. he’ll make more if he makes the major league team.

Sonnanstine looked promising in his first two seasons with the Rays, particularly in 2008 when he posted a 101 ERA+ and had an excellent walk ratio of 1.7 per nine innings and had two good starts for the Rays in the 2008 postseason. But he has regressed the last three years, was banished to the Rays’ bullpen and spent much of 2011 at Triple-A Durham.

Sonnanstine will be 29 in March. He’s a reclamation project, but at that age he’s got a much better chance to be productive than the retreads (Doug Davis, Ramon Ortiz, Rodrigo Lopez) that Jim Hendry signed last year.

Thanks to Pete.

Repoz Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:07 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rays

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Report: Jorge Posada could play for Rays

Yup, seeing that Posada hit about a buck eighty away from Yankee Stadium the last two seasons…

If Jorge Posada has any baseball juice left, he could try to squeeze it out in Tampa Bay.

ESPN Deportes is reporting the Rays are interested in perhaps inking the veteran Puerto Rican to be a part-time first baseman, designated hitter and play a little at his “old” position at catcher.

ESPN Deportes also indicated the Phillies and Orioles are interested parties for 40-year-old veteran’s services, though it is not yet known if the ex-Yankees star is ready to call it quits.

A role for Posada, who has 275 career homers and 1.065 RBIs, in Tampa Bay could make the most sense, except that veteran starting catcher Jose Molina is a well-seasoned 36-year-old.

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2011 at 11:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yankees

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