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Friday, September 11, 2020

Rays’ all-lefty lineup a first in MLB history

The Rays are making baseball history on Friday night.

With Tampa Bay set to face the Red Sox and right-handed pitcher Andrew Triggs at Tropicana Field, manager Kevin Cash filled his lineup card with nine left-handed batters. This marks the first time in Major League history—going back to at least 1901—in which a team has started nine lefties in the same game.

The previous record for starting left-handed batters was eight, which had been done 26 times. The most recent was by these same Rays, against the Marlins on Sept. 5. The only right-handed batter in the lineup that day was right fielder Hunter Renfroe, but on Friday, it was lefty Brett Phillips getting the start in right.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2020 at 04:55 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Rays-Yanks rivalry boils over: ‘It’s a tired act’

Following the game, Cash and the Rays players said they were unsure of the intent behind Chapman’s pitch, but that didn’t stop Cash from delivering some strong comments.

“It’s poor judgement, poor coaching, it’s just poor teaching what they’re doing and what they’re allowing to do,” Cash said. “The chirping from the dugout. Somebody needs to tell me, go pull up the numbers, who has hit who more, but I can assure you that other than three years ago, there hasn’t been one pitch thrown with intent from any of our guys. Period. Somebody has to be held accountable. And the last thing I’ll say on it, is that I have a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 02, 2020 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yankees

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Cubs acquire DH Jose Martinez from Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded designated hitter Jose Martinez to the Chicago Cubs.

Two players to be named later or cash considerations are headed back to Tampa Bay. To make room on the 40-man roster the Cubs designated catcher Josh Phegley for assignment.

The Cubs get a right-handed hitter who mashes lefties in Martinez. Chicago ranks 27th in batting average against lefties this year and was 30th last season. Martinez is a career .319 hitter against left-handers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 30, 2020 at 02:03 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jose martinez, rays

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Rays acquire Seminole High grad, famous laugher Brett Phillips

With 10 key pitchers sidelined by injury, the Rays are expected to be active in advance of Monday’s trade deadline.

They made their first move Thursday, although it was to acquire an outfielder — Seminole High product Brett Phillips — from the Royals.

The Rays traded infield prospect Lucius Fox, who didn’t seem to have a clear path to the majors but also provided depth following the trade last week of another middle infielder — Daniel Robertson — to the Giants.

Phillips, 26, spent parts of the last four seasons with the Brewers and Royals. He is an excellent defender who can play all three outfield positions and has never made an error in the majors, But he is only a career .205 hitter with nine home runs, 31 RBIs and a .626 OPS in 317 at-bats over 136 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2020 at 07:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brett phillips, rays, royals

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Rays’ Brendan McKay shut down due to shoulder tightness

Rays lefty Brendan McKay has been shut down from throwing at the team’s Port Charlotte camp due to tightness in his shoulder.

Manager Kevin Cash said McKay, the promising prospect, is in the middle of a seven- to 10-day period of rest and will be re-evaluated, noting he has had previous shoulder issues, which seems to be of significant concern. Any serious injury could sideline McKay for the rest of this season, possibly beyond….

McKay had some shoulder issues last season, and was set back at the start of spring training in February with stiffness and expected to be sent to Triple-A. He participated in the informal June workouts at Tropicana Field and the first four days of Spring 2.0, then was sidelined from July 7 through July 30 after testing positive for COVID-19. He reported to Port Charlotte on July 31, throwing a 20-pitch bullpen session, and had worked up to two innings in a simulated game. He last threw on Aug. 5 in a live batting practice session.

“Brendan has noted that he has had some issues, even dating back to last year,” Cash said. “After his San Diego start (on Aug. 13) he said he didn’t feel right, I’m not totally sure that he has completely gotten past that of having no issue. His buildup was going well and then after an outing he kind of went in and said, ‘I just feel really tight and not comfortable in my shoulder area.’ “

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2020 at 09:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, rays

Monday, July 06, 2020

How the Rays Became MLB’s Outliers by Finding MLB’s Outliers

The Rays are the Antiques Roadshow of baseball. They find Picassos in attics, Tiffany lamps in basements and pitchers with outlier stuff in the dumpsters of other organizations.

In Fairbanks they saw not just velocity but also near-perfect backspin on his four-seamer, which they and other smart clubs know is the proven antidote against the launch-angle hitting revolution. To get Fairbanks they traded Nick Solak, a promising hitter without great defensive value.

Since joining the Rays, Fairbanks has improved his stuff even more, thanks to the wizardry of pitching coach Kyle Snyder and process and analytics coach Jonathan Erlichman, a former math major and club hockey player at Princeton.

“Our guys do a tremendous job looking for the guys they acquire as far as special, special stuff,” Rays manager Kevin Cash says. “[Fairbanks] is right at the top of the list. You don’t see many guys with that high average (velocity) and the type of carry that he gets and have the ability to land a really, really quality breaking ball.

“He’s basically Diego Castillo. He four-seams it. Diego sinks it. Both throw their breaking ball, which is nasty, at any time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 06, 2020 at 09:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: peter fairbanks, rays

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Are there graves under Tropicana Field parking lots? Archaeologists want to find out

Thirty years ago, residents stepped forward when the city prepared to pave parking lots 1 and 2 for Tropicana Field.

They thought caskets were under those 12 acres on the corner of 16th Street South and spreading from Third Avenue South to Fifth Avenue South.

It was once the home to Oaklawn Cemetery, the city was told, and bodies were likely left behind when it was moved in the mid-20th century.

Oaklawn was adjacent to two other cemeteries. In 1976, human remains were unearthed from one of those properties during construction, years after the burial grounds were supposed to have been moved, bolstering the belief that bodies were also under the parking lot land.


But the land was paved without further investigation.

“More should have been done. It was the right thing to do,” said Louis Claudio, a self-proclaimed “avocational archaeologist.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 05, 2020 at 09:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: archaeology, haunted, horror movies, rays

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rays’ Blake Snell says MLB players should be fully rewarded for taking the maximum risk

“On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell echoed Clark’s condemnation of the MLB plan, saying he would not play in 2020 if he wasn’t paid the salary laid out in his contract, considering the health risks he would be taking by simply showing up to the ballpark.

“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young winner, said in a video posted to social media. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.. . .

“No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”“

majorflaw Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Tampa Bay Rays

Has Jace Brewer drawn a walk yet? Just checking.

1. Matt Moore, lhp
2. Hak-Ju Lee, ss
3. Chris Archer, rhp
4. Taylor Guerrieri, rhp
5. Alex Colome, rhp
6. Alex Torres, lhp
7. Tim Beckham, ss
8. Enny Romero, lhp
9. Drew Vettleson, of
10. Mikie Mahtook, of

While Tampa Bay continued to win in the majors, it also restocked its system. The Rays received five youngsters from the Cubs for Garza, including three quality prospects in shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, righthander Chris Archer and outfielder Brandon Guyer.

The exodus of seven free agents gave Tampa Bay 10 compensation draft choices and an unprecedented 12 picks in the first two rounds. The Rays’ first two picks weren’t supposed to get to them, high school righthander Taylor Guerrieri at No. 24 and Louisiana State outfielder Mikie Mahtook at No. 31, and they continued to blend college players and prep talent afterward.

Repoz Posted: December 21, 2011 at 09:39 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, rays, scouting

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Boston Red Sox - Red Sox have more competition than ever - The Boston Globe

This week’s Boston Globe Sunday baseball column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:32 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves, mets, miami, nationals, orioles, phillies, rangers, rays, red sox, yankees

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rays: Sonnanstine non-tenderered, Howell gets contract

Huh? I’m still waiting on Dan Pleasesac’s promised Cy Youngy-breakout season from Sonnanstine.

On Howell: Friedman noted how much a grind the season seemed to be on Howell physically and mentally coming off major shoulder surgery and seemed confident 2012 will be better. “We’re big believers in who J.P. is and what he’s done to put himself in a position to have a good 2012 season. J.P. is one of those guys you bet on. And we’re optimistic he’ll be part of a hopefully well-above average bullpen.’’ He said they hope Howell - a free spirit as it is - “takes this winter to relax and clear his mind and come into spring free and clear and get back to strutting off the mound.’‘

Howell made $1.1-million last season, and isn’t going to be in line for much of a raise, so the Rays could end up with a bargain. On the other hand, Howell got paid $1.8-million for the 2010 season he missed after the surgery.

On Sonnanstine: Friedman made a point of acknowleding how large a role Sonnanstine played in their success over the last four seasons, saying “we’ve all been through so much together.’‘’ But with the rotation deep and the bullpen taking shape, Friedman said there was no longer “an optimal fit” for Sonnanstine.  “Looking back we thank him for everything he did, looking forward we felt like there would be better opportunities for him elsewhere.’‘

Sonnanstine made $912,500 last season and also would have likely gotten a small raise, so the Rays can rellocate that money elsewhere.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price doesn’t fight man urinating on car - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Ha!

“I was relieved with how it turned out,” Price said jokingly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:37 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, December 09, 2011

ESPN: Crasnick: Rays sign Moore for 5/14

Electric Boogalongoria.

The Tampa Bay Rays have reached agreement with rookie pitcher Matt Moore on a guaranteed five-year, $14 million contract, according to a baseball source.

The deal includes multiple club options and could extend to eight years for a guaranteed $37.5 million and buy out two years of Moore’s free agency, the source said. It includes escalator clauses based on innings pitched and games started that could raise the overall value to $40 million.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:38 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

John A. Torres: After 34 years, this fan lets go of the Mets

The Florida Fight for Independence—From the Mets…

It started June 15, 1977 and the divorce was finalized on Sunday night, Dec. 4, 2011 when Jose Reyes — the best New York Mets player since Tom Seaver — left Queens for a new address in South Beach.

It is now officially over between the Mets and I.

...Sunday night’s decision to not even offer Jose Reyes a contract is akin to beheading someone who is on life support. It’s over, there’s no question about it. Kaput. The Mets are dead and will forever be so.

The tight-fisted ownership of the Mets — who were stupid or greedy enough to place their money with charlatan Bernie Madoff — have had trouble filling seats in their beautiful new ballpark. I’ve been there and it really is an amazing place to watch baseball. But no one in their right mind is going to fork over $10 for a beer and $6 for a hot dog to watch the likes of Ruben Tejada, R.A. Dickey and Jason Bay. The Wilpon family had better get used to seeing empty seats in their gorgeous park.

...Breakups hurt and the best thing for me to do with this one is to rip this one off like a band-aid.

It’s time to find someone new.

Goodbye Mets, hello Tampa Rays.

Repoz Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, mets, miami, rays

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Boston Red Sox - Johnny Damon says pinstripes would suit David Ortiz - The Boston Globe

A couple of nice quotes in this article. I bet the second quote only makes Astros fans more excited at the prospect of Friedman coming to Houston.

Damon also had some advice for Ortiz: Sign with the Yankees and take advantage of that right-field porch at Yankee Stadium.

“Shoot, I was trying to tell him if he went to New York his 30 home runs turns into 40,’’ Damon said. “He still has a great chance to win. I’m happy I got to experience both sides [of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry]. Both sides were very incredible for me.

“What people don’t understand is that there’s a business part of it. As a player, I wish I could have been in Kansas City my entire career. But once you get traded, you get to thinking and you accept whatever comes your way and you try and make whatever team you’re on better. David can do that.
...
“I haven’t even talked to them just because our GM [Andrew Friedman] is a free agent,’’ Damon said. “He’s not going to sign me and then leave. If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he’s going to try and bring me along with him. That’s where my waiting game is.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2011 at 01:22 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rays, red sox

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Astros receive permission to interview Rays GM Friedman

The Astros have received permission to interview Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, according to officials with knowledge of the organization’s thinking.

Although the club has asked to interview “a handful” of others, Friedman clearly is the No. 1 choice to replace Ed Wade.

Among others believed to be under consideration were two Texas Rangers executives, Thad Levine and A.J. Preller. However, former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker apparently will not be interviewed for the job.

Friedman is widely regarded as one of the three best general managers in the game, having elevated the low-budget Rays to playoff berths three of the last four seasons.

Thanks to HY.

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 02:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rays

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