Do the additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon make the Rays contenders again? My answer is no.
After losing Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Joaquin
Benoit, Randy Choate, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Brad Hawpe, Dioner Navarro, Carlos
Pena, Fernando Perez, Chad Qualls, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler the Rays
think that by signing two outfielders, one 37 and the other 38, they along with
the rest of America thinks they are “good” again.
I mean I think that the Rays’ general manager, Andrew
Friedman, is one of the best in baseball. However, what the heck is he
First off, the Rays didn’t really need any more
outfielders/ designated hitters. I mean Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton, and Ben
Zobrist make up maybe one of the best outfields in baseball, even without
Crawford. Now, either Johnny Damon or Desmond Jennings will have to sit on the
bench. That is, unless, Jennings gets sent down to AAA.
However, Zobrist could also be moved to shortstop,
second base, and first base. If Zobrist does get moved to the infield, in my
opinion he would most likely take Dan Johnson’s spot at first.
Then at D.H. you have Matt Joyce and/or Dan Johnson
(depending on Zobrist) who aren’t the best players in the world, but they both
are capable of being an everyday D.H.
The problem with me is that I don’t understand why
they signed both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Their outfield has enough
depth with Justin Ruggiano as to fourth outfielder and Joyce can play the
Jennings is ready for the majors so he shouldn’t be
sent down to AAA. I understand signing Damon or Ramirez to D.H. Yet, I think
signing both of them may have been the Red Sox’s “fault.”
Everyone knows that they Rays have had a pretty bad
offseason. I mean just look at the first sentence of this article. The Red Sox
on the other hand “stole” Carl Crawford and Dan Wheeler. So, I’m assuming that
these moves were made to say that they Rays aren’t just going to roll over.
Also, another obvious reason is attendance. I mean
the Rays have always had low attendances. Heck, Carl Crawford said he signed
with the Red Sox in part to the fact that he knows that there is going to be a
full house every night. I mean Damon has an “attendance clause” for crying out
However, from Damon and Ramirez’s point of view this
is the perfect team. Damon could be “getting back” at the Yankees for not
resigning him. Also, I’m not exactly sure Damon likes Beantown anymore. Manny
might be trying to “get back” at Boston. I mean that’s just not how you want to
end your stay anywhere. Most likely though, both of those things are false.
But what can you expect from the two of them. Well, I
believe player A, will hit fifteen-twenty home runs, drive in over
seventy-five, and bat anywhere from .250 to .290. Player B will hit ten to
twenty homeruns, drive in either around fifty or eighty, and bat around .250.
Who do you think are player A and B? Player A is
Johnny Damon. Player B is Manny Ramirez. Damon has the potential to have some
nice power numbers this year while the odds are he’ll have a higher batting
average then Ramirez.
Manny though, has an injury history. If he stays
healthy though I think you might be able to see some of his old form return.
Regardless of the performance, baseball fans need to
play close attention to the Rays this year. It could be the last year that two
of baseball’s greatest players play.
Also, in a completely off topic story, am I the only
one that found it ironic that Tom Brady got foot surgery after playing the
* Here is my persuasive essay for school and as you can imagine, I wrote it about sports.
Small market teams don’t stand a chance against
the big spenders in Major League Baseball.
At New Yankee Stadium,
Yankee fans cheer for “their” team, a team that had a payroll of $206,333,389
in 2010. One of their many star players, Alex Rodriguez, made thirty-three
million dollars last year.
However, at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirate
fans don’t cheer for a star player, because they don’t have one. In fact their
payroll last year was “just” $34,943,000. Is it fair that Alex Rodriguez made
nearly as much money as the entire Pittsburgh Pirates last year?
Much like their
payroll, the Yankees were at the top of the list when it came to winning. The
Pirates on the other hand, had one of the worst records in baseball. Major
League Baseball needs a salary cap.
A “salary cap” is a
limit on how much money teams can spend and/or how much money a player can
earn. It would level the playing field, increase fan attendance, and increase
team and league revenue.
However, if a salary cap was implemented, the
large market teams wouldn’t have enough money to have ten superstars on their
team. As a result of this, more superstars would have to play on “bad” teams
and the overall talent level would become more evenly divided among all thirty
Many casual baseball fans go to a game to see the
superstars. With the talent being more evenly divided, fans in Baltimore,
Pittsburgh, etc. will get to see more superstars play; thus increasing fan
attendance. Due to this increased interest and attendance of the game, the
league’s revenue would increase.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Boston Red Sox, who are a big
spender. With that said, is it fair that the Red Sox can out spend the Pirates
by over 160 million dollars?
Not everyone agrees on the topic of a salary cap. Some say
the fact that some teams can spend ridiculous amounts more money than other
teams is just a part of the game.
On one side, just because you have a high payroll doesn’t
mean you are going to be good. Despite having the third highest payroll in
baseball last year, the Cubs finished fifth in their division.
Then there are always teams like the Rangers and Rays, who
despite being in the bottom ten in payroll, made the playoffs.
However, there is one roadblock, the Players Association.
They would most likely reject anything about lowering player salaries. However,
I’m sure Alex Rodriguez can afford to give up a couple million dollars.
So, Bud Selig (the commissioner of the MLB), if you
know what is good for the league you need to try to implement a salary cap
Card because Boston has already won the East. (Wow that was one of my best sentences ever in my opinion) Once your a Red Sox your a Red Sox for life, Pedro is not going to the Yankees. (Sorry but man I’m on a roll) Even though the Rays are rivals with Boston as of the 2009 season I do not care if a former Red Sox player that is 37 played for the Rays. Okay I do and Pedro would kill me but I want Pedro to be back and I want him to pitch and I want him to be happy even if he does play with the Rays. Now if it was with the Yankees well we might have some issues. (Dang best paragraph of my blogging career. 🙂
(Please excuse my pointless rant. I was kind of mad so I took my anger out on the draft, minor league players, the Orioles, and the Rays.)
* Written yesterday around six o’clock
Unlike the NBA and the NFL draft who really watches the draft. I know I sound crazy but there are 750 active players in the big leagues. Last year in the draft there were 1,504 picks. More then half the players in the draft will most likely never play in the big leagues and some will not get past AA.
Sure Mike Piazza was the very last player drafted but that was a one in a million chance that he would turn out to be a future hall of famer.
Yes, one pick can turn a franchise around but the only picks I will watch is who Boston takes with their first pick and who the Nationals take with their first pick.
Now if you spend ten seasons in the minors or whatever and make an impact in the majors I will look at you as a major league player with talent. But if you never hit a ball, throw a strike, make a play, or steal a base you are not a major league player even if you are in the MLB.
Heck for all we know Steven Strasburg could throw out his arm in AAA. So I will watch him when he gets to the big leagues. I will never watch minor league baseball unless a player is about to get called up. Sure I follow it but I would never watch it.
In the NBA draft the early picks go on to start in that season 99 percent of the time. In the NFL a little less often but most still do. In baseball it can take some promising prospects five years to get called up. By that time most people forget about him because well he was probably not that good.
Then there is Matt Wieters who the last time I heard of him was January. Yes that is how bad and how many fans there are of the Baltimore Orioles. You can say what you want about me you might be thinking I am a liar. I am not The Orioles just suck.
Wieters was spose to be the finishing touches to a new dynasty. While the Orioles are having a good season for their standers they are 22-26. On the bright side they are tied for last with the Rays. So there are two young teams who many thought would be good. Both suck.
I am sorry O’s and Ray fans but you have to face the facts. Maybe the Rays are just a one year team. You know B.J. Upton has not really lived up to expectations. However Longoria and Crawford are doing great.
Why do both teams suck? Well, the Orioles have six veterans along with no pitching at all. I mean what other team (besides the Nationals) would have Jeremy Guthrie as their ace? The Dodgers who have the best record in baseball have nine veterans without Manny Ramirez. Along with great pitching. And ohh ya they are super young with guys like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, James Loney, etc.
The Rays what a joke. One year after winning the American League they are in last. Why? Their pitching and injuries. James Shields is three and four with an ERA of 3.63. To high for an ace. I have never thought Matt Garza was “special” in my mind he is very overrated. This year he is four and three with an ERA of 3.65.
Now to be honest it is somewhat not the Rays’ fault. You cannot help it if your team has eight players on the D.L. Your second baseman is out for the season. Your closer and your second “ace” or also on the D.L. along with you starting shortstop. You cannot help it that you D.H. is hurt along with two relief pitchers and your backup catcher.
But in times like that someone has to pick it up. Longoria is doing good and Crawford is swiping bases like crazy. But they have no pitching to back them up. The bottom line is one pitcher, batter, fielder or baserunner has to pickup the team. The Rays only have two of those three.
In most sports like basketball you can have one star and go far. Look at LeBron James and the Cavs. However in every sport you have to have good players every where like the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic to name a few. In baseball you have to have at least six stars to win it all. In 2008 the Phillies had Howard, Hamels, Lidge, Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Burrell, and at the time Jason Werth was doing good.
If the Rays want to see the postseason again they need better pitching and B.J. Upton and any starter have to pick it up. If they do not I am afraid their is a chance they will suck again. Some say that their staff will freak out and make all these moves fire people and all this junk. I doubt that will happen but the Rays have to pick it up.
Their “super” prospect David Price has started one game this year and in 3.1 innings he gave up two runs on four hits against Cleveland. Like I said before if you do not hit a ball, throw a strike, steal a base, or make a play you are not a major leaguer. David Price is but as of 6:38 eastern time Matt Wieters is not a big leaguer. Price is.
When will the Rays and the Orioles get better? Never. The Rays have a one percent chance for winning the A.L. East and Baltimore what a joke they are. They have a 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance of winning the wild card for the rest of the teams future.
If the Rays and Orioles want to get better they need to fire their manager, trade for Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard. The only problem? Well, the Rays love Joe Madden and I don’t even now who the Orioles manager is. Pujols and Howard have a huge paycheck that Tampa Bay and Baltimore can not afford.
The bottom line is that the Orioles will have to look back at the Cal Ripken era and the Rays will have to look back at last year because they are never going to get another ring or just make the playoffs.
(OK sorry for well as you might see being pretty mad. It is a long story. Why I took my anger out on the O’s, Rays, the draft, and minor league players no clue)
Mr. Epstein can you CALL UP CLAY ALREADY pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Oh by the way this is for you . . .
And remember to vote for Andre Ethier . . .
Okay so tomorrow is a big day. The Red Sox will play the Yankees for the first time this year. Tim Wakefield will be on the mound for Boston while Chien-Ming Wang will be starting for the Yankees. So far the Red Sox have gone one and one against the Rays and zero and two against the Orioles. Now Spring Training does not reflect how a team will do because most of the players are prospects. Most of the Red Sox’s prospects are very promising but it could be up to three years till we see some of them in the majors. One good things about tomorrow is David Ortiz and Jason Bay will be back. I am sure they would rather be playing with their respected countries in the World Baseball Classic but I am happy to see them back. The only bad thing is Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis will be playing for team U.S.A. I would rather see Youk and Pedroia playing for team U.S.A. then the Red Sox and I am sure they feel the same way. When you play for your country it makes you feel special. When you play for your team it is your job. It is a privilege to play for your team but even a bigger one to play for your country. After the Yankee game in the next three days the face the Orioles Saturday and Sunday then the Blue Jays Monday. Sure the Orioles are not as big rivals and same thing with the Blue Jays but I think that any team in you divison is your rival and for that matter any team in your league is your rival. I am a little sad because I will miss the game tomorrow. I will be on a plane going to France for Spring Break tomorrow morning. I am sure going to check the score as soon as we land on my Dad’s phone though. Also I am sorry If I can not be on my blog and yours the next few days. I will try though. This should be a great game. This is the first test for many young players with the Red Sox. To be with the Red Sox you must have to deal with the pressure and beat the Yankees or I guess the Rays now. The Rays are becoming more of a rival to the Red Sox because for the next few years the Yankees will be eating the Red Sox’s dust. So far in the Spring Training standings the Rays are a game and a half above the Yankees and two games over the Red Sox.
Wow, that was quick. I already stumped you guys. The question was, “Who was the first man to bat for the American League in an All-Star game.” The answer was Ben Chapman. I only had one guy guess! Come on guys! At least try!