Tagged: Rays

Simply Put . . . Shocked


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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
thinking!

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
corner spots.

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.


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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
loud.

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.


manny ramirez dodgers


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
Jets?


Photo Credits

1.)  http://carolsxsblog.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html

2.) http://blog.mlive.com/cutoffman/2010/03/detroit_tigers_links_johnny_da_1.html

3.) http://www.loudsportsshorts.com/baseballs/manny/manny-ramirez.html


Spending Limit

* Here is my persuasive essay for school and as you can imagine, I wrote it about sports. 

Spending
Limit

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
teams.

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
immediately. 

We Better Not Have Another Traitor

Pedro Martinez has not pitched in the majors since September 25, 2008 but that has not stopped Pedro. Martinez pitched for the Dominican Republic In the 2009 World Baseball Classic and in six innings he gave up one hit, walked none, struck out six, and hit one batter.
Martinez “auditioned” for a roster spot along with Sidney Ponson and Ivan Rodriguez. Ponson signed with the Royals but is currently on the D.L. Pudge signed with the Astros and yesterday passed Carlton Fisk for the most games played by a catcher.
Before the season the Cubs and Rays had showed interest in Pedro. I thought the Cubs would be a bad fit because I thought he might have to pitch in the bullpen. Chicago though already has six starting pitchers. However Martinez would give the Cubs depth incase Rich Harden gets hurt again or Carlos Zambrano gets suspended again for having a tantrum.
The Rays though would be a good fit because Pedro is an experienced veteran and the Rays have a lot of injuries. However  with Scott Kazmir soon to be back and David Price getting called up Pedro would probably be pitching in the bullpen there.
Now that the season has started the Angels and Yankees have joined the Pedro talks. Yep the Rays, Yankees, and Angels all want the former Red Sox great. What do the Rays, Yankees, and Angels have in common with each other? All are rivals with the Red Sox on some level.
If Martinez went to the Yankees he would probably get the most money but he would have to work out of the bullpen and I believe that Pedro wants to leave New York after four “terrible” seasons with the Mets, in which he pitched in just 79 games and went 32 and 23.
Going to the Angels Martinez would have the biggest chance of pitching in the rotation but the odds are he will not because Matt Palmer, who is the fifth starter, is six and zero with an ERA of 4.13. Even with Kelvim Escobar on the D.L. the Angels do not really need Pedro because they have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com the Cubs, Rays, Yankees, and Angels will go to watch Martinez Friday in the Dominican Republic. Every team is now downplaying their interest in the 214 game winner. One executive said his team is sending scouts as a courtesy to Pedro’s agent, Fernando Cuza.
Which team do I think that is. Well I doubt it is the Cubs or Rays because they where the first teams to talk about signing Martinez. That leaves the Yankees and Angels. The Yankees have one of the worst bullpens in baseball while the Angels have a good rotation and bullpen. So I bet the Angels are the team that is being nice to Pedro and his agent.
However Cuza’s clients include Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera along with Angels slugger Valdimir Guerrero and Cubs outfielder, Alfonso Soriano. However I still think the Angels are doing it to be nice.
Martinez who turns 38 in October was seeking five million dollars at the start of the season but Martinez now would take three million for the rest of the season. However if Martinez goes to the Yankees he could get four million or maybe that “elusive” five million dollars. Heck maybe even six million but that is very unlikely.
Pictures: Pedro Martinez Photo
If Martinez would agree to sign a minor league deal he could attract more teams like maybe the Rangers, Astros, Blue Jays, and Brewers. Martinez would probably also be able to start at all four locations. The Rangers though just signed Orlando Hernandez to a minor league deal. The Rangers and Brewers are first in their respective divisions while the Blue Jays are in third in the A.L. East by five games and even though the Astros are last in the N.L. Central by six and a half games the Astros hate to give up. 
But should Pedro come back. All the signs point to yes but look into the numbers more. Pedro only has 99 career loses. I believe that having less then one hundred losses helps you get into the Hall of Fame and the three time Cy Young winner wants to get in. What if though he gets hurts. I do not want to see one of the best pitchers ever go out like that. 
The seventeen year veteran who spent time with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, and Mets has a career record of 214 and 99 with an ERA of 2.91 and has struck out 3,117 in 2,782.2 innings. He is tied for thirteenth on the all-time strikeout list. Of the sixteen members of the 3,000 strikeout club Martinez has given up the east amount of earned runs with 901. One thing though about the 3,000 strikeout club is today it does not seem like it puts you in the hall. Just look at Bert Blyleven. Who also finished his career thirteen wins shy of 300.
So Is Pedro Hall Of Fame Worthy? Well he was not as good of a post season pitcher as Curt Schilling and he has three more wins then Pedro. martinez though does have one more strikeout for Curt so you could make a pretty good argument for either. I see both getting in though. But I am getting off topic.
We could go on and on and on about Pedro and how great he is and what team he will pitch with this year if any and all kinds of stuff. Heck if I wanted to I could write an entry about his fastball. But that might be kind of boring. 
Anyway the bottom line is I think Pedro will sign with the Rays for a three million dollar deal. I also think that if Tampa Bay signs Pedro then they can win the WIld
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. 🙂
Anyway the game is in a rain delay right now and the BoSoxs are losing but I did get a new Red Sox hat about an hour ago. (It is the new alternate ones with the hanging soxs.) So even though we are losing it does not “sting” as much as it does some days. Anyway I am getting off topic again. Okay where ever Pedro pitches I wish him good luck . . . unless it is against the Red Sox.
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Photo Credits
1- theinsider.com
2- purplerow.com
3- redsoxworld.mlblogs.com

The “Future”

(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)

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Mr. Epstein can you CALL UP CLAY ALREADY pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Oh by the way this is for you . . .

A V12 and looks to kill Audi R8 all the way


And remember to vote for Andre Ethier . . .


It’s My Birthday!!!!!!!!!

Rival Races And Some Off Topic Stuff

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.

I know at time it's way to much, however both teams do usually deliver

Red Sox brawl photo of Coco Crisp and James Shields fight

Arod, Varitek, Munson, Fisk

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All right tomorrow night is the deadline to answer my super hard trivia question, “Who threw the first no-hitter under lights” So far the hints are . . .

1- It could have been in any league or country.
2- I have known the answer my whole life.
3- He does not have a wikipedia page.
4- He has a common last name.
5- He played for the Kansas City Blues and the Indianapolis Indians.
6- He was in the Yankees’ and Mets’ farm system at the same time.
7- He played for two different Yankee farm system teams.
8- He stopped playing in 1935 to work on a railroad so he could make more money during the great depression.
9- He played for the Quincy Gems.
10- The league he played in was the American Association.

Today’s hints are, he has the same name as a golfer and that golfer hit a double boggy boggy on hole two in round two at the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach. 

Photo Credits
1- sawxblog.com
2- a11news.com

Who Will Win What- My 2009 A.L. East Predictions

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!

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I just got back from my baseball game and we got killed. Anyway since today was the first game of spring training I thought I would give you my standing predictions.
A.L. East

1- Red Sox, 98-64, Boston has it all; ton of pitching, sluggers, fielders, prospects, and chemistry. Chemistry wins championships. You can have guys that stink but have great chemistry and you  can have guys you are all all-stars but no chemistry. Guess you would win? Thats right, the bad team with chemistry. Big Papi, Josh Beckett, and Jason Varitex will all have comeback years and lead Boston to first place in the American League East. Big Papi will have another Big Papi season hitting 45 home runs. Look for Jason Bay to have a great year. I mean how will playing with the Red Sox for a full season not help? 
File:RedSoxPrimary HangingSocks.svg
2- Yankees, 96-66 Just like I said it before chemistry wins championships. Money can not buy a championship. The Yankees need to figure out who will be in the outfield. The only lock in the outfield is Johnny Damon is going to be in left field. Will Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady platoon in right? What will Brett Gardner do? Another question is the catcher. Is Posada healthy? Will Kevin Cash even be in the majors? Then the biggest question is how will Alex Rodriguez fare? Will all the steroids talk go to his head? Or will he have another A-Rod type season and hit his 600th carer home run? No one knows. 
yankees.gif
3-Rays, 94-68, The Rays are now playing with every ones eyes on them. Evan Longoria is probably going into a sophomore slump and B.J. Upton will be pitched more carefully this year now that everyone knows how good he is. The Rays young pitching staff should improve. James Shields is one of the most underrated player in baseball and this season that will all change. Matt Garza also will be looked at more. Overall the Rays will almost stay the same, except for losing three more games from last year. For every negative there is a positive. They just do not have the money to keep up with the Red Sox and Yankees.
MLB Power Rankings - June 30 (Rays Back on Top)
4-Orioles, 75-86, The Orioles aren’t ready yet by will be soon. They have young talent and have a few veterans. If they do want to compete they need a few more veterans. Maybe go out and try to get Ken Griffey Jr. or they could go get Pedro Martinez. The biggest reason the Orioles will compete in maybe 2010 is due to catching prospect Matt Wieters. Wieters has not even played a major league game and is being compared to Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, and Carlton Fisk. Wieters should start this season. Greg Zaun should be the backup catcher and if Wieters for some reason can not handle major league pitching then Zaun can step back in.
5- Blue Jays, 70-92, The Blue Jays had a bad offseason. They lost A.J. Burnett to the Yankees and Vernon Wells is out for a while. Alexis Rios should have a better year then last season maybe hitting thirty home runs. Roy Halladay should have yet another fantastic season maybe even winning twenty games. Lastly Travis Snider and Adam Lind should have a good year possibly having his breakout year. Now to the negatives. Behind Roy Halladay the Blue Jays rotation is to things. It is a big fat question mark and they stink. No one really knows how Matt Clement will fit in with the team. Probably he will be the fifth guy. The other negative you might ask? There are few positives.

Blue Jays Logo 4.jpg
Programing Note- Look for more predictions to come during spring training and tomorrow look out for a recap of the Red Sox versus Twins game.
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Now to today’s question. When Connie Mack retired as manager of the Athletics following the 1950 season, who replaced him? Hopefully I will get more then one answers for this one.
Photos
1- wikipedia.com
2- tomseasoltz.wordpress.com
3- ballhype.com
4- oriolesstrength.com
5- kristopherkrawiec.mlblogs.com