Joe Maddon to Manage Cubs in 2015

The latest info that sends Joe Maddon to the north side of Chicago for 2015.

Andrew Friedman leaves for the Dodgers

It's the end of an era in Tampa Bay. What does the future hold?

2015 Rays Schedule released

We disect the 2015 Rays schedule.

Nov 28, 2011

Rays finally sign Jose Molina

by Aaron Giddens

As expected the Rays have officially signed Jose Molina for 2012 at 1.5 million with a team option for 2013 again at 1.5 million.

As I said yesterday, this leaves us in a much better position at catcher for 2012 with Lobaton and now Molina rather than Jaso and Shoppach.

Do you like the move, tell us in the comment section.

Nov 27, 2011

Jaso traded

by Aaron Giddens

And the first shot has been fired for the Rays this offseason. The Rays have sent John Jaso to the Northwest, to the Mariners, for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lueke.

I will kinda miss Jaso, but let's not forget that he lacked a lot of the time offensively and MOST of the time defensively. So to that we say "Good riddance and good luck!" to Jaso.

As for Lueke, it appears to be one of those players that suck and the Rays are expecting to have a break out year. So we'll see if he goes the way of Burrell or the way of Farnsworth. Remember to have faith in that Rays front office. They rarely get a deal that blows up in their face recently.

And by the way, don't fret about being a catcher down. Not only is it expected that Jose Labaton start the season with the team, it is also expected that the Rays are to sign Jose Molina. Between the two the catcher position is looking much better.

What will the next move be? Only time will tell.

Nov 24, 2011


by Aaron Giddens

Taking inspiration from Cork Gaines of Rays Index, we're gonna name some of the things we here at BRaysball Talk are grateful for this Thanksgiving day.

We're thankful for...

  • ...the 2011 season. The guys had a rough start and no-so-easy year, but they pulled off a miracle to make the postseason. So regardless of the fact they didn't make it past LDS round, I'm grateful for what they did.

  • ...Sam Fuld. It was like Santa got my Christmas card last year. The guy had a season full of highlight reel worthy plays.

  • ...for the fact no one out side Tampa Bay has offered to build the Rays a stadium yet.

  • ...Joe Maddon. Thanks to him, Rays baseball knows success.

These are a few of the things we're grateful for this Thanksgiving day as Rays fans. What are you grateful for? Let us know below. And have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your day with your family. DON'T EAT TOO MUCH!! :D

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 19, 2011

The Play of the year is...

by Aaron Giddens

You voted people, and I hereby crown Evan Longoria's wild card clinching HR the play of the year.

Here's the break down:

'Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run' wins

This video will be displayed just below the countdown until the 2012 season begins.

Nov 17, 2011

MLB expanding playoffs

by Aaron Giddens

Breaking News out of the owners meetings in Milwaukee, MLB will add two teams to the playoffs, 1 extra wild card for each league. The details about whether it will be a 1-game playoff round or 3-game playoff round are still being worked out as well as when it will be implemented, but it could happen next season!

Personally, I like this move by Bud Selig and the owners. Not only does it put emphasis back on winning your division to avoid the extra round of playoffs, but it also helps other teams in the American League that are good teams but are usually shut out by the Red Sox/Yankees money show.

I don't think this will ruin the game. But that won't stop you from hearing people say it.

Bottom line here is this is, in my opinion at least, a good move to help baseball. Good work, Bud!

Please vote in our related poll to the right.

Nov 16, 2011

FUNNY: Mickey Mantis

by Aaron Giddens

This is a Rays blog first and foremost but we're always on the look out here at BRaysball Talk for something to share, in this case we found this oddity from July involving the then-Florida Marlins. Enjoy "Mickey Mantis". By the way, this video is up for a GIBBY.

AL Manager of the Year is.... Joe Maddon

by Aaron Giddens

Again, the picture says it all:

2011 AL Manager of the Year - Joe Maddon

Joe is the manager of the Year. Such a deserved award for him. I mean was there really any other choice? You don't take a take from a 0-6 start, then make a 9 game comeback in September and not win. Chances are though is that you will see Yankees fans whine that Girardi didn't win.

Doesn't matter though. Joe wins.

And that conclude the Rays BBWAA award season, unless I miss something. Stay with BRaysball Talk for other opinions over the winter.

Nov 14, 2011

To Yankees fans, Nova wasn't robbed

by Aaron Giddens

I see a lot of Yankee fans on twitter and around the internet saying that Ivan Nova was robbed. Let's break this down real quick. We're gonna take 3 claims go claim by claim and debunk it.

***WARNING: Statistics ahead!!***

1. "Nova had a better win-loss record!"

Yes he did, but that is not the only statistic that goes in to determining a wonderful pitcher. There are other statistics like ERA, WHIP, BAA, CG, etc. that also are relevant to figuring out who's the better pitcher. Let's take a look at a couple for the 2011 regular season between Nova and Hellickson:

2011 Regular Season Statistical breakdown

Jeremy Hellickson
Ivan Nova

Further statistics for Hellickson External linkFurther statistics for Nova External link

As you can see, other than wins and losses, Hellickson led every other category between the two.

2. "This is another example of bias against the Yankees!"

There's no real way to debunk this as it's in the eye of the beholder but in general, 9 times out of 10, the bias is in favor, not against, the Yankees. Especially on ESPN. Two words: "Money talks."

3. "But Nova plays in the AL East, the most competitive division in baseball!"

Well, in case you haven't notice, Hellickson plays for the Rays, who are also in the American League East. So this claim really has no basis. Being in the AL East should and doesn't get you extra consideration. The stats talk. Nova was out pitched statistically.

So based on these facts, Ivan rightfully didn't win. As for whether he deserved fourth place, that's a different argument. But the right pitcher between the two came out on top. Get over it.

2011 AL Rookie of the Year is Hellboy

by Aaron Giddens

The picture says it all:

2011 Rookie of the Year - Jeremy Hellickson

Congratulations to Hellboy on the much deserved award. I'd like to point out this tweet. I think TK is right.

Just in case you want to know, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel won the award for the NL.

We have two other Rays up for awards this week (James Shields for Cy Young and Joe Maddon for Manager of the Year). Stay with BRaysball Talk for opinions after the fact.

Nov 8, 2011

VOTE: 1st Annual BRaysball Talk Play of the Year

by Aaron Giddens

So I've decided to try some interactivity with my readers here. Below are five plays that happened this past season with the Rays, and below that is a poll. You get to vote in the first annual "BRaysball Talk Play of the Year". The winning play will be displayed in the right hand widget bar until the beginning of the season. Voting will run from when this is posted til November 19th at 4:00pm ET. Have fun and remember the letter of your choice! **VOTING IS CLOSED!!! RESULTS BELOW!!**

A. Sam Fuld's walk-off triple plus error

B. Dan Johnson's game-tying home run in game 162

C. Rays' season saving triple play

D. Sam Fuld's diving grab in Chicago on April 9th

E. Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run

'Evan Longoria's wild card clinching walk-off home run' wins

BRaysball Talk is on social media!

by Aaron Giddens

We are pleased to announced that we are now on Google Plus! Be sure to stop over and add us to your circle!

And don't forget to follow us on our other pages too!

We're also on Facebook and Twitter!

Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed too!

Nov 7, 2011

HOT STOVE: What I think we need

by Aaron Giddens

BRaysball Talk presents Hot Stove Talk

The Hot Stove season is underway here in Tampa Bay and around the MLB. As such the rumors have started to fly.

I just want to highlight a few things I think need tending to this off season.

First, resign Kotch and Damon. If not for these two last season the outcome would have been much different. I firmly believe we would not have cashed in on the Red Sox collapse.

The next thing of concern is the catcher position, either we have horrible defense and "good" bat in Jaso or a horrible bat and good defense in Shoppach. This cannot continue. We are too good a team to have as many bone headed errors happen behind the plate as happened last season. Hurts me a little to say that as I will miss the "Shoppachopters".

The Bullpen was solid in 2011, especially after being gutted in the previous offseason. But there is room for improvement. With Farnsworth returning along with most of 2011 bullpen, there's not much room but there is room. I would like to see a couple good relief pitchers signed. Maybe even a closer. Why? Because while Farnsworth was good in that role this past season, however, his career numbers don't suggest that will continue.

Starting pitching, I'd like to see Neimann or Davis traded for a catcher who's major league ready. With Moore obviously ready for the majors, it's time to make room for him in the starting rotation, and the two I've mention have never been dominate long enough to make an impact. So move one of them and fix a position that's desperately needs it.

As for trades I'd rather not see, those two are James Shields and BJ Upton. Despite the headaches Upton has given, he's still such an asset out there in center field. James Shields is at the top of his game and has a year left on his contract if I remember correctly. I think it would be stupid to trade either at this point in time.

There are rumblings that both Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman are being looked at by other teams. For the future of the franchise let's hope nothing comes of this. Especially after seeing this last night.

These are just some of the things I'd like to see. Do you agree? Comment below and let me know. And don't forget to vote in the poll to the right.