Some thoughts on the first series of 2014

The Rays have played their first series, I have some concerns about the team.

2014 predictions

How will the AL East look at the end of 2014? Here are my predictions.

Don't trade David Price

It's been widely accepted that the Rays will trade David Price. I don't think they should. Here's why.

Rays acquire Ryan Hanigan and Heath Bell

Rays acquire two big names in a three team trade involving the Reds and D-Backs, but what did they give up in return?

2014 Rays Schedule released

We disect the 2014 Rays schedule.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from BRaysball Talk

by Aaron Giddens

We here at BRaysball Talk would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy your time with your families.

To those that celebrate something other than Christmas, we here at BRaysball Talk would like to wish you a Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy Hanukkah.

What ever you celebrate, enjoy your day.

Merry Christmas Happy Hanukkah Happy Kwanzaa

Dec 22, 2011

All I want for Christmas in Rays land is a Stadium agreement

by Aaron Giddens

Christmas time shot of downtown Tampa
Courtesy: Flickr
It's Christmas time in Tampa Bay. A time for giving. A time for family. And for those of us, like myself, who celebrate the religious aspect of the holiday, a time to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

In this holiday season, there is one thing still weighing on my mind ever so slightly, the stadium situation is far from being solved still. Even though we have not heard from Mayor Foster in a while about the stadium, I'm sure he's trying to think of how he's gonna be a stubborn person next.

There is hardly peace and good will towards men when it comes to the two parties involved in this dispute, the Rays and the City of St. Pete (three if you count the fans). And none of them seem to be interested in sitting down to find a solution to this growing problem.

The Rays can't use Tropicana Field for much longer. By the current standard, it's outdated in a lot of aspects. And the waterfront stadium went up in smoke. Rays need a new stadium to call home, but no one is willing to budge. Especially not the Mayor of St. Pete.

We express our dismay with how St. Pete mayor Bill Foster is handling this situation quite often here on BRaysball Talk, but I feel it's justified. He's not willing to work with the Rays who want to jump to the other side of the Bay. And the Rays are convinced that a new stadium won't work in St. Pete.

There also the issue of determining who's to pay. Again, no one is willing to budge. Fans and the the City of St. Pete largely want the Rays to pay 100% for the new stadium. While the Rays, I guess, want the fans to pay. I myself, want the two (three?) parties to split the bill.

We realize Mayor Foster has his citizens interests to protect, but what about the other fans in the Bay Area? Are they not important too? And for the Rays side, we realize that they want the new stadium in Tampa, but isn't there a compromise that can be made to make both parties happy?

So in this holiday season, I shall write my letter to Santa. And on it I will say "All I want for Christmas, Santa, is for the Rays future in Tampa Bay to be secured by what ever legal means necessary."

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Dec 17, 2011

GIBBY recap for Rays

by Aaron Giddens

This is a list of where the Rays events and players finished in voting for the MLB.com GIBBY awards.

  • Jeremy Hellickson finished tied for second for the GIBBY Rookie of the Year award with the Angels' Mark Trumbo with 8.8% of the vote. Braves' Closer Craig Kimbrel wins the award.


    • Opinion: Hard to argue with 46 saves as a rookie, but how did Trumbo get second?! That's the only negative.


  • James Shields finished 3rd behind Ellsburry for GIBBY Comeback Player of the Year. James received 7.5 percent of the vote. Cardinals' Lance Berkman won the award.


    • Opinion: I never expected Shields to win, and agree with where he finished.


  • Andrew Friedman finishes last out of five for Executive of the Year with 13.4% of the vote. Cardinals' John Mozeliak wins the award.


    • Opinion: I understand he probably wouldn't win, and he didn't, but last?! Somebody's not paying attention.


  • Joe Maddon finishes third with 14.4% of the vote behind LaRussa. He loses to Kirk Gibson.

    • Opinion: I disagree completely, call me a homer, but Maddon took a team that was absolutely gutted and went on to knock off the Red Sox. Gibson was excellent but Maddon was better. Also how did LaRussa get second? Just because he won the World Series? Or is a Legendary manager? How?


  • Dan Johnson's game tying home run in game 162 wins the GIBBY for Moment of the Year with 33.7% of the vote, beating out Jeter's 3,000th hit and Mo Rivera's 602nd save.


    • Opinion: Completely agree. If you don't agree, you just don't understand how the emotion of the moment factors in.


  • Sam Fuld's diving catch in Chicago in April, which started The Legend of Sam Fuld, finished last out of five with only 8.7% of the vote. Ben Revere's catch wins.


    • Opinion: In the words of "Hawk" Harrelson on the call of Fuld's catch: "You gotta be bleeping me!" Are the voters not paying attention?! I agree there were some plays that were as good or even better, but last?! Seriously?!


  • Evan Longoria's performance in game 162 on Sept. 28th and Ben Zobrist's performance in the April 28th double header with the Twins both lose out to Derek Jeter's 3000th hit game on July 9th for single-game "Performance of the Year". Evan's day received 21.9% of the vote and finished 3rd, Zorilla's day finished fourth with 2.9% of the vote.


    • Opinion: You've gotta be kidding me. How does Jeter's day significantly help anyone but himself? Longo's day did more for his team than any of the other candidates. Sorry, the voters got this one wrong. By the way, Yankee fans, where's that "bias against the Yankees" you were complaining about when Nova lost AL Rookie of the Year?


  • Evan Longoria's walk-off home run in game 162 to send the Rays to playoffs and clinch the Wild Card wins the GIBBY for walk-off of the year. The home run received 62.6% of the vote.


    • Opinion: No disagreement here. Congrats to Longo. I want to re-live this day.


  • James Shields wasn't even among the five finalist for Starting Pitcher of the Year. Justin Verlander wins.


    • Opinion: I guess 11 complete games doesn't get you the attention it used to. Bullcrap.


In the end, the awards were largely right, there are a couple I have issue with as I outlined. But all in all, I think they were fair. Congrats to all the winners, regardless of if they're a Rays player.

Dec 13, 2011

Red Sox fan reaction to Sept. 28

by Aaron Giddens

For the final time this offseason, we're gonna flash back to the Sept. 28th and watch a couple of Red Sox fans react to their teams heartbreaking elimination. Enjoy.

Shoppach heading to Beantown

by Aaron Giddens

Kelly Shoppach
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated
ESPN is reporting that Kelly Shoppach will be heading to Beantown for the 2012 season. While we wish Shoppach luck, we hope the Red Sox as a whole still show themselves being the Red Sux.

What does this mean for Rays fans? Well as Cork Gaines of Rays Index pointed out, this means the Shoppachoppters could live on at the Trop after all and the fans behind the third base dugout aren't so safe after all.

Kelly Shoppach returns to the team that drafted him in 2001 and becomes the latest ex-Ray to taste success with the Rays then head to Boston. This also signals a worry for Boston fans as for the future of team captain Jason Varitek.

Dec 12, 2011

Thanksmas underway

by Aaron Giddens


Joe cooking Sunday at the Trop. — Courtesy: Rays via tampabay.com
Joe Maddon's annual "Thanksmas" event is underway. The annual event, now in its sixth year, gives needy people a warm meal.

Tonight the event is at the Sallie House in St. Petersburg. Tomorrow the event will be a the Salvation Army centers in Bradenton, at noon, and in St. Pete, at 4:30pm. Wednesday at the Salvation Army center in Tampa at 5pm.

I find it heart warming Joe started and continues to do this event yearly. Just makes me love Joe more.

[UPDATE, December 13 6:57pm]: Video of Joe and his Thanksmas event is now available below thanks to MLB.com.


Dec 5, 2011

What with the hair, Joe?

by Aaron Giddens

Joe Maddon showed up to the winter meetings in Dallas with a new hair color and 'doo. Take a look:



Allow us to be the latest to say "What the heck, Joe!" Looks like Helen Keller found her way to Joe's house and styled his hair! We shall call it "The Keller 'doo". Hopefully by the time the season starts Joe's hair is back to normal.

Manny "Juicing" Ramirez wants back in

by Aaron Giddens

Manny Ramirez
Courtesy:Flickr
So, it's being reported that Manny Ramirez wants another shot at the major leagues.

To which I say, not a snowballs chance in Hell!

This unprofessional, cheating, juicer is a cancer on the game anymore. We don't need the bad press.

And after his selfish retirement last year, well, I hope that was his last AB in the MLB.

Should he be granted reinstatement by Selig, I hope the GMs send the message loud and clear. "We don't want you anymore, Manny!" The game is better off without him. I wish him luck anywhere else though. He's still human afterall.

Dec 3, 2011

Rays Christmas wish list

by @MandaGator

I wanted to try something new here at BRaysball Talk, so I asked @MandaGator to write a letter to Santa. Here's her letter.

Santa

Dearest Santa,

I hope you and Mrs Claus are healthy and happy during this busy Christmas season. Thanks for joining me in MY favorite season this year, I knew you would fall in love with the Tampa Bay Rays too! As you know from watching, I took your advice from last year and I've been quite well behaved. I believe my position in the Nice standings has climbed a couple notches and I hope you take this into consideration as you review my Wish List.

I wish for some things to remain the same! I'd like Casey Kotchman & Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Rays. I wish for arbitration talks to be smooth and result in successful contracts with BJ Upton, David Price & Joel Peralta. In an ideal world I'd also love Love LOVE for the contract of AL Manager Of the Year Winner, Joe Maddon to be extended NOW but understand that it will probably be on my Wish List again next year.

If you could provide me with a couple of Rays Season Tickets Santa, that would rock! I'm not picky, upper deck is fine with me, just try to make it Row A & an odd section because I so enjoy watching the dugout antics during games. I promise that at least 41 of those games I will bring a newbie to Tropicana Field to experience world class MLB baseball at it's finest, making this the gift that keeps on giving!

If season tickets are asking too much, I'll be just as happy with the Rays Holiday Pack and it's a great deal! It includes opening day + 3 others for only $50! Game options even include July 4th, which is my favorite holiday, against the Yankees, my favorite team to hate!

I would like to be appropriately dressed at the Rays games, these few things will do! This is nice, this is warm, this one sparkles too!! I lost a couple hats last season so I'm asking for two!

Some of my wishes are for others Santa, I hope that you don't mind! Please give Sam Fuld another Legendary streak! To Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez please grant offensive breakouts equal to their defensive prowess! Keep ALL our Rays healthy and Santa, please keep the injuries away!!

I understand you're very busy and I want to take some of the pressure off of the whole Christmas Eve journey you'll be undertaking. With that in mind, I eagerly await delivery of my deepest Christmas Wish, the MLB World Championship Trophy for the Tampa Bay Rays next October .

As usual my wish list this year is topped with desire of peace in the hearts of everyone, yes, even Yankee & Red Sox fans but especially for those who I hold dear.

My best to the elves, Rudolph and the posse!
Love,
MandaGator

PS You'll find the cookies, milk & pipe in the usual place, will also leave the foot massager you brought me last year, feel free to use it on your tired tootsies! Go Rays!