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.

May 31, 2012

Thrifty Baseball aka the Rays Way!

by @MandaGator

The Trop's dome
The Trop's dome — Courtesy: Flickr
It's no secret that the entire MLB world is constantly in awe at the caliber of team the Tampa Bay Rays put together each season on a shoe string budget. Stuart Sternberg, Andrew Friedman and other magicians in the front office wave their wands year round and put together a team who opponents fear for six months on a fraction of the payroll their large market competitors can indulge. Perhaps this extraordinary ability stems from having lived in notoriously expensive New York City, perhaps it's years of studying finance, maybe it's a gift from the baseball Gods. We are fortunate in that the Rays offer their fans the same opportunity for "Thrifty Baseball" as we make our way to The Trop to behold domed, dry, 72°F glorious Rays baseball. Today's focus is on those evil necessities, parking and satisfying your appetite!!

It falls on you to find the cheapest gas to get to downtown St Petersburg but once in the area you can park conveniently in the Rays official lots for $15~$25 (depending on the the game's rating). In fact you can get a pre-paid parking pass and not even lose a/c by cracking your vehicle window. Lot 7 is easiest for highway access, Lot 6 is closest to Fergs Sports Bar & Grill, great for pre and post game food, drinks, music & general merriment with like minded Rays fans and the occasional enemy fan sent on an espionage mission.

May 26, 2012

Luke Scott beaned, should the Rays retaliate?

by Aaron Giddens

Scott held off by Saltalamacchia
Scott held off by Saltalamacchia
Courtesy: NBCSports.com
As we all probably know by know, Franklin Morales intentionally beaned Luke Scott in last night's 7-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway. Whether it was retaliation for Scott's comments about Fenway or the Red Sox Nation, or other players getting beaned previously last year. What ever the reason might be, it happened.

My first instinct is to call for retaliation and bean Big Papi or Pedroia. That is my first instinct. However I think it's better we just live with the psychological games Maddon has probably initiated. Not only will that scare them out of their game but it will also save our players.

Face it, we can't avoid to lose a player from any position to suspension and/or the DL. We already have 10 there and we're on the verge of getting a few back. We're having a hard enough time winning right now without losing one of our pitchers.

May 21, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The Trop claims another victim

by Aaron Giddens



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RHE
TOR

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6
8
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TB
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2
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Click here for expanded Box Score.


The Catwalks
The Catwalks, "C" and "D" rings
Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
Monday night, time for baseball. The Rays are coming off another series loss against the Braves in interleague play, losing yesterday 2-0. Rays welcome in to town the Blue Jays. We just saw them last week when the Rays swept a two game set in Toronto, this is the first time this season the Jays have been in town. Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound who looks to remain perfect on the season. Jays counter with Kyle Drabek. Rays have been struggling offenseively sorely missing the bats of Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings. Can they get the job done tonight? Let's find out.

Kelly Johnson leads off the game by grounding out to Elliot Johnson at shortstop. Escobar follows and grounds out to Rodriguez at third. Bautista bats third to start the game, he chops out S-Rod and the Jays go 1-2-3. BenZo leads off the first for the Rays offensively. He grounds out to second. BJ is next, he hits it a long way to center it falls suddenly in center, BJ arrives at second and starts claiming HR off the ring, umps confer and decide to go review it. 3 minutes later, Joe West signals a home run. Rays strike first. Matt Joyce is next he walks. Carlos is next and he flies out to the left fielder in center on the first pitch for the second out. Luke Scott is next, he hits hit to first who makes a diving grab but the toss to the pitcher can't be handled and Scott is safe. Ruled an error on the pitcher. S-Rod is next, he strikes out looking to end the inning.

May 16, 2012

Will Rhymes hit by pitch, later collapses

by Aaron Giddens

During the bottom of the 8th of tonight's Rays game with the Red Sox, Will Rhymes took a ball to his forearm and it sounded like a bat breaking. Obviously, Will was in a lot of pain as the trainer and Joe looked him over and it was ultimately decided that Will would try to stay in, after that a pitching change took place for the Sox. When we come back from commercial, Will motioned towards the dugout he's done. He then passes out with George Hendrick catching him. Will eventually regained consciousness enough to get on to the golf cart and be carted out. Updates will follow on his condition. In the mean time, here's video of the incident.



Someone needs to pay. Not necessarily by being hit by a pitch but definitely the Red Sox deserve to lose every game remaining with us this season. Intentional HBP or not.

[UPDATE, 11:18pm]: Marc Topkin reports that X-Ray's were negative for any breaks or fractures. Just a horrible bruise. Certainly good news. Also, Joe Maddon said in his post-game interview that the cause of the faint is assumed to be an adrenaline rush caused by temporary lack of blood flow to the head. Will is considered day-to-day.

May 14, 2012

MLB fires arbitrator who overturned Ryan Braun's suspension

by Aaron Giddens


Ryan Braun — Courtesy: Steve Paluch
The saga is back ladies and gents. Just when we thought the Ryan Braun's suspension story was over it takes another turn. As we all (should) know by now, Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), he denied it, filed an appeal, and won the appeal on a technicality.

Well now the story has taken a fishy turn. MLB has fired the neutral arbitrator that overturned his suspension.

I don't know about you, but to me, this lessened the legitimacy of the policy to me. To me is reads "If a play tests positive don't you frigging dare overturn it, you will be fired."

It also seems like MLB is more interested in firing the arbitrator rather than firing the man responsible for the technicality overturning and making sure it won't happen again.

In short, this seems like the worst possible move by MLB. Nice work, MLB. *facepalm*

May 8, 2012

Pena takes strike three to end game...or does he?

by Aaron Giddens

As much as the umpires make me mad at times, I don't like to dedicate time to their stupidity often, but I feel this warrants it. The Rays lost to the Yankees tonight 5-3 dropping their third straight. There was rain, mud, long balls and more, but what interests me though is the strike zone. In particular the strike zone used to get the the final out of the night against Carlos Pena.

May 6, 2012

Why did we lose this series with Oakland? It's simple...

by Aaron Giddens

Will Rhymes fails to field a ball at third Friday night
Will Rhymes fails to field a ball at third Friday night.
Courtesy: Chris O'Meara/AP
Why did we lose this series with Oakland? It's really simple, cold bats mean no runs. And horrible pitching means an insurmountable lead to overcome with cold bats. In particular starting pitching.

Yes, David Price turned out an absolute gem Friday night in the first game of the series. However it was down hill from there in the series. The last two starters in the series, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, went a combined 8.1 IP (3.2 IP and 4.2 IP respectively). Hellboy threw 28 pitches in the first inning alone of his start, 9 of those to Reddick who ended up homering. Moore, however, started strong and just collapsed.

May 4, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The night of the hot one and two spots

by Aaron Giddens



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OAK

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Click here for expanded Box Score.


BJ Upton
BJ Upton — Courtesy: Sun Sports
TGIF! It's time for another Friday Fest at the Trop. Tonight the Rays are taking on the Oakland Athletics. Rays are fresh off their four game sweep of the Seattle Mariners and on a 9-game home winning streak. Rays send David Price to the mound trying to keep the home winning streak alive. Oakland will counter with Tyson Ross. Let's play ball!

David Price starts out the game with a strike out looking of Jemile Weeks and a strike out swinging of Cliff Pennington. Josh Reddick grounds out to end the top of the first. A's go 1-2-3. Desmond is first pitch swinging to lead off the bottom half of the inning and has a single to center. After BJ lines out to third and Pena pops out, Matt Joyce is "hit" by the pitch (it hit his jersey), putting runners on second and first with 2 outs. They would be stranded though as Scott lines out to left.

May 2, 2012

BJ Upton leaves game

by Aaron Giddens

BJ Upton has left tonight's game with the Mariners between the 5th and 6th innings. Todd Kalas says it's reported to be quad tightness.

We can't lose both him and Longo, we can't.

May 1, 2012

Longoria leaves Monday's game [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens

[Original story]: Evan Longoria left Monday night's 3-2 extra inning win over the Mariners in the 3rd inning with knee soreness. Joe Maddon said after the game that he will get an MRI tomorrow but for now is day-to-day. Carlos Pena said he's positive about good news tomorrow.

I looked at the video of Longo walking off the field after the point of injury, I saw a very slight limp so it might not be anything serious. The word is that Longo took himself out of the game.

This is has the potential to be a devastating blow to the Rays for this season. We need Longo 100%. I will be praying all night that Evan's MRI is negative for any major damage and is just tweaked and he's back by not this weekend but next weekend in Baltimore.

[UPDATE, 6:31pm Tuesday]: Tampa Bay Times is now reporting that Longo has suffered a partial tear of his left hamstring and will be put on the shelf for 6-8 weeks. Andrew Friedman says that best case scenario is that Longo is healed in 4 weeks and returns after two weeks of rehab.

While this is not the worst case scenario, this is still pretty bad. Hurry back, Longo!

[UPDATE, 6:48pm Tuesday]: 620 WDAE says now on twitter that Longo has been placed on the 15-day DL and that IF Will Rhymes has been recalled from Durham to take his place. Kyle Farnsworth was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL presumably to make room for Rhymes on the 40 man roster.