Devil Rays (off-day)
It just seems like we are in Carlos Pena-bashing mode. Trust us. We love this guy. We have been looking for a replacement for our Rocco Baldelli jersey and El Gato may be the choice. But…

There has been a lot of chatter recently about Carlos Pena for Comeback Player of the Year in the AL. When we think of the CPOY award we think of a player that was once great and fell off the face of the earth for a couple of seasons for any of a number of reasons. In order to “Comeback”, shouldn’t a player have “been there” before?

Pena’s top statistical season prior to this year was 2004 in which he posted a line of .241-27-82. That is a good year, but far from memorable. His second highest HR total prior to this season was 18 (two times).

On the other hand we guess that one could consider Pena as having “comeback” from being a top prospect. Is that criteria enough for winning the CPOY? If that is the case could Josh Hamilton be considered for the NL CPOY as a rookie? We honestly have no idea who else in the AL would be worthy of this award, so Pena may be the best choice by default.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • The White Sox and Orioles lost yesterday and the Rays are now just one game back for the worst record in baseball and 2.5 games behind the O’s in the AL East.
  • Roger Mooney wonders if the off-day came a terrible time. [Bradenton Herald]
  • Having been quoted in the same article as Marc Topkin, we feel a sudden and special kinship with the St. Pete Times blogger. But we have to wonder if the off-day left Mr. Topkin desperate for a storyline. Apparently breaking the Tampa Bay Devil Rays record for RBI and walks would be making “history”. It is not like Carlos Pena is about to break a 80 year old record set by Lou Gehrig. [tampabay.com]
  • Carlos Pena is having a hell of a season. It is hard not to imagine that he would at least be considered for MVP if the Rays were in contention. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • The talents of Tampa Bay Devil Rays is not lost on American League managers. When asked to name the player with the best individual “tools” (Best outfield arm, best fastball, best power hitter, etc.), Devil Rays made the top 3 in 6 different categories. Carl Crawford was named twice (Fast baserunner, 3rd most exciting player) and joined by Scott Kazmir (2nd best slider), James Shields (2nd best changeup), Carlos Pena (2nd best defensive first baseman) and Delmon Young (3rd best outfield arm). [Baseball America]
  • If Carlos Pena hits three more home runs, the Kansas City Royals will become the only team to never have a player hit 40 home runs. [One More Dying Quail]
  • The Sporting Orange is all over a story in which a whiny Yankees fan living in Port Richey. Apparently Fred Slaven had his personalized Yankees license plate stolen and his Yankees flag burned. Now he is blaming local residents and selling his house in order to move back to New York. We have two thoughts on this… [The Sporting Orange]
    1. There are Devil Rays fans that hate the Yankees (ahem), but we ask. What is more likely. A Rays fan did this or a transplanted Red Sox fan. Or better yet…A newbie Red Sox Bandwagoner?
    2. We have spent most of the last several years in New York City. We certainly understand that the chances of vandalism in New York are far less.
  • Grant Balfour may have finally found a home, half-way around the world from where he grew up. [Devil Rays]
  • Bill Simmons, the writer formerly known as talented, really has it in for Tampa Bay area teams this month. In his latest column he predicts the Bucs to be the worst team in the NFL, with a nice little jab at Coach Jon Gruden. Why is Tampa the sudden punchline for all his jokes? We are betting on either him or his buddy Dufus getting herpes and crabs at Mons Venus (Mrs. Professor likes to call that combination “Crappies”). [ESPN]
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