Team USA 10, Chinese Taipei 7.
Justin Ruggiano and Evan Longoria helped Team USA clinch the top seed in the quarterfinals by leading the team to a win over Taipei in the final game of group play. Ruggiano went 3-5, hitting 2 home runs and driving in 5. He had an RBI single in the 4th that gave Team USA a 3-1 lead. In the 7th, Ruggiano broke a 6-6 tie with an opposite-field 3-run home run and added one more with a solo shot in the 9th inning. Longoria finished 3-5, with a double an RBI and 2 runs scored. Team USA will face Korea on Friday in the quarterfinals.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Florida Governor Charlie Crist is supporting the Rays plans to build a new ballpark on the current site of Al Lang Field on the St. Pete waterfront. While he supports the idea, he has yet to back the idea of a tax break on the construction of the new stadium, which may be key to getting the deal done. [tampabay.com]
“I think the opportunity to create an ambiance right on the waterfront in St. Petersburg is brilliant, I really do,” Crist told reporters in the state Capitol…”It provides jobs, jobs, jobs for a lot of people,” said Crist, whose rental condo in downtown St. Petersburg would be blocks from the new park.
- In a move that surprised nobody, the Rays picked up the $2.3 million option on Al Reyes and declined the $1 million option on Greg Norton. Reyes’ option was originally for $1 million but was upped once he hit certain incentive marks in 2007. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Sports Grumblings has analyzed the Rays farm system and has listed the top 10 prospects. Not much to argue with as the top tier of talent in the system seems pretty clear cut. We would probably still place Mitch Talbot in the top 10 despite a disappointing 2007 and we are not as sold on Jeremy Hellickson and Chris Mason as much as others are. Hellickson is a small right hander and those rarely succeed in the majors. Mason wins but he is a big right hander that does not throw hard, so there are still questions as to whether or not that will translate to the same level of success above AA. [Sports Grumblings]