Team USA 4, South Africa 2.
Evan Longoria went 1-4 with a triple and Justin Ruggiano went 0-4 as Team USA moved to 5-1 and clinched a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals. They have one final game in the preliminary round versus Taipei with the quarterfinals set to played on Friday with the opponent yet to be determined. Longoria was the team’s DH while Andy LaRoche played third base.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Baseball Musings took a look at the “Probabilistic Model of Range” for centerfielders in 2007 and the Devil Rays centerfielders finished next to last, ahead of only the Brewers. The number must be taken with a grain of salt. When we look at Range Factor, BJ Upton was above the league average of 2.71 with a 2.91. On the other hand, Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young, who had the next two most innings played in center field were both well below the league average with a 2.30, which likely brought the Rays overall Range value down. Rocco Baldelli only played 20 games in center, but came in with a 3.61 range factor. [Baseball Musings]
- Four of the 12 players named to the Topps Double-A All-Star team are Devil Rays farmhands. The list includes Evan Longoria, John Jaso, Chris Mason and Dale Thayer. [The Raw Feed]
- More hardware for Carlos Pena. This time it is the fictional 2007 Andre Dawson Award, presented to the best player on a last place team. No word on what exactly the trophy looks like, but we are guessing it is a hawk with bad knees. Pena is the second Devil Ray to win the award. Fred McGriff won the award in 1999. [Home Run Derby]
- The Cubs are trying to put together a package to land Carl Crawford. No word on whether or not discussions have already occurred. [Herald-News]
- According to team officials, there are no deals being worked on that involve Carl Crawford. The denial is interesting and possibly unnecessary as we haven’t actually heard any rumors involving CC. All we have seen and read is that other teams are targeting CC. But who wouldn’t want CC on their team? [Bradenton Herald]
- Al Reyes and Greg Norton both filed for free agency. The Rays still have until tomorrow to pick up options on both players. Reyes’ option will be picked up. Norton is likely to be granted free agency. [TBO]
- The Rays are one of 10 teams interested in signing Troy Percival. While Marc Lancaster sites Percival’s close relationship with Joe Maddon as a reason the Rays may have an edge, it didn’t seem to help last year when he ultimately signed with the Cardinals, so we are not sure why it would help this time around, except to add another team to the bidding process and ultimately raise the price. [TBO]
- In the end, we were a little high with the target dollar amount, but as we predicted, the Yankees went to four years on their contract offer to Jorge Posada and the catcher decided to not even test the free agent waters. The Yankees re-signed Posada for 4 years and $52.4 million. The Yankees will have to pay the devil on the back end of the deal, but that is the advantage they have. They will be able to swallow that cost when Posada is a 40-year old part-time DH. The Rays are in no financial position to assume such a cost. [TBO]
- Redeveloping Tropicana Field and the land on which it rests is key to the Rays moving to the St. Pete Waterfront in 2012. According to Aaron Sharockman this will not be a problem as land developers are already drooling over the prospect of building a residential and office space development on the 70 acre lot that is close to the interstate. [St. Pete Times]
Transforming the Tropicana site is “the kind of thing you dream about,” said Craig Sher, the chief executive of the Sembler Co., which developed BayWalk in St. Petersburg and Centro Ybor in Tampa.
“There’s a real potential to build a really neat mixed-use project, residential and office,” Sher said. “There’s just not a lot of land left in St. Pete. Any time you get a critical mass of land, you can get something spectacular. Hopefully, we’d be on somebody’s list of people to call.”
- Now that the Devil Rays have changed their name to “Rays”, has the team automatically eliminated itself as a potential destination for a small segment of players? Would Ray Durham have ever signed with the Tampa Bay Rays? Not likely. [Home Run Derby]